Big Easy Studio Offers New Super Bowl Option
In a little less than three months, sports broadcasters from across the country and around the world will descend on New Orleans for Super Bowl XLVI. And between now and then, many of them will be on the hunt for suitable backdrops and studio facilities that immediately let viewers know they are in New Orleans. One new option? A 5,800-sq.-ft. production facility built by WVUE New Orleans in Benson Tower that overlooks the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, the New Orleans Arena, and entertainment venue Champions Square. This impressive new production facility was recently commissioned by WVUE TV in New Orleans, and designed and integrated by Beck Associates, a national integrator.
“This is just another enhancement and investment by our company to better serve local, regional, and national viewers,” says Fox 8 President/GM Joe Cook. “This studio will provide a front-row seat for numerous events, and the place to be for Super Bowl visibility, as well as a unique vantage point for coverage of any event occurring in New Orleans.”
The facility features an active set on a 30- x 30-ft. stage designed to reflect the unique location. It also houses three Ikegami studio cameras, two exterior POV cameras, a Ross Video production switcher, a Wheatstone audio console, Vizrt Artist-Trio graphics systems, and three Avid Newscutter Nitris DX edit suites. Fiber lines run to and from the control room to the dome floor, and remote cameras sit atop the surrounding buildings, along with a state-of-the-art HD satellite uplink. An HD truck is also available to cover the action in the French Quarter or elsewhere in New Orleans. Toss in a fiber run directly to the floor of the Superdome, and nearly all needs can be met.
“Those who use it will not need to bring anything, as we have the satellite uplink and truck and remote cameras across Champions Square that can get shots of the studio from across the Square,” says Rachel Sigur, director of studio operations, WVUE New Orleans. “There is also a green room and six cubicle spaces along with a kitchenette.”
The facility is currently being used to air several WVUE weekday newscasts and weekend sports programs, including a live tailgate show prior to New Orleans Saints games.
“It’s state of the art, and the location is unlike anyplace else,” says Sigur. “It really has all the bells and whistles.”