Sony Pixel Power calrec Sony

Look Who's Talking' Baseball

13/03/2023

Look Who's Talking' Baseball ESPN's Sunday Night Baseball may get a larger cast of mic'd up outfielders By Dan Daley, Audio Editor

Monday, March 13, 2023 - 7:00 am

Print This Story | Subscribe

Story Highlights

Initially slow to put microphones on ballplayers compared with the NFL and the NBA, Major League Baseball has been making up for lost time in the past two seasons. With the 2023 season about to begin, ESPN's Sunday Night Baseball is taking talking baseball to the next level.

Based on work done during Spring Training, when two outfielders were sometimes mic'ed up simultaneously, the broadcaster hopes to wire two outfielders for sound per game.

Based on work done during Spring Training, when two outfielders were sometimes mic'ed simultaneously, the broadcaster hopes to mic up two outfielders for sound per game. Each player will wear a Q5X PlayerMic transmitter, cushioned to prevent injury during falls; a Countryman B6 microphone element; and, for foldback, an earpiece developed by ESPN and its RF partner, CP Communications. Mics are clipped to the front of players' jerseys; transmitters, simply popped into pants pockets.

ESPN's Kevin Cleary: Everyone always wondered what [outfielders] talk about out there during the game. Now we know.

The miked outfielders will be speaking both with the booth announcers and with each other, a multipart conversation that's more complex than last year's one-on-one exchanges. In-game interviews with headset-wearing team managers will also be a staple of the season's sound. The topper, though, will be the integration of social media with the diamond dialogs, with fans and others able to pose questions to the ballplayers through ESPN's #AskSNB Twitter channel, with the announcers serving as interlocutors.

This is a game-changer, no pun intended, says Kevin Cleary, remote operations specialist, ESPN. We had [former San Francisco Giant] Buster Posey asking [Arizona's] Evan Longoria about dyeing his hair on live TV during a game! How much more interactive can you get?

Moments like that and the one when Boston's Kik Hernandez was ruminating on two Bronx Bombers in scoring position and then bolted to catch up with a line drive, will be part of the network's Sports Emmy Awards submission for this year.

Picture Follows Sound, for Once Cleary says the success of having live mics on multiple ballplayers in the outfield during preseason broadcasts suggests that baseball will sound very different this year. In fact, he adds, it will also look different, because the production will regularly use a split screen with a closeup of the talking outfielder and a wider shot of the play on the field, a technique the broadcaster experimented with last season as part of the miked-up production.

Audio-connected ballplayers will be part of an environment resembling an espionage thriller more than a ballpark. ESPN and other broadcasters are scattering abundant microphones around the fields. In recent years, in-ground mics have been used around the mound and home plate for All-Star and postseason play. This season, the SNB team will plant a total of eight around home plate and the pitcher's mound each week, in addition to deploying mobile and installed parabolic mics.

In fact, all that new sound from the field creates the need to keep sources as tonally differentiated as possible, to prevent overlap. That includes using EQ to keep speech separate from the game's other effects elements, such as bat cracks and crowd sounds, and to make the wired ballplayer sound like, as Cleary puts it, a fourth member of the announce team, keeping the conversation part of what he calls a symphony of sound rather than an isolated moment in a game.

Audio management will be especially important since there is no submixer on SNB's REMI production, which is directed and produced from ESPN's Bristol, CT, facility, with EVS and graphics located there as well. Audio is mixed by A1s Brian Shannon onsite and Brian Deardorf in Bristol.

What won't be heard this year are microphones in the bases, at least during regular-season play. Although the bags are getting bigger - part of a number of significant rule changes MLB has implemented this season - Cleary says the frequency with which the bases are changed out during games makes keeping them wired all the time too time-consuming.

Baseball Is Different Baseball has been the latest to embrace what NFL calls Mic'd Up or, as ESPN more prosaically refers to it, live in-game player interviews. During 2018 Spring Training in Arizona, ESPN miked Boston's Mookie Betts, who, during an in-game interview, saw a ball hit over his head and told fans, I ain't getting this one, boys. Previously, the potential of miked players in the field was on display during the 2017 All-Star Game when the Nationals' Bryce Harper bantered with Fox Sports announce team John Smoltz and Joe Buck.

