Thursday, May 17, 2012
Editorial Director: Ken Kerschbaumer
Managing Editor: Jason Dachman
Greg Shaheen Joins Star-Studded CSVS Panel
TBS, MLB Net Grab New MLB Playoffs TV Rights
NBC Sports, ASO Team Up for Tour of California
Striking a Balance in a Second-Screen World
SMPTE Emerging Tech Leaders Outline 4K, 3D
SMPTE Forum Addresses Bandwidth Crunch
Former NCAA Exec Greg Shaheen Joins Star-Studded Opening Panel at CSVS
by Brandon Costa

At the College Sports Video Summit (June 6-7, Atlanta, GA), some of the most powerful names at the biggest networks in the college marketplace will discuss the complexities of the landscape surrounding the pomp of pageantry of college sports television. Joining the lineup is Greg Shaheen, former N.C.A.A. interim executive vice president for championships and alliances, who will speak as part of the summit’s opening panel, will now join them.

Collegiate Athletics Internet & Digital Association To Hold First Events

This summer, the Collegiate Athletics Internet & Digital Association (CAIDA) will hold its first official events at the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics Convention in Dallas. CAIDA will function as the first organization for college athletics digital media professionals. CAIDA was created to serve a changing collegiate landscape filled with new ways of communicating with fans and other constituents.

TBS Grabs MLB Wild-Card Rights; MLB Network Joins Playoff Picture
by Karen Hogan

More than two months have gone by since Major League Baseball announced sweeping changes to its postseason format, expanding the field to 10 teams and adding a one-game playoff to determine each division’s Wild Card berth. Today, those one-game, single-elimination playoff contests were finally given a home. Major League Baseball and Turner Sports have announced that TBS will exclusively televise the American League and National League Wild Card games in 2012 and 2013.

Ratings Roundup: Stanley Cup Playoffs on Pace To Be Most Watched on Record
by Jason Dachman

NBC Sports Group’s ‘Every Game, Every Night’ coverage model has worked gangbusters during the first two rounds of the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs, which are averaging 1.06 million viewers, the largest audience for the first two rounds on record (since 1994, when cable program data started). In other ratings news, Droves of viewers tune into Fox's multi-network Premier League Survival Sunday coverage, NBC and Golf Channel see an uptick for The Players Championship, and a full roundup of recent NBA Playoffs ratings.

NBCU Sets Olympic Lineups for Cable Nets
by Multichannel News

When it comes to Olympics coverage this summer, MSNBC will present action across 20 competitions, CNBC is once again stepping inside the squared circle, and Bravo will serve as the de facto tennis channel of the London Games. NBCUniversal set its basic Olympic programming lineups for MSNBC, CNBC and Bravo, which together will combine to televise 284.5 hours from the quadrennial.

Networks Fight DVRs with More Prime Time Sports
by Bloomberg Businessweek

Fox and other television networks, presenting next season’s schedules to advertisers this week, are betting that sports coverage will boost ratings and get viewers to watch more programming live. The major broadcast networks are injecting sports into their nightly lineups to draw viewers ages 18 to 49, a group targeted by advertisers. Sporting events also tend to be watched live. That means viewers aren’t taping them on their DVRs and then fast-forwarding past the commercials.

NBC Sports Group, ASO Join Forces for 2012 Amgen Tour of California
by Karen Hogan

From Santa Rosa to Santa Cruz, from Livermore to Los Angeles, the 2012 Amgen Tour of California is wending its way through the state this week. NBC Sports Network is providing live coverage at every stage of the premier U.S.-based cycling event, which began on Sunday May 13 and concludes this Sunday. For the first time ever, the race’s final stage will air on NBC.

Bexel Selects Calrec’s Artemis Light for Broadcast Flypacks

Bexel has chosen Calrec’s Artemis Light audio consoles for its new midrange line of live broadcast flypacks. Bexel, a unit of the Vitec Group’s Services Division and a worldwide provider of broadcast services, has designed the flypacks to meet its clients’ requirements for live coverage of middle- to upper-tier sporting events.

CP Communications’ RFHD1 Delivers for San Diego Triathlon

For the 2012 San Diego Triathlon held at Mission Bay, CA, CP Communications rolled out their newest RF truck, RFHD1. Needing a small form factor RF truck, CP Communications decided to convert HD1. RFHD1 is a 33’ truck that can handle up to 12 HD RF camera systems, and comes with a 42’ mast and a radio communications trailer.

Azzurro TeamCam Scores for 2012 NFL Draft

On Thursday, April 26, the NFL Draft was broadcast live from Radio City Music Hall in New York City. During the draft, Azzurro provided HD transmit and receive circuits between Radio City and the Azzurro Network Operations Center. The NFL Network also relied heavily on TeamCam, a custom camera system co-designed by Azzurro and NFL which enables remote talent, coach, and player interviews to be instantly transmitted over a private IP Network.

