NBA expands use of miking players, coaches

By Andrew Lippe

Once again fan insider access is at the forefront of sports. For the first time players and coaches in the NBA will be asked to wear microphones and provide live interviews during games. The new shift in technology kicked off last night on TNT with a doubleheader featuring the Dallas Mavericks and Denver Nuggets followed by the Miami Heat taking on the Portland Trailblazers. New cameras and microphones were implemented last night and will be instituted for the duration of the regular season.

“We have special packages that allow us to film coaches and players during timeouts and immediately out of a commercial break,” says Tom Sahara senior director of remote operations and IT for Turner Sports. Turner added two new Ikegami and Thomson Grass Valley HD cameras to their pre-existing camera configuration to capture the additional action. The cameras are handheld units specifically for the timeout huddles and a new robotic camera that is placed in the player’s locker room where pregame, halftime, and postgame team meetings are all recorded.

Many coaches have expressed their displeasure with the new policy that makes coaches wear microphones throughout the game. In the future players will have microphones sewn in the jerseys. In order to warrant inappropriate language or information that could give teams a competitive advantage all video and audio feeds are not live and are subject to review by the NBA. “The NBA reviews the clips and approves them before they can go to air,” adds Sahara.

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