Split screen shows Boston Red Sox outfielder Kik Hernandez chatting with announcers before snagging a hit last year.

However, unlike the NFL, which looks to on-athlete audio mainly as part of the scrimmage script, and the NBA, where PlayerMics are part of the nat-sound foundation, baseball lends itself to narrative and conversation as part of a game's sonic effects.

According to Cleary, ESPN, to which the league has given control over the on-field audio chatter, is sensitive to the potential for strategy talk by players during the game and is developing ways to address that. A brief profanity delay is, of course, in place.

The game's pastoral ambience seems suited to allowing a left fielder to chat when not shagging long line drives. With multiple mics in the outfield this year and comments coming in on Twitter, though, the athlete/announcer dialogs of la
LINK: https://www.sportsvideo.org/2023/03/13/espns-sunday-night-baseball-dou...
See more stories from svg

More from Sports Video Group

20/05/2024

Queensland Rugby League Taps Layercake, DoubleTake Sports, Enveu for OTT Tech Stack

Queensland Rugby League Taps Layercake, DoubleTake Sports, Enveu for OTT Tech St...

20/05/2024

Maglia Rosa: EMG Italy on Managing the Logistics and Technicalities of the 2024 Giro d'Italia

Maglia rosa: EMG Italy on managing the logistics and technicalities of the 2024 ...

20/05/2024

Next-Generation Technology: EMG Italy Completes Extensive San Siro Infrastructure Overhaul

Next-generation technology: EMG Italy completes extensive San Siro infrastructur...

20/05/2024

Broadcast Innovation in India: How Augmented Reality, Data-Driven Graphics Production Are Changing Everything

Broadcast Innovation in India: How Augmented Reality, Data-Driven Graphics Produ...

20/05/2024

A Year-Long Planning Process: How Game Presentation of Super Bowl LVIII Influences Next Year's Party in New Orleans

A Year-Long Planning Process: How Game Presentation of Super Bowl LVIII Influenc...

20/05/2024

SVG College Summit 2024: Clemson's Kyle Coulter Breaks Down the Tigers' Fourth Quarter Hype Video

SVG College Summit 2024: Clemson's Kyle Coulter Breaks Down the Tigers' ...

17/05/2024

Broadcast Innovation in India: How AI and Automated Production Helps Smaller Sports Grow

Broadcast Innovation in India: How AI and Automated Production Helps Smaller Spo...

17/05/2024

SVG Sports Cloud Production Forum Gives Refresher Course on Cloud-Based Tools, Ecosystem

SVG Sports Cloud Production Forum Gives Refresher Course on Cloud-Based Tools, E...

17/05/2024

WNBA Tip-Off 2024: Scripps Sports Constructs New Studio for Second Season of WNBA Friday Night Spotlight on ION

WNBA Tip-Off 2024: Scripps Sports Constructs New Studio for Second Season of WNB...

17/05/2024

SVG College Summit 2024: Auburn's War Eagle Productions Breaks Down How They Produce Live Gymnastics Broadcasts

SVG College Summit 2024: Auburn's War Eagle Productions Breaks Down How They...

16/05/2024

SVG Sit-Down: Beam Dynamics CEO Kaszycki on Maximizing Physical-Asset Usage, Tracking

SVG Sit-Down: Beam Dynamics CEO Kaszycki on Maximizing Physical-Asset Usage, Tra...

16/05/2024

SVG New Sponsor Spotlight: Aggreko's Don Gray on Advocating for Sustainability in Live Sports Production

SVG New Sponsor Spotlight: Aggreko's Don Gray on Advocating for Sustainabili...

16/05/2024

At PGA Championship, CBS Sports Bolsters Aerial, Bunker Camera Lineup; Takes Viewers Deeper with Optimotion Swing Tech

At PGA Championship, CBS Sports Bolsters Aerial, Bunker Camera Lineup; Takes Vie...

15/05/2024

Tech Focus: Production Music, Part 1: Changes Come to the Sports Sector

Tech Focus: Production Music, Part 1: Changes Come to the Sports Sector Spurring the changes are increased custom-music demand, RSN turmoil, legal issues, AI B...