This Is What Native 4K Home Cinema Looks Like on Sony's VPL-VW1000ES Projector
by Engadget

Why are folks so keyed up about 4K? By definition, a 4096-pixel wide image delivers around four times the resolution of 1920 x 1080, and that's a healthy multiple. It's actually of a broadly similar magnitude to the difference between 1080p and old-fashioned analog NTSC video, and nobody these days questions the value of that upgrade. On the other hand, there must come a point where pixels cease to be visible in a home theater environment, such that buying more of them at inflated prices stops being worth it.

SMPTE Emerging Tech Leaders Outline 4K, 3D Roadmaps
by Ken Kerschbaumer

The creation and distribution of content in the 4K format continues to be an object of increasing fascination for both the consumer electronics industry and the professional content-creation and distribution community, especially those involved with digital filmmaking. But when, and how, will it make the move to a production format for sport and entertainment programming? Industry leaders provided a road map during the SMPTE Forum on Emerging Media Technologies.

SMPTE Forum Addresses Emerging Bandwidth Crunch...and Not Just for Consumers
by Ken Kerschbaumer

The SMPTE Emerging Technology Forum in Geneva gave attendees a chance to glimpse into a future that will see large growth in VOD, new higher-resolution video formats, and delivery of content via the Internet, satellite, and cable networks. The challenge ahead? The battle over bandwidth. The explosion in the delivery of video over the Internet is expected to make up 90% of Internet traffic within four years.

BBC Lays Out Olympic Programming Plans; 1,000 More Live Hours Than the Beijing Games

The BBC has detailed its ambitious plans for multiple-network coverage of the Olympics as well as a new streaming player that will deliver up to 24 live streams of content. The BBC will have live coverage of every Olympic Sport from every venue, through a combination of BBC One and BBC Three, plus up to 24 simultaneous streams live online on PC, mobile, tablet, or connected TV.

Nordic NHL Fans Get Quality Experience Courtesy of Snell, TeliaSonera

Nine of Snell’s Alchemist Ph.C-HD TX50 motion-compensated HD standards converters are helping ensure that NHL fans in the Nordics who are watching the matches on Viasat have a top-quality viewing experience. The systems, used by telecom provider TeliaSonera and supplied by Snell’s Swedish channel partner, Danmon Svenska AB, are handling 60-Hz to 50-Hz frame-rate conversion of live hockey from the U.S. for distribution to Nordic territories in partnership with Encompass Digital Media.

Swiss-Based Wire Team Meets Client Needs with Busy Fleet

Wire Team, based in Lagano, Switzerland, has more than 20 OB units equipped with a wide variety of equipment for sport production needs, including the ability to broadcast from mobile or fixed uplinks. The company is definitely “sports oriented” since they are all sports specialised and do not own any other traditional TV facilities like theatres or fixed control rooms. And more than 80% of the company’s income is derived from sport programming.

Striking a Balance Between Viewers and Value in a Second-Screen World
by Karen Hogan

Amidst the scramble to create dynamic second-screen experiences for everything from HBO’s Game of Thrones to Fox’s American Idol to Major League Baseball, content owners are facing the equally daunting task of balancing innovation with business sense. Budget restrictions, technical limitations, and rights issues often limit those making business decisions related to the usability, experience, and user expectations for consuming video.

ESPN in Talks With Apple for Expanded TV Access
by Bloomberg

Walt Disney Co.’s ESPN is talking with Apple Inc. about giving subscribers online access to programming through the computer maker’s Apple TV device, according to two executives. The network would consider putting its WatchESPN application on Apple TV for users who confirm they are pay-TV customers, ESPN executive Sean Bratches said today. ESPN is making more programming available online and on mobile devices to reach customers watching TV in new formats.

ESPN Radio App Highlights Personalization
by Radio World

Among radio companies with digital and online initiatives, ESPN has enjoyed success and is watched closely. Now ESPN Radio offers its latest app, emphasizing personalization and the ability to rewind live audio streams; this is also the first ESPN Radio app optimized for the iPad. One of the selling points is a feature that lets fans build their own sports stations.

Comcast to Boost Bandwidth Cap, Test Usage-Based Pricing
by Broadcasting & Cable

Comcast will bump up the monthly broadband-usage limit on Xfinity Internet from 250 Gigabytes to 300 GB, and will start testing different usage-based pricing models in the next few months, the operator said Thursday. The operator is making the change after it was criticized by competitors and public-interest groups for allowing unlimited usage of its IP video-on-demand service on Xbox 360, while applying usage of other Internet-video services to the cap.

Buying an OTT Box: Everything You Need to Know
by The Verge

You’re so over DVDs, right? And you’re done with trying to track down every movie on BitTorrent, only to find that it’s in Russian, has Chinese subtitles, and is only 480 x 320 resolution anyway. So you’ve subscribed to Netflix and Hulu, downloaded a few movies from Amazon, and finally caved in to your significant other’s endless complaints about having “movie night” around your laptop’s 14-inch screen. So you’ve decided to buy a set-top box, and bring the internet and all its wares straight to your HDTV.

