Thursday, December 27, 2007

More Stu Nahan Coverage

June 11, 2004 - Taking notes for the Dodgers' post game show from the press box in Boston's Fenway Park.
(Photo: Mike Noto)

Tom Hoffarth of the LA Daily News' "Inside SoCal" blog provides a more thorough piece on Stu Nahan than did the LA Times.

Included in Hoffarth's post is this clip of Nahan appearing on a Sunday edition of KTLA's News At 10 shortly after he received his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on May 25, 2007.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Stu Nahan (1926 - 2007)

First Class All The Way: Stu Nahan on the LA Dodgers team plane in May, 2004. (Photo: Mike Noto)
Stu Nahan, TV and radio sportscaster, feature film actor, professional hockey goalie, and friend to all in the sports world, died today at his Studio City, CA home following a two year battle with lymphoma. He was 81.

The Los Angeles Times was the first publication to post an article on Nahan's passing. However, Larry Stewart's piece was long on facts but fell very short on describing the character and personality of the man.

In addition to what was posted by the Times, Stu received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame just this past May 25.

It may not possible to count the number of people who considered themselves friends of Stu's, and the remembrances to be printed and aired soon from people in and out of the sports world will no doubt mirror the man's enormous reach.

More to follow...


The public demand to see New England's bid for a perfect season was too high for DirecTV's NFL Network blimp to reach.

It looks like a little political pressure went a long way.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announced this afternoon that NFL Network's coverage of Saturday night's Partiots - Giants game will be made available to everyone, via a groundbreaking simulcast on both CBS and NBC.

Why Fox, ESPN and E! were left out of the mix wasn't addressed.

Each network will be allowed to sell 18 30-second spots during the telecast and neither network will pay the NFL any additional rights fees for the game.

Politicians, especially from the Northeast states, applied pressure on the NFL, including a congressional threat to re-examine the league's anti-trust exemption.

It appears to be a win-win situation even for NFL Network as they will have the rare opportunity to promote their channel and show off their production on other companies air waves. Because of the historic nature of the game, NFL Net had planned on adding additional equipment and manpower to what was already one of the sport's biggest shows, even before the simulcast was announced. Now, the 60% of the country who don't have NFL Network can get to see the Patriots try for a perfect regular season.

Saturday night's game marks the first time a NFL game will be televised by three networks and the first time since Super Bowl I in 1967 that two networks carried the same game. CBS (NFL) and NBC (AFL) carried that game using their own production crews and on-air talent. The rival networks set up on opposite sides of the Los Angeles Coliseum, with CBS taking the traditional press box side while NBC created makeshift camera positions and a broadcast booth on the other side.

While CBS' footage of the game survives to this day, NBC's was erased before anyone realized the value it would someday have.

Those homes with NFL Network will have the chance to see 65 hours of Patriots-related programming, including a live 6 hour pre-game "NFL Total Access" show leading up to kick off.

Bryant Gumbel and Cris Collinsworth will call the action from Giants Stadium.

Monday, December 24, 2007


What to do when some idiot runs on the field (or court, in this case) has been the subject of debate for years. Decades ago, such disturbances were shown, including close ups of the moron wasting everybody's time.

More recently, steps have been taken to avoid showing anything to do with the incident, so directors often just go with tight shots of players, etc.

The other night in Indiana it seems nobody knew what to do, so for a while the good folks at FSN Indiana didn't do anything.

(Thanks to Sports By Brooks)

And that may be the best way to go. The glory seeker doesn't get his close up, but viewers get to watch security beat the crap out of the guy.

Sunday, December 23, 2007


Better late than never!

The winner for most bizarre sideline interview of 2007 happened only yesterday at the Texas Class 5A Division 1 Championship Game at the Alamodome in San Antonio.

FSN Southwest aired the game between (Euless) Trinity and (Converse) Judson High Schools that featured a halftime interview that bordered on the insane.

(Thanks to Skattershooting via Awful Announcing)

The poor sideline reporter said she had been doing this a long time, but we found no bio for her at FSN Southwest's web site. For the mental damage that interview must have caused, FSN should give her hazard pay and recognize her with their other on-air talent.

Don't mess with Texas or their high school football coaches!

Saturday, December 22, 2007


(Image courtesy of Pittsburgh Independent Media Center)

Because everyone else does it, we'll take a look back 2007, beginning with some of the happenings over at CBS.

The continued (to date) failure of the Katie Couric experiment probably garnered the most headlines.

Bob Barker made news as well when he waved farewell to The Price Is Right. Drew Carey emerged as Barker's successor following a highly public search. Although ratings were initially up 10%, reviews have been mixed.

