CBS College Sports Goes Virtual for 2010 Season

For its eighth season of college football, CBS College Sports Network has a stacked lineup. Over the course of the 2010 season, CBSC will broadcast 43 games featuring the best of the Mountain West Conference, Conference USA, Army, Navy, and Division II, beginning with a grudge match between Washington and BYU on Sept. 4. To enhance the viewer experience throughout the season, CBSC will rely on graphic support from PVI.

“We’re trying not to be redundant with our information,” explains Ross Molloy, VP of remote production for CBSC. “Sometimes you’re watching an event, and it seems that you can see first and 10 in nine different places. This year, we’re going to change things up and focus on the key players. To highlight them, we will input information on the field virtually.”

From CBSC’s master-control facility in Connecticut, housed at Ascent Media, CBSC can virtually insert player names, faces, logos, and stats onto the field of play. PVI has also created a virtual Jumbotron, which will be inserted into the stands over the crowd, where additional graphics can be laid. All of the graphics are inserted from the master-control facility, not the graphics machine in the production truck.

“I got tired of seeing the same information in multiple places,” Molloy says. “I can read, so I wanted to have something that the viewer is attracted to look at. We’re really trying to enhance the storyline.”

An addition to CBSC’s announce booth this year will also help to enhance those storylines. Mike Leech, former head coach at Texas Tech, will serve as a game analyst for the season, teaming with veteran play-by-play announcer Roger Twibell.

“We tried to find a guy who’s going to have an opinion and who’s going to give us the coach’s perspective in the booth,” Molloy says. “When plays are about to start and he sees formations and things that are setting up, I’m going to push him to say, ‘hey, look at the tight end.’ Then the viewer has something to keep an eye on.”

All of CBSC’s football games this season will be presented in HD, with the possible exception of the Division II games, which are produced by the NCAA. For CBSC, the last piece of the HD puzzle is completing the studio upgrade to full HD. That project is currently in phase one of three.

CBSC will also debut two studio shows this season, CBS College Sports’ Line-Up and College Football Confidential. Line-Up is a 30-minute show that previews the weekend college-football action, focusing on teams, players, and coaches that will be featured on CBSC. Confidential is a series of six 30-minute shows that go behind the scenes with different Mountain West Conference and Conference USA teams as they practice and prepare for Saturday.

For the second straight year, the network’s weekly lineup will be anchored by The Tony Barnhart Show, Inside College Football, and the SEC Post Game Show.