NVIDIA Unveils VGX Platform

NVIDIA has unveiled the NVIDIA VGX platform, which enables IT departments to deliver a virtualized desktop with the graphics and GPU computing performance of a PC or workstation to employees using any connected device. With the NVIDIA VGX platform in the data center, employees can now access a true cloud PC from any device – thin client, laptop, tablet, or smartphone – regardless of its operating system.

Harmonic Releases ProMedia XPress

Harmonic has announced the release of the ProMedia Xpress high-performance file-based transcoder, the newest addition to the company’s ProMedia family of software and appliance solutions engineered to optimize video production workflows for high-volume multiscreen video-on-demand (VOD) applications. ProMedia Xpress uses Harmonic’s H.264 codec technology to deliver video quality without impeding transcoding speeds.

Apple Moves Toward Larger iPhone Screens
by The Wall Street Journal

The new iPhone that Apple is expected to unveil this year is likely to have a larger display than its current models have, with the company ordering bigger screens from its Asian suppliers, people familiar with the matter said. The new screens measure at least 4 inches diagonally, the people said, compared with 3.5 inches on Apple's latest model, the iPhone 4S. According to the sources, production is set to begin next month.

STATS Renews With SVG

The Sports Video Group is pleased to announce that STATS has renewed its corporate sponsorship. STATS is a sports-technology, -data, and -content company. STATS abides by a mission to revolutionize the way sports contests are viewed, understood, and enjoyed. STATS’ calling card consists of real-time scores, historical sports information, Associated Press editorial content, a turnkey fantasy-sports operation, and SportVU technology.

Venue News: MLB All-Star Game Awarded to Citi Field; Seattle Announces Arena Agreement
by Karen Hogan

Major League Baseball announced that next year’s All-Star Game will be held at Citi Field. The Mets were expected to be awarded the game after the Yankees hosted it in 2008, the last year the old Yankee Stadium and Shea Stadium were open. This will be the second time the Mets will act as hosts of the game; the first was in 1964, the year Shea Stadium opened.

For Staples Center, 72 Hours of Overtime
by The New York Times

There will be blood — and sweat and pucks and balls and spokes and triumph and anguish and a bit of Thunder — all on a single street corner, all in a frantic and fascinating 72 hours in downtown Los Angeles. Starting Thursday night, the building will host six playoff games in four days: two by the N.H.L.’s Kings and two each the N.B.A.’s Lakers and Clippers, with doubleheaders on Saturday and Sunday.

Tennis Channel Names Gary Lang VP, Production

Tennis Channel has appointed long-time television producer Gary Lang to vice president, production. The seasoned executive will report to Bob Whyley, senior vice president of production and coordinating producer, creative, effective immediately. Lang’s responsibilities include day-to-day oversight of the production department’s creative content for its coverage of the Grand Slams, domestic tournament remotes, and daily studio productions.

Adtec Digital Sees Boost in NAB Booth Attendance

Adtec Digital recently completed another successful show at NAB 2012, one that brought increased booth attendance and saw the debut of the EN-20 digital television solution and the EN-91P contribution encoder. Adtec debuted the EN-20 as a complement to the YUV2QAM and mediaHUB-HDPro distribution solutions. The EN20 is positioned to deliver two broadcast quality MPEG 2 HD or SD services with Dolby audio encode and passthrough support.

NBC Sports Net Shoots Back at ESPN's Skipper
by USA Today

The simmering rivalry between ESPN and the new NBC Sports Network is flaring up a bit. Ever since Comcast scooped up NBC Universal and NBC renamed the old Versus as NBC Sports Network early this year, the sports media world has been waiting for the two 24/7 sports cable networks to go their corners and come out fighting. The two sides have mostly held their fire, but that changed Wednesday when NBC shot back at some comments made by ESPN President John Skipper during the network's upfront presentation in New York on Tuesday.

FCC May Decide How Over-the-Top Distributors Should Be Regulated
by Los Angeles Times

In a move that could have far-reaching implications for the development of new distribution systems for content, the Federal Communications Commission is considering changing how it defines a multichannel video programming distributor (MVPD). Currently, MVPDs are considered to be cable and satellite operators such as Comcast Corp. and DirecTV. However, Sky Angel LLC, an over-the-top content provider, wants the FCC to recognize it as an MVPD.

A DVR Ad-Eraser Causes Tremors at TV Upfronts
by New York Times

Broadcast television executives came to New York this week, as they do every year, to talk up their new TV shows in front of advertisers. This year, they are having to talk about yet another technology trying to tear them down. The disruptive technology at hand is an ad eraser, embedded in new digital video recorders sold by Dish Network. Turn it on, and all the ads recorded on most prime-time network shows are automatically skipped, no channel-flipping or fast-forwarding necessary.

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