Fox Sports Oklahoma Focuses on High School Football with Mobile TV Group, Cox

By Ken Kerschbaumer

Fox Sports Oklahoma heads into high school football championship mode this weekend with the Oklahoma 6A championship and support from Cox Communications and then next month with Texas high school 5A I and II football taking the spotlight and a Mobile TV Group dual-feed truck playing a key role.

“When you get to the championship level, they play at major venues,” says Fox Sports Oklahoma Senior Executive Producer Mike Anastassiou. The Oklahoma Class 6A game will be played at Oklahoma State’s Boone Pickens Stadium at 1:30 p.m. (making sure fans have plenty of time to tune in to the Big 12 Championship game) and shot with six standard-definition cameras. The Texas 5A Division I and II games will be played at Reliant Stadium in Houston.

“We don’t produce the Texas high school games at the level of a Big 12 game, but we use seven cameras and a full complement of networked EVS servers, Chyron Hyper X graphics, and a Fox Box insert,” says Anastassiou.

Because the two games are played back to back at Reliant on Dec. 20, the network will make use of the dual-feed capabilities of the Mobile TV Group truck. Half the truck will be used for game production and half for
High School Sports Live , which will recap the first game and preview the second.

“That allows the game production team to take a breath and get ready for the second game,” says Anastassiou.

The game will be produced in HD in the truck and then downconverted to standard-definition 4:3 for transmission. Anastassiou says there are a few moving parts in play that prevent going HD for high school sports. “But it’s not out of the question,” he says. “Right now, we’re headed towards doing all of our professional events in HD.”

While the production crew won’t be able to take advantage of professional-level HD quality, it will take advantage of professional-level venues. “We’ll use the regular NFL camera positions,” says Anastassiou, “and the stadium is precabled.”