15/05/2024

SVG Sit-Down: Diversified's Justo Gutierrez Explores the Evolution of Sound for Sports Venues

SVG Sit-Down: Diversified's Justo Gutierrez Explores the Evolution of Sound ...

15/05/2024

SVG Sit-Down: Audiotonix' CEO James Gordon on Utilizing the Company's Brands for Smart Investment

New deal: Audiotonix' CEO James Gordon on utilising the company's brands...

15/05/2024

Commentary Revolution: DAZN's Technical Production Manager Max Mosgraber Talks Doing More With Less

Commentary revolution: DAZN's technical production manager Max Mosgraber tal...

15/05/2024

Telling Stories: How Podcast Pushing Faders is Giving a Voice to the Sports Broadcasting Audio Community

Telling stories: How podcast Pushing Faders is giving a voice to the sports broa...

15/05/2024

SVG Europe Audio Joins Forces With Audio Broadcast Podcast Pushing Faders

SVG Europe Audio joins forces with audio broadcast podcast Pushing Faders By Heather McLean Monday, April 29, 2024 - 10:40 Print This Story SVG Europe Aud...

15/05/2024

Building Forces: How Audiotonix Has Built its Portfolio of Audio Greats and What Might Be Coming Next

Building forces: How Audiotonix has built its portfolio of audio greats and what...

15/05/2024

SVG Europe Audio: Future Audio Forum Exploring Personalization, Intelligibility and Accessibility Announced for 13 June

SVG Europe Audio: Future Audio Forum exploring personalisation, intelligibility ...

15/05/2024

Pac-12 Enterprises Names Michael Molinari as New SVP of Business Development & Studio Operations

Pac-12 Enterprises Names Michael Molinari as New SVP of Business Development & S...

15/05/2024

Netflix Feels the Yuletide Spirit With Two Christmas Day Games This Year; Streamer To Have Holiday Game in 2025, 2026

Netflix Feels the Yuletide Spirit With Two Christmas Day Games This Year; Stream...

14/05/2024

New Broadcast-Control Rooms at UTSA Reflect College Sports' New Media Realities

New Broadcast-Control Rooms at UTSA Reflect College Sports' New Media Realit...

14/05/2024

SVG College Summit 2024: UCF's #Content Team Offers Look Inside Its 2024 Big XII Schedule Release Creative Plan

SVG College Summit 2024: UCF's #Content Team Offers Look Inside Its 2024 Big...

14/05/2024

Honoring 100 Years of New York Giants Football: Inside the Making of the Team's Logo Animation Video

Honoring 100 Years of New York Giants Football: Inside the Making of the Team...

14/05/2024

WNBA Tip-Off 2024: With All Eyes on The W, ESPN Ups Its Game To Spotlight Class of New Stars, League's Increased Popularity

WNBA Tip-Off 2024: With All Eyes on The W, ESPN Ups Its Game To Spotlight Class ...

14/05/2024

SVG Sit-Down: Telstra Broadcast Services' Andreas Eriksson Focuses on Large-Scale Deployments, Managed Services

SVG Sit-Down: Telstra Broadcast Services' Andreas Eriksson Focuses on Large-...

13/05/2024

Roku Wins Rights to Major League Baseball Sunday Leadoff in Streaming Shakeup

Roku Wins Rights to Major League Baseball Sunday Leadoff in Streaming Shakeup Weekly series of games begins May 19 with the Boston Red Sox at the St. Louis Card...

13/05/2024

SVG Sit-Down: Blackmagic Design's Dan May Explores Addition of Instant-Replay to Davinci Resolve Solution

SVG Sit-Down: Blackmagic Design's Dan May Explores Addition of Instant-Repla...

13/05/2024

For PWHL, Raycom, and Dome, Production of the League's First Season Is More Than Just Covering a Sport

For PWHL, Raycom, and Dome, Production of the League's First Season Is More ...

13/05/2024

When You Aggregate Niche Sports, Suddenly They Become a Big Deal - Glen Killane on the EBU's New OTT Service

When you aggregate niche sports, suddenly they become a big deal Glen Killane...

13/05/2024

SVG Sit Down: NEP Europe President Lise Heidal on Staying Close to Clients and Investing Wisely

Interview: NEP Europe president Lise Heidal on staying close to clients and inve...