However, it's been LeslieAnne Wade, CBS Sports' Senior VP of Communications, who has had to publicly spin, deny and deflect a bizarre array of episodes that not only made news, but made 2007 largely a year to forget.

It was Wade who was called upon to represent CBS in aftermath of Janet Jackson's "wardrobe malfunction" during halftime of Super Bowl 38. Her quote, "CBS deeply regrets the incident", was included in more stories about the game than New England quarterback Tom Brady's stats.

Most recently, Wade had to come to the rescue of NFL analyst Steve Beuerlein. In the November 25 game between Cincinnati and Tennessee, Beuerlein's mic was open as the network returned from a commercial break. Beuerlein continued a conversation he was having with play by play announcer Bill Macatee, not realizing they were back on the air. "USC thugs, man", Beuerlein clearly said to Macatee in reference to Titans' RB LenDale White, a former Trojan.

Wade calmed the masses claiming Beuerlein (a Notre Dame grad) was kidding Macatee (a Southern California resident and Trojan follower), as "any friends who have those allegiances do. They kid each other about Notre Dame and USC all the time. Certainly Steve wishes it wasn't on the air and so does CBS, but that is the explanation."

Somehow it didn't get blown out of proportion like most politically incorrect comments do these days. Maybe Beuerlein owes Wade a nice lunch for her efforts.

No amount of effort on Wade's part could have lessened the severity of two other incidents involving CBS' freelancers.

The first came back in May at the Masters when a tape op had some really bad ideas.

Michael Crane, 31, decided to spend his weekend in Augusta on drugs. He hooked up with a pair of locals at a bar who knew some people. The three amigos apparently bought whatever they wanted on a layaway plan, and spent the weekend indulging.

Come Monday, the bill was due but Crane didn't have the dough.

But he did have another brilliant idea.

He entered a Wachovia Bank branch in South Augusta and handed a teller a note demanding money. She complied and he left the bank. So far so good, right?

Too bad Crane doesn't watch CSI: Miami or he would have known what was coming next.

A red dye bag hidden in the money bag exploded, covering Crane with permanent ink. If only we had some footage of it!

Although Crane drove off (in his CBS rental car, naturally) police were eventually tipped to his location by an annonymous colleag- uh, caller. Crane was arrested in his room at the Holiday Inn, where police also found clothes stained with red dye.

LeslieAnne Wade told the Augusta Chronicle, "He was hired as a freelance technician for this event."

And because nobody can ever really get fired in this business, no doubt he's been hired as a freelance technician again.

This next guy may get hired again as well. That is if he survives both his jail sentence and the beating his wife will give him when he gets out.

For the sordid details of what transpired, the folks at People You'll See In Hell posted a pretty good description back on October 5.

56-year-old Daniel Barron, a CBS sports television [sic] producer, had a problem. (EDITOR'S NOTE: BARRON WAS A TECH PRODUCER)

Several problems, actually.
One, Daniel Barron is a pedophile.
Two, he didn’t have kid around to molest.
Three, he had an extra pair of Dolphins tickets sitting around, unused.
Pretty tough problems to solve, really. I’d imagine the first one could be solved by dragging him out back behind the barn and shooting him, but we don’t do that anymore. The third problem could be solved by burning the tickets, because, really, who wants to go to a Dolphins game? They were 6 and 10 in 2006, and they’re 0 and 4 so far in the 2007 season. NOBODY CARES!

Daniel Barron attempted to solve his second problem by using a CBS-issued computer while sitting in his CBS television producer truck, going online into a chat room titled “Open minded parents,” and asking the “parents” he found there if he could borrow their young daughters for a night.

Daniel Barron talked to one “parent” in particular who happened to be an undercover detective posing as a father with an imaginary 11-year-old girl. This “father” mentioned that he was a Dolphins fan.

“Ding,” went the bell in Daniel Barron’s head, as he offered two tickets to the upcoming game on Sunday in exchange for the “father” allowing Daniel to have sex with the 11-year-old.

After some negotiation, Daniel Barron even got the “father” to agree with letting Daniel sleep naked with the girl for a night, after Daniel mentioned that he was really, really looking forward to meeting the girl and promised that he would be “very gentle with her.”

Daniel Barron followed the “father’s” directions, hopped into his car and drove to a Fort Lauderdale hotel parking lot on the 30th of September, 2007. Instead of finding an 11-year-old and her Dolphin-fan father, however, he found several large police officers waiting for him with handcuffs.

After the arrest, Daniel folded in the interrogation room, admitted to using his work computer to download and trade child pornography and told police that the computer could be found in his TV production truck at the Miami Dolphin Stadium.

