SVG Year in Review: April
April was among the busiest months on the SVG calendar, as March Madness concluded, the first pitch on the 2011 baseball season crossed the plate, the Masters made a second run at 3D, and the latest technologies debuted at the NAB tradeshow.
Major League Baseball got off to a roaring start, highlighted by MLB Network’s 30 Clubs in 30 Days, ESPN’s Baseball Tonight on the road, Root Sports first season of baseball, the “Crack of the Bat”, and new state-of-the-art AV systems at several team’s training facilities.
The game itself may not have been pretty, but CBS and its army of vendors made sure that the NCAA Div. 1 Men’s Basketball Tournament Championship Game telecast was a memorable crescendo to the tourney. In addition to deploying five F&F Productions trailers in Houston, CBS built out massive editing facilities to produce it “One Shining Moment” finale. In addition, the grand experiment between CBS and Turner Sports’ was a rousing success, as the their dual coverage included a new graphics package and flawless coordination between the two networks.
Just three days later, CBS was back to work, making its annual trek to Augusta for The Masters. The massive compound included 26 NEP trailers for the super-sized production. In addition, CBS and ESPN were back for round two of 3D, producing second nine holes in the third dimension after producing a handful of holes in 3D in 2010. On the digital side, CBSSports.com and Masters.com blended tech with tradition, streaming more than 75 hours of live tournament coverage over four days.
After kicking off American broadcasting’s biggest trade show with the annual NAB Pre-Game Party, Team SVG hit the show floor to check out the latest that technology vendors had to offer. While Sony and Panasonic both rolled out their latest 3D offerings, respectively, the buzz around 3D paled in comparison to second screen applications that look to capitalize on sports fans rapidly growing use of mobile devices and tablets. Avid also made some waves with the debut of its InGame and Interplay Central offerings. SVG’s three-part NAB-in-review coverage can be found here: PART 1, PART 2, and PART 3.
April had plenty more to offer, including ESPN’s first test of a full 1080p production during an NBA regular season game, ESPN linear networks’ arrival on the iPad and iPhone, NBC Sports Group’s $2 billion NHL rights deal, the NFL Draft on NFL Network and ESPN, and, of course the start of the NBA and NHL playoffs.