TBS takes traditional approach to MLB playoffs

By Andrew Lippe

This year TBS, for the first time ever, will carry MLB postseason coverage beginning with the Division series on October 3. Every game of the Division Series as well as the National League Championship Series will be aired on the network in Surround Sound and in high definition with TBS in HD available on DirecTV and Time Warner Cable.

While it will be a playoff first the network is well versed in baseball coverage thanks to Atlanta Braves coverage. And traditional coverage will rule the day.

“The best way to cover baseball is to show the basics of the game cover every pitch, and not miss any outs,” said Tom Sahara, Turner Sports, senior director of IT and Remote Operations. “That makes a good broadcast. A firm foundation goes a long way.”

TBS may not be incorporating any new technologies but its production will thoroughly increase the number of cameras versus a regular season game. A typical regular season Braves broadcast uses about 12 cameras. For the postseason TBS will have between 15 and 17 HD cameras including numerous robotic cameras. The Turner truck is equipped with Ikegami cameras while the NEP truck could be equipped with either Thomson Grass Valley or Sony cameras.

Replay sources will also see a dramatic increase. “We use 10 replay sources in regular season where in the postseason we will use 12 to 15 replay channels,” added Sahara. All instant replay sources are EVS HD systems. The crew for the postseason will also see a 30 percent increase. “For Braves telecasts we have a crew of 25 where during the playoffs we will have just under 40 people,” says Sahara. The games will also include graphics from Sportvision including hit tracks and pitch tracking.

TBS will continue its broadband content on TBS Hot Corner on MLB.com throughout the playoffs as well as possibly incorporate the Dugout Cam, a view where fans can view how players interact and cheer on their team. “We are working with MLB to give viewers a unique view they don’t normally see in a playoff broadcast, “says Sahara.