Daniel Barron was charged with solicitation to commit sexual battery on a child under the age of 12.

The web site also features a poll asking whether people in their stories deserve Hell. As of this writing, 85 voters have decided that Dan Barron does indeed deserve Hell, by a 78 - 7 count, or a whopping 92% percent.

So, if you can't get fired in this business, but Barron deserves Hell, that could mean he's destined to work for MSG.

Anyway, LeslieAnne Wade said at the time, "CBS is cooperating fully with the investigation."

So while 2007 wasn't the best of years for CBS Sports, it seems to be ending on an up note for LeslieAnne Wade. She was promoted to Senior VP of Communications on December 6 and will oversee corporate and media relations for CBS Sports and CSTV, and will work closely with Showtime Sports.

If those companies don't keep a close eye on their respective hiring practices, look for more crisis management quotes from Wade in 2008.

Friday, December 21, 2007


The Memphis Grizzlies, who should be damn happy that anyone pays to see their product, had one of their female customers removed from the FedEx Forum and arrested for flashing a scoreboard camera during a time out.

Arrested for providing something a little more entertaining than the Grizzlies' loss to Golden State?

She should have been thanked.

(Thanks to Awful Announcing for digging up the clip.)

Thursday, December 20, 2007


NFL Network had more of a challenge than they had anticipated last week in getting their production and technical crew from their Thursday game in Houston out to San Francisco for another game on Saturday.

Some crew members working those broadcasts were also scheduled to work on NBC's Sunday Night telecast from Giants Stadium in New Jersey. They had planned on taking red eye flights from SF and arriving in plenty of time for the show.

However, the fierce winter storm that had battered much of the country and was forecast to be in the NY metro area on Sunday, caused NBC to call an audible. They, uh, "strongly requested" that the crew members they share with NFL Network not go to San Francisco at all, but rather travel directly to New Jersey, ensuring their presence for NBC's show.

Following lengthy discussions between the two parties, it was determined that some of the shared crew would be allowed to honor their NFL Network commitments. However, the end result was that over half of those crew members were forced to bail on a show.

NFL Network lucked out replacing those people because CBS had a crew across the bay in Oakland, setting up for a Sunday Raiders game and were able to fill the open positions.

And for those NFL Net/NBCers who actually worked in San Francisco? Naturally they all caught their scheduled flights, had no weather delays, and made it to the Meadowlands on time.

To save everyone the drama and confusion, NBC could have stepped up and been heroes. For a fraction of what they paid to digitally, uh, "enhance" Faith Hill's arms and face in the SNF show open, the Peacock Network could have chartered a plane to deliver the people they value so much.

That they chose to play bully instead speaks in volumes usually reserved for John Madden.

Monday, December 17, 2007


Unlike Fox Sports who has all their technology on site for each of their weekly NFL games, CBS Sports deploys PVI's "Virtual First Down Line" from NEW YORK for all but their "A" game each week. This saves money but takes risks, especially when Mother Nature gets involved.

And when it snows as it did on Sunday in Pittsburgh and Cleveland, visually detailing the line of scrimmage and yards-to-go proved impossible, leaving CBS' viewers out in the cold.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Costas NOW!, Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel, and PBA BOWLING?

HBO is renown for their excellence in sports production. Take a trip back to 1974 to see just how far they've come...

Bizarre, huh?

Saturday, December 15, 2007

(A Really) Good Thing Comes In A Small Package

You may have seen shows that use this and not even known it. You many have worked on shows that use this and not even known it.

And that's precisely the point.

Meet the Iconix HD-RH1.

The Iconix HD-RH1 camera is all about size. And it produces a very big picture from a very small unit.

Quite simply, measuring a miniscule 4 inches with lens, it is the world's smallest HD camera.

This camera is finding it's way more and more into sports productions. It has been successfully employed for working shots in announce booths and for unique POV and beauty shots around ballparks and arenas.

With a price tag under $16,000, it's physical size isn't the only thing that's small.

The HD-RH1 will work in any and all HD formats: 1080sF, 1080P, 1080i, and 720p.

It also can output in SDI, DVD-D and analog.

And, when placed next to a Sony HDC-1500 camera, video engineers say the pictures are nearly identical.

That is not to say it doesn't have a limitation or two. It does.

Distance is not the HD-RH1's friend. At least not distance from camera to CCU.

The camera and CCU are connected by a 10 meter cable. Period. So, unless you're shooting something inside the truck, a video engineer can't control it alone. A frame shaker will help out, but access to the CCU is still essential for creating optimum results.

