SVG Year in Review: September
As the summer wound down, SVG hopped on the 7 train to Flushing, NY, for a truly memorable US Open. In addition to Andy Murray and Serena Williams’ continuing prowess on the court, there was plenty to check out behind the scenes. The USTA upped the multiplatform ante this year, streaming every singly match of the tournament to desktops and iPads and every weekend day-session match to iPhone and Android.
CBS Sports complemented its coverage with CBS Sports Network, doubling the content for fans without doubling the cost or infrastructure. ESPN increased its presence at the Open, adding a second Spidercam aerial system at the Tennis Center and amping up ESPN International’s coverage. DIRECTV and Tennis Channel beefed up their broadcast plans as well. At the compound, Filmwerks kept mobile units up and running.
On the other side of the pond, SVG Europe returned to the IBC showfloor, delivering live updates, breaking news, and overviews of the new technologies on display in Amsterdam. CLICK HERE for SVG’s full show coverage on the SVG Europe@IBC 2012 blog. SVG Europe also hosted the seventh annual Sport Technology Awards at IBC, honoring the three top achievements in sports broadcasting this year.
One year removed from a lockout that threatened to shorten the season, the NFL returned on schedule in 2012. The NBC Sports Group looked to carry its momentum from the London Games into the seventh season of Sunday Night Football, Fox Sports reimagined its on-air graphics and debuted a new parabola-microphone mount, and ESPN introduced Spidercam and a new two-man booth to its Monday-night slate. NFL Network expanded its Thursday Night Football schedule, while CBS Sports has its eye on Super Bowl XLVII.
Elsewhere on the gridiron, Fox Sports’ college football coverage went over the air and under the lights, SEC on CBS returned, Big Ten Network launched Field Pass, and the University of Oklahoma announced a partnership with Fox Sports to create Sooner Sports TV. The Horizon League Network made the leap to HD, while Northeastern University boosted its HD-streaming capabilities.
After 55 years without a professional sports franchise, Brooklyn welcomed the Nets and unveiled Barclays Center. Three thousand miles away, Time Warner Cable SportsNet and Deportes readied for launch with a new state-of-the-art facility in L.A.
The sports-broadcasting community received some sad news on Sept. 18, when NFL Films legend and Sports Broadcasting Hall of Famer Steve Sabol passed away following an 18-month battle with brain cancer. He was 69.