CSN Philly Rolls Out Red Carpet, Full HD for World Series Champs

By Carolyn Braff

The Philadelphia Phillies are the reigning World Series Champions after 28 years without a title, and Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia will litter the 2009 season with reminders of which team remains the kings of baseball. In addition to incorporating the World Series storyline throughout this season’s studio shows and game broadcasts, CSN Philadelphia is celebrating by rolling out a new graphics package, enhanced score bug, and new Website and will be presenting all 2009 Phillies games— both home and away — in high-definition.

In the past, CSN Philadelphia produced only home games and studio programming in HD.

“The fact that we’re doing all of our games in high-definition is very important to us,” explains Shawn Oleksiak, executive producer of live events for CSN Philadelphia. “We think that HD is really first and foremost in the viewer experience, and we pride ourselves at Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia in being cutting-edge when it comes to the viewer experience.”

Working hand in hand with HD to enhance that viewer experience is a new live-event graphics package that will be integrated into all of CSN Philadelphia’s HD programming, including studio shows and game action. A Chyron Duet HyperX with Lyric software provides the backbone for the new graphics platform. Complete with music and animations, the graphics package matches the look being rolled out at other Comcast SportsNet regional sports networks around the country, emphasizing the network’s — and the Phillies’ — red, white, and blue color scheme.

A new and improved score bug is also being implemented this season, enabling supplemental data to be integrated into the basic score-bug graphic.

“We are going to be able to tie all of the stats and data that we interface into our score bug, giving our producer and directors a great opportunity to choose the best method for conveying the graphics to the viewer at home,” Oleksiak explains. “In a heavily stat-driven sport like baseball, a lot of stories can be rooted in statistical data, so we’re excited about the opportunities we have between the new graphic look and the way we interface that with our score bug.”

Just as seamless as the new graphic look will be the way the story of the Phillies’ 2008 World Series championship will be woven throughout this season’s coverage.

“When you win a World Series, that storyline over time increases in its legend and magnitude,” Oleksiak explains. “We spent some time with the World Series trophy in the off-season doing some 3D animations and other high-definition shoots. We’ll have the trophy prevalent in some of our animations, and the World Series theme will be prevalent throughout many of the shows.”

This season, those shows will include 20-25 pregame shows that the network did not produce last season, in addition to a live postgame show immediately following every Phillies game on CSN Philadelphia. The network’s Website, CSNPhilly.com, will also be featuring more content as the season rolls on.

“The idea of Internet Websites and the second-screen experience is booming by the second,” Oleksiak says. “We’re certainly happy to integrate as much of that experience into our telecast as we can.”

So far, that integration has included a live stream of a taped
Meet the Phillies show, offering fans a live look-in to a show that was produced for television. Throughout the 2009 season, the network will continue to experiment with integrating both live events and studio shows with CSNPhilly.com, looking for new and exciting ways to pair innovation with technology.

“We’re pretty excited about our opportunity to combine technology with the challenge and the art of storytelling,” Oleksiak says. “It’s one thing to say that you’re committed to technology, but it’s another thing to say that you’re committed to using that technology to really provide the viewer with the best insight and the best stories.”

This season, expect the later from Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia.

Opening Day is less than a month away, and SVG is counting down to the first pitch with a look at the regional sports networks responsible for producing games for all 30 Major League Baseball teams. SVG is checking in with each RSN to detail the news and expectations leading up to the 2009 baseball season one conference at a time. For the complete SVG 30 In 30 Index, click here


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