Like many POV's, interchangable lenses are used rather than a single zoom. Obviously that can pose some problems when the look you want is somewhere between the available sizes (15 mm, 4 mm and 2.4 mm). Having something like an 8 mm lens would be a nice option to have.

The HD-RH1 also has an appetite for light and it eats a lot of it. In most applications, this shouldn't be a problem, but it is helpful to know that the camera requires a stop or two more than most HD cameras.

Regardless, the pros far outweigh the cons, making the Iconix HD-RH1 a terrific addition to almost any sports production.

Choosing Another Club To Play With

It's not exactly a golf cart submerged in a lake, but this is pretty damn funny.

Pretty Woman meets Toy Story

Seasons Greetings from Julia Roberts and Buzz Lightyear.

Thursday, December 13, 2007


Hotels often go to great lengths to accommodate their guest's demands. In many cases, such efforts are the difference between getting and losing valuable customers.

For the second straight year, hotels wishing to lodge NFL Network's on-air, production, and technical personnel have been required to add the station to their TV channel line-up. That's one way of getting your product in front of more people, even if it's mostly people that work for you.

At some hotels however, adding NFL Network to their system meant removing another, potentially more popular, service. This has led some to wonder just what happens when the game is over and the crew has checked out...

Wednesday, December 12, 2007


Stricken with a sore throat and hoarse voice, Bryant Gumbel will miss NFL Network's broadcast of Thursday's Denver - Houston game.

This is particularly ironic because a much sought after demographic won't be able to hear Tom Hammond (pinch hitting for Gumbel) nor analyst Chris Collinsworth anyway.

DirecTV, exploiting the ongoing feud between NFL Network and the nation's largest cable operators, will "air" the game (and the balance of NFL Network's live game schedule) via the 70 x 30 foot screen on the side of their blimp. DirecTV plans to fly the blimp over the Tampa - St. Pete area for Thursday's game as well as Saturday night's Cincinnati - San Francisco contest. Next week, NFL Network's two games will be visible to sky watchers in the Orlando area.

As the blimp can cruise at altitudes of no lower than 1,000 feet, viewers will literally only view the game. They'll have to imagine what the announcers are saying.

The DirecTV blimp will target areas whose cable companies do not offer the channel in the hopes of gaining subscribers along with the publicity.

Nobody has said who will take responsibility for any traffic accidents that may occur as a result of the obvious distraction to Florida's many elderly motorists.

Sunday, December 9, 2007


Everyone knows that TV crews are more than just a little familiar with the intricacies of the country's sports venues. This applies to stadium and arena security as well, especially if there are potential breaches.

So local crew members at one multipurpose arena weren't exactly surprised when a man slipped through the venue's vaunted security web around 3:00 PM on a game day and managed to get down to the service & locker room level before being stopped.

Not that he needed additional help getting inside the building, but the man was also armed with a gun. He peacefully relinquished his weapon when he was finally detained.

Somehow this story has gone unreported by the mainstream media, leaving shaken and embarrassed arena management breathing several signs of relief.

No word if the venue's security measures are being re-evaluated.

Do you think it will matter?

Saturday, December 8, 2007


This is what can happen when some inexperienced utilities are assigned to a football crew stocked with veteran hand held guys.

Two cabled HH cams, a Steadicam and the cart were all tangled up on the near sideline at FedEx Field during a Redskins - Bears game.

It took about ten minutes until everything was straightened out.


Do some research. Amaze your friends!

If one of this evening's Heisman candidates has a younger brother, perhaps in his teens, who would love to receive some, uh, oral stimulation at the Downtown Athletic Club courtesy of a female reporter covering the ceremony...


Maybe history will repeat.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Winter white in Washington works to warm no one on NFL Network crew

The gang from NFL Network checked in this evening from snowy DC. Snow fell throughout the day and of course was heaviest as the camera guys faxed. Figures, huh?

NFL Network's pregame set was buried under the white stuff and required a shovel to clear the roof.

The weather didn't factor in to a transmission check earlier in the day that didn't go exactly as planned. Schedules posted in the compound yesterday were revised today. Unfortunately as new schedules were posted, some of the old one weren't removed.

Among the differences in the schedule were the meal breaks. Originally slated for 1:00, lunch was adjusted to 4:00 PM when call time was moved back from 10:30 AM to noon.

Transmission was rescheduled for 1:00 PM, so naturally all crew members who read the incorrect schedule were gone as transmission check was set to begin.

Everything was taken care of eventually, although the pregame folks didn't appreciate their rehearsals being interrupted. All NFL Net transmissions from FedEx Field routs through the pregame truck, which ironically is the only mobile unit parked outside.

