NBA D-League delighted with Tricaster for live Webcasts

By Ken Kerschbaumer

Later this week the National Basketball League will put the emphasis on HD coverage of its All-Star game and slam dunk contest but with the help of Newtek’s Tricaster production system it has recently begun to give fans the chance to see the All-Stars of tomorrow today.

The NBA’s Development League (D-League) is comprised of 14 teams and the Tricaster is used to help produce all D-League games for live Webcasts to fans around the world.

“Working with NewTek provides fans around the world with the unique opportunity to watch the next generation of NBA stars as their careers evolve,” said Mike Rokosa, NBA VP of Engineering. “TriCaster’s reliability, portability and cost-efficiency make it possible for us to professionally produce and stream every D-League game live.”

Rokosa says the D-League coverage makes use of in-arena production systems, pumping two camera feeds into the Tricaster. A special plug-in from Young Monkey allows the Tricaster to do instant replays by simply hitting a cue at the end of a great play. There are two speeds of slow-motion playback.

“We built a special graphics package for the D-League games and the graphics, promos, and commercial spots all play off of the device,” says Rokosa.

The graphical user interface has also been improved and now shows the first three inputs instead of just two. The changes make it more akin to the monitor walls that are part of every professional sports production.

Games can be viewed at www.D-League.com and the streaming helps more than just fans keep on top of the action. Coaches and scouts from around the globe can monitor players.
Strictly a streaming initiative to, one get D-League out there and seen, allow for followers of the D-League to follow players, like coaches and scouts.

“We are delighted to be teaming with the NBA D-League to produce live Webcasts of every game,” said Philip Nelson, Sr. Vice President, Strategic Development. “In addition to delivering the performances of the sport’s next stars to basketball fans worldwide, TriCaster enables the NBA D-League to give them unprecedented access to each game, with additional behind-the-scenes insights and commentary.”

Nelson says the quick training curve of the systems is another strength. The Austin Turos, D-League teams for the San Antonio Spurs, for example, trained PR interns on the system in an hour and by the second and third quarter were rolling commercials, halftime spots and creating exciting content.

“What is exciting for us is the fans in the markets the D-League teams play in, like Sioux Falls, Tulsa, or Boise, are excited that the team is being streaming on the Internet,” says Nelson. “It’s building enthusiasm for local sports markets.”