SVG Summit 2015: The Year’s Top Tech Innovations Include Pylon Cam, At-Home Production, and 4K

The opening panel of Day 2 at the 10th-annual SVG Summit in New York City on Tuesday featured top production execs from ESPN, NBC Sports, NESN, SNY, and YES Network discussing “The Business and Art of Technology Innovation: Finding a Balance”. The session focused on not only the latest tech toys being seen in live-sports telecasts, but also how these tools can potentially be sponsored and monetized to help generate an ROI. Hot topics during the session included ESPN’s use of PylonCam, balancing storytelling with sponsorship obligations, the rise of the cost-efficient at-home production model (including a big announcement from NESN), and the potential timeline for the launch of large-scale 4K and 8K live productions. Watch some of the panels highlights below.

ESPN SVP of Production Innovation Jed Drake on the development and success of the Pylon Cam, which had a coming-out-party of sorts on Monday Night Football this week when the camera system captured a perfect angle of New York Giants star wideout Odell Beckham Jr. making a sliding-foot catch as he fell out of bounds in the end zone. Drake went on to discuss how ESPN is looking to leverage Pylon Cam (which cannot be sponsored under the NFL rights agreement) in its other programming and how he sees it evolving in the future:

YES Network President of Production and Programming John Filippelli on the importance of cutting-edge technology to help tell the story within a live sports telecast, as well as when to sponsor a technology within a telecast and, more importantly, when not to.

Joseph Maar, NESN’s VP of Programming & Production/Executive Producer, announces on-stage that the RSN will produce the majority of Boston Red Sox 2016 spring training games by sending multiple cameras feeding back to NESN’s Boston-area studios via bonded cellular technology rather than deploying a mobile unit and satellite/fiber connection on-site. NESN plans to use multiple LiveU LU500 portable transmission units to pilot live “@Home Productions” on the majority of Red Sox home and road spring training Games in 2016 as part of the new production model.

NBC Sports Regional Networks VP/Executive Producer Jon Slobotkin on the future of the at-home production model for his RSN’s and how NBC Sports Group often leverages NBC Sports Regional Networks resources to create synergies in producing its national telecasts.

ESPN’s Drake on the rise of at-home productions (or REMI’s, as ESPN calls them) and why he believes the biggest, highest-profile events will always be produced with a full production team on-site.

SNY SVP of Production/Executive Producer Curt Gowdy Jr. on the future of 4K production and why he believes NHK’s 8K Super-Hi Vision production at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics will surpass 4K and become the more successful format in the future.

NESN’s Maar says the network will have 4K technology in place for its studio operations by next baseball season and how broadcasters producing 4K content can gain leverage in negotiating valuable revenue-generating affiliate deals.

DSC_0423To view the full panel, CLICK HERE.

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