Now That's COLD!: NFL Network camera operator Oz Coleman-from-Dallas-Texas celebrates a successful snow angel as the crew waits for the look-see with Craig Janoff.

Ah, the fun of winter.


On Saturday November 30, HDNet returned to Staples Center in Los Angeles for a Kings hockey game.

This time however, all local crew members were under the IATSE contract and received their regular hours and benefits contributions. The crewing service HDNet employs and the IA came to an understanding and all future HDNet shows in Southern California are expected to be under the IA contract.

Friday, November 30, 2007


It's hard enough to get viewers when most of the country can't see your product even if they wanted to. It isn't any easier when your own master control runs a spot for a game that aired seven days ago.

(Thanks as usual to Awful Announcing)

But if you care, the Washington Redskins host the Chicago Bears next Thursday Night at 8 PM Eastern, exclusively on NFL Network.

That wasn't so tough, was it?

Thursday, November 29, 2007


For those of you who couldn't see tonight's game on NFL Network and surfed around between "look ins", we offered something to soothe your eyes.

You're welcome. Now stop emailing about her, ok?

The game just ended.

Dallas led 27 - 17 at the half, 27 - 24 after 3, and won 37 - 27. You missed a pretty good one! Fire your cable company!

Favre was knocked out of the game in the 2nd quarter, NFL Network mistakenly ran a commercial for last week's Falcons - Colts game and something or someone tore a huge hole in the Texas Stadium roof.


The results are in for Playboy's Sexiest Sportscaster II poll.

Seriously, there can't be any losers. In our eyes they're all winners, so we'll list the top three like the Olympians of Sports TV they are:

Gold: Erin Andrews, ESPN
Silver: Lindsay Soto, FSN West / FSN Prime Ticket
Bronze: Krista Voda, FOX / Speed Channel

Congratulations to one and all! You've brought tons of positive and free publicity to the companies you represent. And while they outwardly claim to be insulted on your behalf, you've made your bosses and fellow corporate weasels very happy. Now may be a good time to ask for that raise.

Somebody thought it would be a good idea if we posted a slide show of the winner's photos.

We're still deciding.


This had to be a set up. How else can you explain it? Why cut to a shot of the mascot, who was just standing there, after nothing more than a 1st down? He had to have been cued!

And poor Billy Eisenhart. The Grand Valley center gets hurt on the play and the world laughs their asses off.

Sports TV at its finest.

Monday, November 26, 2007


On Sunday, Bengals wide receiver Chad Johnson got behind a CBS camera thinking just like all veteran cam ops.

And like many veteran camera ops, Johnson felt slighted when his creativity was unappreciated.

But unfortunately, like some veteran camera ops, Johnson's emotions led him to forget he had one of the best jobs in the world.

Yeah, maybe some veteran directors should remember they have pretty good jobs, too.

In a related story, IBEW's Lloyd Webster spent three days in vain trying to contact Johnson about Local 1212 initiation and first month's dues payments.

THE GRASS IS ALWAYS GREENER... Except when it's been burned brown

Mitch Riggin welcomed by new friend, D. Baxter

Mitch Riggin, who spent the past few years directing Milwaukee Brewers games for FSN North - WI, is trading beer & brats for Cactus Cooler & Coppertone. FSN Arizona has hired the former TD to direct Arizona Diamondbacks games for the 2008 season. Riggin and his camera op wife Korina will relocate to Phoenix in December.

Sources say that there may be additional motivation for the change of scenery, besides spending winters in a climate more suited to people than penguins. Prior to his stint in Wisconsin, Riggin lived in the SF Bay Area, and has been a life-long fan of the SF Giants.

By taking the D'Backs gig, Riggin returns to the NL West, where he can see his beloved team 18 or 19 times a season rather than only 6 times. Riggin, a knowledgeable baseball man who unfortunately suffers from acute myopia regarding Barry Bonds, will no doubt spend many of his February and March days at Giants Spring Training camp in nearby Scottsdale asking, "Where's Barry?", to puzzled Giants' personnel.

Regardless of their reasons, moving from the NL Central to the NL West is an upgrade. So we'll say congratulations to the Riggins and hope they can stand the heat.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

NCAA Catfighting Makes ESPN Debut, May Soon Replace Poker On Schedule

We had been trying to get a good copy of this for a week when all of a sudden, it pops up on YouTube.

Why show the aired version when someone has gone to so much trouble to make it even better?

Hats off to Mac G's World ( via the awesome Awful Announcing.

