Orad MVP Flow Motion Serves Up Emmy Win For CBS Sports

Technical teams and skills were front and center at the Sports Emmys last night in Manhattan but it’s the George Wensel Technical Achievement Award that is one of the most coveted awards for the true technical maven. Last night CBS Sports took home the prize as its use of Orad’s MVP platform and Flow Motion technology during the U.S. Open tennis tournament was honored.

The system ties an Orad graphics engine with a camera tracking engine and allows for the producer to call up replays that go deeper than straight video by allowing “snapshot” frames of a player during a rally to be laid into the video during a point. As the replay is played back the freeze frames are dropped around the court at key moments, like when they hit a shot during a rally.

“It’s a unique perspective that allows a look back at the shot and to see where the player was and how they reacted on each shot,” says Ken Aagaard, CBS Sports, SVP, operations and production. “Seeing that perspective is powerful.”

Shaun Dail, Orad vice president, North American sales, says he is thrilled for the whole Orad and CBS Sports team. The win marks Orad’s second Sports Emmy nod, with the company’s first in 2000 for graphic overlays of flags in swim lanes during the Sydney Olympics.

“Flow Motion tracking is based on optical recognition, there is no interaction with the camera or the head,” he says of a system that takes only about two minutes of callibration. “Once the callibration is finished the MVP system establishes a geographical relationship with the field of play and as the camera pans and tilts a graphic can be dropped in.”

Dail creates the producers of sporting events like the U.S. Open (and other tennis majors and events that now use the system) with the true innovation as their staff can create new features for the system on the fly. “They can really apply their imagination to the platform and make something unique,” says Dail. “Our customers are really the ones who provide the innovation.”