With Hot Start to College Football Season, Fox Sports brings cutting edge technology to the game, Studio Productions

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Fox Adds More 4K HDR Games to Slate, Boost Big Noon Kickoff Pre-Game Show with ‘Stradasaurus’ Camera

Fox Sports’ college football season has certainly got off to a flying start, featuring high-profile clashes like Oregon’s loss to Ohio State and Penn State’s narrow victory over Wisconsin. Unsurprisingly, Fox College Football saw big audience gains, with All Games up 49%, Big Noon Football games up 77%, and Big Noon Kickoff pre-game up 48% up to ‘at week 2.

With more focus on Fox’s college football coverage, the production operations team also brought its A-game with a record number of 4K HDR broadcasts (converted from native 1080p HDR productions) and a single site. in its studio genre for the kickoff of Big Noon. And they couldn’t be happier producing matches with fans returning to the stands after an extremely difficult 2020 season.

Big Noon kicks off in Columbus, OH for the OSU-Oregon game. Photo credit: Ohio State Athletics via Twitter

“It means everything to the team, the talent and the fans to be back,” said Vice President of Remote Operations at Studio Rod Conti. “The excitement of a live college event cannot be matched. Of all the live sporting events, I think college sports have suffered the most from this pandemic. The pageantry of the school – groups, spiritual squads, support and loyalty of student fans – plays just as important a role as the sport itself. It’s hard not to have this enthusiasm that fuels all of our on-site staff as well as the local audiences we serve. “

Fox Sports relies on 4K HDR

Beginning this Saturday for the remainder of the season, Fox will broadcast a dual college football program in 4K HDR every weekend. This weekend, Nebraska-Oklahoma and USC-Washington State will both be produced in 1080p HDR, then upscaled to 4K at Fox’s Pico Blvd. This is nothing new for Fox Sports, which has already produced several games in 1080p HDR for 4K HDR distribution this year, including Ohio State-Oregon, Texas A&M-Colorado, Stanford-USC, Penn State-Wisconsin, and Ohio State- Minnesota.

Game Creek Video’s Gridiron A and B units house Fox Sports’ Big Noon football game productions with producer Chuck McDonald and director Rich Dewey in the front seat. During this time, technology producer Carlos Gonzalez and operations manager Karin Fasing ensure the smooth running of the operation every week on site. Meanwhile, the BIG NOON SATURDAY diffusers Gus Johnson and Joel klatt are in the cabin, while the reporter Jenny taft is on the key.

While most of the production is handled in the truck this season, four EVS operators and Fox Box’s scorebug are returning to “The Vault” in Los Angeles.

“The integration with the studio is more complex than in the past, we had to time each truck between the game and the pre-game to have a seamless transition for the start of the game,” says Gonzalez. “So all sources have to be timed. “

Big Noon Kickoff game productions typically feature eight Sony HDC-5500 super slow cameras, end-zone aerial and wired PylonCams, line-to-gain RF PylonCams, and, from time to time, referee Skycam and HatCams. . Additionally, Gonzalez says he hopes to have a Megalodon shallow depth-of-field mirrorless camera for the Ohio State-Michigan and Big Ten Championship productions later this season, but nothing is confirmed yet.

“It’s an incredible feeling,” says Gonzalez. “First, seeing the stadiums full of supporters changed the whole environment. And in some cases, being able to see a face and not a mask elevates the human factor we all need for on-site production.”

Big Noon Kickoff Adds Stradasaurus to Big Time’s On-Site Set

In addition to strengthening its game productions, Fox Sports has focused on its Kick-off of the great noon pre-game show this season. After stops in Minneapolis, MI; Madison, WI; and Columbus, OH, to start the season, the Big Noon Kickoff team travel to Norman, OK, this Saturday as Oklahoma hosts former Big 12 rival Nebraska.

Fox Sports have upgraded their Big Noon Kickoff ensemble, seen here on the University of Oklahoma campus in Norman, OK.

This year, Fox updated the look and feel of the on-site Big Noon Kickoff set and added new sound and LED designs in an effort to provide a better fan experience to loud fans of the campus every week.

The studio camera configured for indoor and outdoor settings (depending on location) includes three jibs, two RF cameras, a SteadiCam, and a new modified StradaCrane that Conti calls the “Stradasaurus.”

This modified Stradacrane with an inverted motorized boom arm provides unprecedented 360 degree stabilized movement at the already impressive reach of the Strada arm. Developed by Cine Rigs Inc & Stradacrane, the Stradasaurus makes its maiden voyage with the BNK shows from FOX.

Fox Sports added a new Stradosaurus camera system for Big Noon Kickoff productions this year.

Game Creek Justice serves as the home truck for Big Noon Kickoff this season. The single trailer unit was recently upgraded with new equipment to provide flexibility in these often space-limited campuses.

The pre-game show also uses Fox Sports ‘PARK kit (anywhere production remote kit) to pick up feeds from the Quantel system located at Fox Sports’ Pico Blvd. broadcast center in Los Angeles, as well as for faster integration and remote interviewing.

“Our Rob Mikulicka Studio Remote Operations Director rolls the show week after week. His hard work ethic and commitment to his team and the sports he covers are unmatched, which contributes greatly to his success, ”said Conti. “And our new technical team led by Greg Pfeifer, Michael Vaughan, and Kory scudder ensuring a smooth and technically sound show no matter what we throw at them. I couldn’t ask for a stronger team.

Fox Sports’ Big Noon Kickoff team traveled to Columbus, OH this past weekend for the exciting Ohio State shake up in Oregon.


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