Seriously, it's so hard calling home asking the kids to find and upload something from our shows that we've TiVo'd. With these great bloggers posting so much of our goofy stuff anyway, we're stupid if we don't take advantage of their efforts capturing our, uh, oh yeah... WORK!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

ESPN on ABC Brings South Park To Colorado - Nebraska Game

Awful Announcing posted these clips from Friday's game. It's not only creative, but it's a breath of mountain air from the usual ABC-ESPN-Disney synergy.

Think they would dare try this with a character from "Drawn Together"?

And Now The Defense...

Cartman regularly appeared on the Staples Center video board cheering on the LA Kings and taunting their opponents.

Good stuff.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Many Thankful They Can't See This Turkey

Thanksgiving is usually a favorite holiday because many of us get to avoid the aggravation of a few days spent with aunts, uncles, cousins, and in-laws by working out of town (and getting paid time and a half for it too!)

Thanksgiving 2007 is also notable because it marks the return to the NFL stage by one it’s most accomplished network directors, Craig Janoff. (Yes we know he directed some preseason games. The games don’t count, so the shows don’t count either, okay? Go ahead, sue us.) Janoff’s final season directing MNF was 1999, which included ABC’s coverage of Super Bowl XXXIV (34), coincidentally played at the site of tonight’s game: Atlanta’s Georgia Dome.

Janoff and producer Mark Loomis head NFL Network’s 2007 slate of games, beginning with tonight’s (ahem) turkey, Indy @ Atlanta. Feel free to insert your own Michael Vick “dog of a game” joke here if you must.

Loomis returns for NFL Net’s second season of live game coverage while Janoff replaces John Gonzales, whose contract wasn’t renewed. (To add insult to injury, Gonzo then had to endure Notre Dame’s disastrous season, directing for NBC. Poor guy.)

And because it’s illegal to have a pro football package without him, Ya-Man is there too.

As you probably know, NFL Network isn’t seen my many people without DirecTV, Dish Network or some other provider that isn’t Comcast or Time Warner. And though the NFL continues to try to force their way onto the basic cable tier through lawsuits and - most recently - pleas to congress (your tax dollars at work!), their flagship broadcasts are only available to a small percentage of fans when compared to games carried by Fox, CBS, NBC and ESPN.

So, if you wondered if their coverage would mirror their audience (you know, scaled back), we have some of the tech specs of what will be used this season:

27 cameras plus clocks (via Game Creek Yankee Clipper)
13 HD hard cams (2 carts)
1 HD Super Mo hard cam
5 HD hand held cams (1 RF)
2 HD Super Mo hand held cams (1 RF)
2 HD LPS cams
Cable Cam
3 100X lenses
3 86X lenses
8 75X lenses
2 Six (6) channel EVS systems
6 Four (4) channel EVS systems
3 Super Mo EVS systems
1 Final Cut Pro Editing Suite
And a plane-cam to show what the Georgia Dome looks like at night. Live!

NFL Network is also rolling out a “new” digital still cam technology that is said to provide clearer images than those featured in other broadcasts (USA Today). Basically, they have a photographer sending high res jpegs back to the truck. It sounds like something already used on NBA games, no?

SportVision tells us they will have a new wrinkle for scoring drives that could be pretty cool.

There’s also a two hour pre and one hour post game show (via NCP 10) with ten cameras including a steadicam and a jib.

As far as audio specs go, we’re pretty sure there will be lots of mics around the Georgia Dome. There’s an A-1 and a sub mixer, plus a lot of A-2’s all busy loading up on OT as this is being written. We left messages and waited by our phones, but now it’s late and we’ve got an early call, ya know?

NFL Network’s game broadcast will have more than 120 people working in Atlanta (and on each of their eight games), which ranks them up there with NBC’s and ESPN’s prime time game crews. Their pre and post shows employ dozens more. That’s a pretty good effort when you consider how many people can’t see tonight’s game in the first place. Subtract the people tuning in but asleep from the effects of tryptophan (turkeys) or from other decapitated Thanksgiving-day fowl (Falcons), and it’s possible that NFL Network has more people working this game than they’ll have watching it.

Doesn’t matter. Janoff will have the crew all fired up like it’s another Super Bowl.

Monday, November 19, 2007


Screen capture by Look At Me via Awful Announcing

If the above graphic from Friday's game was built intentionally, then whoever was responsible is funny and gutsy.

If the above graphic was merely an oversight, whoever was responsible is a damn idiot.

Names are being withheld to protect the _ _ _ _ _.

Saturday, November 17, 2007


Bobble Heads courtesy of

How many hours have we all waited to shoot interviews with jerks like this who's heads are too big to show up?

