Fox Sports Takes MLB Playoff Pregame on the Road

Fox Sports American League Championship Game coverage will feature the usual (a massive camera complement  — 28 cameras this year) and also the unusual. For the first time ever, the Fox MLB pregame show is hitting the road.

“We took a real jump in adding on-site pregame coverage to the postseason this year,” says Michael Davies, VP of technical operations for Fox Sports. “We have also added a few more cameras to cover things like the player mics. Mics are all well and good, but, unless you have a camera looking at the player, they are difficult to use.”

Six robotic cameras will be in the dugouts, and a camera at the mid-home position will be on tap to enhance the broadcast, as will the Inertia Unlimited xMo and two Sony HDC3300 super-slo-mo cameras. A Steadicam has been added, and a second RF camera will be on hand to bring viewers closer to the happenings and provide better handheld coverage from the field and stands.

The Detroit Tigers victory over the New York Yankees last night made life a little easier for the Fox Sports production crew. If the Yankees had won, they would have hosted the opening game on Saturday night, creating a logistical challenge with Turner Sports needing to move out of position and Fox Sports moving into position in a little more than 24 hours. But now there is the luxury of time, and the Game Creek Dynasty truck will drive to Detroit for game three, which will be played next Tuesday.

Davies says that the Texas Rangers’ win in fewer than five games also helped with the setup.

“There is a lot of cable to run in Texas, as it is about 1,100 ft. from the compound to the outfield,” he says. “So we were able to get the cable run in.”

Fox Sports will use NCP 10 in Texas, a truck used by Turner Sports in St. Louis for the ALDS between the Cardinals and Philadelphia Phillies.

“Right after the game on Wednesday, that truck was double-team driven down to Texas,” says Davies.

A down side of the Yankees’ not hosting the ALCS (along with the potential for a smaller viewing audience) is that a large pregame set already constructed in Yankee Stadium won’t see the light of day.

“It’s one of our largest and most complicated pregame sets, taking 2½ days to build,” says Davies. The stage features Barco NX4 LED pillars as a stage element.

As for the other stadiums, Fox Sports will make use of the stages Turner Sports is using for the National League Championship Series.

Notes Davies, “Everybody is on the same team.”

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