13/05/2024

Megapixel's GhostFrame, HELIOS LED Technologies Take Virtual Production to Whole New Level

Megapixel's GhostFrame, HELIOS LED Technologies Take Virtual Production to W...

13/05/2024

SVG College Summit 2024: James Madison University Offers Exclusive Look at Its New Production Facility

SVG College Summit 2024: James Madison University Offers Exclusive Look at Its N...

13/05/2024

Broadcast Innovation in India: As Live Sports Continues To Grow, Industry Leaders Discuss Opportunity in the Subcontinent

Broadcast Innovation in India: As Live Sports Continues To Grow, Industry Leader...

10/05/2024

SVG Rewind: NBC Sports' Senior Producer Lindsay Schanzer, Director Kaare Numme Reflect on Historic Photo Finish at Kentucky Derby

SVG Rewind: NBC Sports' Senior Producer Lindsay Schanzer, Director Kaare Num...

10/05/2024

SVG's Sports Content Management Forum Agenda Unveiled, Register Now for July 24 Event in NYC

SVG's Sports Content Management Forum Agenda Unveiled, Register Now for July...

10/05/2024

148th Westminster Dog Show: FOX Sports Calls USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center Home for Second Straight Year

148th Westminster Dog Show: FOX Sports Calls USTA Billie Jean King National Tenn...

09/05/2024

Steve Thrap, Longtime Staples Center VP of Broadcast Ops and Beloved Industry Stalwart, Dies at 72

Steve Thrap, Longtime Staples Center VP of Broadcast Ops and Beloved Industry St...

09/05/2024

SVG College Sports Media Awards: 2024 Finalists Unveiled; ACC Network's Roddy Jones to Host Ceremony on May 29

SVG College Sports Media Awards: 2024 Finalists Unveiled; ACC Network's Rodd...

08/05/2024

Live from Malm: Behind the Scenes of the Eurovision Song Contest 2024

Live from Malm : Behind the scenes of the Eurovision Song Contest 2024 By Adrian Pennington Monday, May 6, 2024 - 14:34 Print This Story Following Loreen&...

08/05/2024

The Path to Porto: WRC Readies for Iconic Rally de Portugal

The path to Porto: WRC readies for iconic Rally de Portugal By Adrian Pennington Friday, April 26, 2024 - 08:40 Print This Story After Monte Carlo, Sweden...

08/05/2024

NHL to Hold 2024 NHL Draft at Sphere in Las Vegas

NHL to Hold 2024 NHL Draft at Sphere in Las Vegas The event (June 28-29) will be the first televised live event from Sphere By SVG Staff Wednesday, May 8, 20...

08/05/2024

The Future of Story Tech Trends & Audience Engagement: An SVGW + #GALSNGEAR Panel Discussion

The Future of Story Tech Trends & Audience Engagement: An SVGW + #GALSNGEAR Pa...

07/05/2024

University of Texas's Jeff Hanel To Keynote 16th-Annual SVG College Summit

University of Texas's Jeff Hanel To Keynote 16th-Annual SVG College Summit Industry vet to discuss uniting live and creative in athletic department media ar...

07/05/2024

SVG Sit-Down: AWS's Julie Souza on the Cloud and AI in Broadcast-Content Creation, Distribution

SVG Sit-Down: AWS's Julie Souza on the Cloud and AI in Broadcast-Content Cre...

07/05/2024

Deloitte Analysts Peter Giorgio and Michael Vovk: Sports Properties Need To Rethink Fan Engagement

Deloitte Analysts Peter Giorgio and Michael Vovk: Sports Properties Need To Reth...

07/05/2024

University of Texas' Jeff Hanel to Keynote 16th-Annual SVG College Summit

University of Texas' Jeff Hanel to Keynote 16th-Annual SVG College Summit Industry vet to discuss uniting live and creative in athletic department media arm...

07/05/2024

Premier League Trials RefCam During Crystal Palace v Manchester United Fixture

Premier League trials RefCam during Crystal Palace v Manchester United fixture By George Bevir Tuesday, May 7, 2024 - 09:34 Print This Story In a Premier ...