Fox Sports Midwest Offers HD Cure for St. Louis Blues

Hockey, with its fast moving puck, slashing skates, and sizzling speed has benefitted greatly from the transition to HD. This weekend, Fox Sports Midwest finishes a transition to HD coverage that will deliver to St. Louis Blues fans both road and away games in stunning HD glory. “This is a commitment by Fox Sports in Los Angeles to make sure our product looks the same across the board,” says Kevin Landy, executive producer for Fox Sports Midwest.

Fox Sports Midwest will televise 75 Blues games, and NHL national TV partner Versus will carry five. Last season, the regional sports network produced 50 of its 74 telecasts in HD.

Fox Sports Midwest relies primarily on Mobile TV Group’s HD11x production unit for HD coverage, and other Fox Sports regional networks will also make the move to full HD schedules. The dual-feed capabilities of the Mobile TV Group production trucks, allowing both the home and away Fox Sports crews to operate in the same vehicle, will play an important part in the expansion.

The expanded HD schedule will be complemented with a new production tool: a super-slo-mo system from Inertia Unlimited.

“We’re excited about having it,” says Landy, noting that “we will use it on our tight follow camera.”

In St. Louis, Blues hockey dominates the fall and winter season since the area lacks an NBA franchise. Last year, the team had the fifth-highest TV ratings among local U.S.-based sports teams, and the ratings were up 21% last year.

Landy says the Blues franchise understands the importance of working closely with Fox Sports Midwest: “They are a very trusting TV partner.”

That trust is exemplified in the network’s ability to shoot video inside the Blues locker room during halftime. “Trust is the only way that works,” he adds. “We have the same camera guy in there for every game, and he knows how to make himself melt into the scene. He also knows the Blues don’t want us to show someone icing their shoulder, and he can execute without giving away any secrets.”