Another down, but unfortunately many more to go.

Friday, November 16, 2007


Although some of the details remain sketchy, this much is clear: if somebody thought they could hire local crew for a sports remote in Southern California and easily sidestep IATSE, they thought wrong.

We’re told that HDNet found that out on Thursday at Staples Center during preproduction for that night's Ducks - Kings NHL game. In the past, HDNet utilized Pettigrew Crewing to hire and payroll any local crew for their shows. Pettigrew Crewing is one of several companies signed to the LA and SD area IATSE sports contracts, and they also provide similar services for ESPN and Turner Sports.

The motivation is unknown, but apparently HDNet bypassed Southern California entirely and crewed the show through Chicago (Carzoli). The local crew members were all IA card holders, but were told the show was non-union.

To make matters even more awkward, the HDNet show was actually a four camera dual feed with Fox Sports' FSN West, sharing Mobile TV Group's 10 HDX.

Now it gets really interesting.

The President/COO & General Manager of HDNet is Phillip Garvin, who also holds the same titles at Colorado Studios. Mobile TV Group is a subsidiary of Colorado Studios. Who else owns a piece of MTVG? Fox Sports, of course!

In fact, it was Garvin and Fox Sports who teamed to open Mountain Mobile in 1994 (coincidentally the same year the freelancers in Southern California formed a sports local with IATSE).

In 1999, Garvin and Fox opened Lone Star Mobile in Texas, and then Mobile TV Group after that.

So, an active imagination could envision a scenario that Thursday's events at Staples Center may have been the beginning of an aggressive stance by Fox Sports against IATSE freelancers as the two parties head toward negotiations for a new contract next July. If aggressive is too strong a word, perhaps it was just a test to see what would happen.

However, sources say that FSN West and IATSE have had a productive relationship, so an unprovoked act by Fox Sports appears unlikely.

An IA representative was dispatched to Staples and met with HDNet's production team. No aspect of the HDNet show was interrupted and the game was televised as planned. What happens next remains to be seen. HDNet returns to Staples Center on December 8.

Stay tuned for that.

We all know and work with lots of freelancers from Southern California. These were the guys who started the IATSE ball rolling in the regional sports TV industry. Southern California became the model for all the other regions who have unionized in the last 13 years. Many of the members were in their 20s when they felt that health benefits and pension plans were things worth fighting for.

Their fight included a four year work stoppage against LA-based VTE Mobile Television Productions, which played a key role in the eventual downfall of that company in 1998.

Now, those same guys are in their 40s, and they know those are things worth fighting for.

Maybe it would be wise not to test their resolve.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

No Votes Needed - SoCal is HOT!

We're all moving west!

First LA had Lisa Guerrero on the air and she posed for Playboy.

Then they had Carolyn Hughes and she got fired for having an affair with married with kids Derek Lowe. And she should pose for Playboy.

Now they have another reporter on Playboy's Sexy Sportscaster poll.

And they didn't even count this cutie who had something other than basketball on her mind during her on-camera.

No wonder Bushner gave up the NFL to work at home.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Lamey lamely joins Jones in blunder book

In the 800 meter final at the 1988 Seoul Olympics, Kenyan runner Paul Ereng made a surprising late burst from the back of the pack to win the gold medal in a thrilling finish.

NBC's Charlie Jones mistook Ereng for his Kenyan teammate Nixon Kiprotich during the stretch and declared Kiprotich the winner.

In fact, Jones didn't correct his mistake for more than a minute after the race results were official.

He apologized and added, "We just entered the world record book of blunders", and you had to feel for the guy.

New chapters are added to that book all the time, and the latest entrant is Indianapolis Colts radio announcer Bob Lamey.

Unlike Jones' gaffe however, this one's really funny and pretty inexcusable.

Decision '07: Play along or ignore? is currently running a poll for America's Sexiest Sportscaster, eight years after their first effort (won by Jill Arrington).

Yes we work with these women and shouldn't look upon or treat them differently than we do any other colleague.

Maybe even more importantly, in many cases they are our friends.

So are we supposed to turn our noses up at Playboy on principle or just have fun with this?

Some TV-types just wanna have fun and have emailed saying so. No word yet from those opposed.

Does anyone know whether a particular nominee is flattered or insulted?

Does anyone know another female sportscaster who is insulted because she isn't on the list?

If Ish can be paraded on national TV as a "People's Sexiest Fan" candidate, is a "Sexiest Sportscaster" so wrong?

While such important questions are debated, the least we can do is show the 2008 nominees.

The rest is up to you.

Oh, but if you can find someone willing to take the rest of the field, bet the house that Erin Andrews wins in a landslide.

Monday, November 12, 2007


Feel free to ask Bill Webb or Jerry Steinberg if they were perfectly happy with what the camera output looked like.

Timing is everything.

At 12:46 PM on October 16, published a story about how Inertia Unlimited's XMO system was being used on Fox's MLB postseason telecasts.

View in full:

The article emphasized how XMO was being used not only for replays, but as a live camera as well. This was something that had not been done previously.

Roughly seven and one half hours later, Game 4 of the ALCS between Boston and Cleveland got underway. For the Indians, it would be their final playoff victory of 2007 and they failed to reach the World Series.

For XMO, it would be the final appearance on Fox's 2007 postseason coverage, as it was replaced by a regular super slo-mo for the rest of the ALCS and all of the World Series.

Maybe SVG will run a follow-up piece investigating why.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

90 seconds of your time well spent!

While we're all getting set to work this weekend's slate of college and pro games, enjoy this NFL on CBS open from 1970, especially the scene set and on-camera.

Wow, just think about it. 37 years ago. A time in our history when Dick Stockton worked NFL games, helping to entertain and distract a nation stuck in a war it couldn't win and couldn't get out of.

Hey, wait a minute...

Friday, November 9, 2007

Cubs swept from playoffs but sexy Cubs fan reaches Series!

He certainly got our vote! McCarver may have gotten his nautical terms mixed up though.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Mountain Mobile may avenge Rox Series showing as MLB GMs vote 25 - 5 to add instant replay

Denver-based mobile unit company could affect who wins & loses future games, pennants

"No replays today fellas, it's a dual feed."

You can see it now can't you?

Or can you?

A drive down the left field line scores the tying and go ahead runs late in a game one summer night. The home team manager and half his team screams in protest that the ball was foul. The 3rd base umpire looks to his colleagues for help. They huddle together and look toward the press box. The call will be decided by replay.

An MLB official views the play again. From high home there's no way to be certain precisely where the ball landed. The shot is too wide. High 1st was iso'd on the trail runner, who scored from 2nd. Low 1st scored the lead runner. Low 3rd was in the home dugout on the starting pitcher who may have just lost his chance for a win. Tight Center was on the batter all the way. Center field? Stayed with the relief pitcher as he backed up the play.

What about the visiting feed? Their high camera was on their dugout. Their tight center was on the batter too. And their low camera? Well the studio kit & 20X lens wouldn't have seen much in the outfield even if the operator had shagged. Or if he was being recorded.

Oh, the X-MO! Well there's no telling what the fuzzy image was that floated through the screen, or even if that image was shot in the same stadium.

Perhaps there would have been a conclusive replay if it was 1999, back when both teams had full shows of 5 or 6 cameras and at least 4 replay machines each. But in 2009, the risk that dual feeds fail to provide enough looks to make a correct call may be very real.

What are the chances that MLB will envision such a scenario? Not so good.

Will producers & directors have to alter their shows just to increase the odds that they have tight shots of the ball in case a controversy arises? Will reaction shots give way to golf shots?

We can see it now.

Or maybe we can't.

Prudential Center: Insured against terrorists?

Photo: Richard Perry/The New York Times


We're all used to working in new arenas and ballparks that have forgotten, or missed something during planning or construction. It seems many of these mistakes occur in areas where media work:

Busch Stadium, St. Louis: Writers press box that can't see the field. Rain from elevated I-64/40 drains directly onto TV compound.

Ballpark in Arlington, Arlington, TX: Tunnel for TV trucks to enter enclosed TV compound built too small for TV trucks.

Arrowhead Pond, Anaheim, CA: No camera positions at all. No cables either.

Coors Field, Denver: All original triax connectors in ballpark are female.

But those things don't matter much to the Average Joe who just wants to go to a game.

Well THIS mistake may make anyone working OR just attending a Devils hockey game at the new Prudential Center in Newark, NJ think twice...

According to an AP story published on October 11, 2007, Newark's new Prudential Arena is too close to the street to shield it from a terrorist attack. Neither Mayor Cory Booker nor Police Director Garry McCarthy will say who is to blame for the oversight. McCarthy tells The Star-Ledger of Newark as far as he can tell, a homeland security survey was never done.

Never done?

For a new arena with a capacity of over 17,000?

Never done?

For a multipurpose building that will host over 200 events a year?

Never done?

For a large public gathering place only 9 miles from Ground Zero?

Never done?

What will go through your mind the next time you're asked to work a Devils or Seton Hall game?

Never done!

Upcoming post: An insider review of the new Prudential Center.