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NBA Tipoff 2021: Turner Sports Brings Back Onsite Productions, Debuts Vibrant NBA on TNT Graphics Package


NBA Tipoff 2021: Turner Sports Brings Back Onsite Productions, Debuts Vibrant NBA on TNT Graphics Package NBA coverage joins NHL, MLB Postseason productions during Turner's busiest time ever By Jason Dachman, Chief Editor

Tuesday, October 19, 2021 - 3:19 pm

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Turner Sports is in the midst of the busiest stretch in its history. Its first-ever NHL season and the return of the MLB Postseason are in full swing. And tonight, the broadcaster welcomes back its longest-running property: NBA on TNT.

There have definitely been growing pains because we have had to stretch our team in ways that they haven't been stretched before, says Chris Brown, director, technical operations, Turner Sports. While we have been able to increase our headcount and hire more people, we haven't filled all those positions yet, so we do have a number of people doing double or even triple duty. Everybody - myself included - has to step up and pitch in to make sure we're giving all three properties their just attention. It has definitely been a team effort across the board to get to this point.

Turner Sports will tip off the league's 75th-anniversary season tonight with an opening-night double header featuring the Nets-Bucks in Milwaukee and Warriors-Lakers in L.A. And with it, the iconic NBA on TNT brand will have a brand-new look - a wrap-around graphics package - and plenty of new production technologies to bring the hardcourt action to fans.

Productions Are Onsite After REMI-Heavy 2020-21 Season After centralizing the bulk of its productions at its Techwood Campus in Atlanta and remoting from a truck to the facility for nearly 60 NBA games last season, Turner Sports is hitting the road again for NBA broadcasts. Deploying NEP TS2 and Supershooter 8 mobile units, Turner plans to deploy nearly all announcers and crew onsite at the arena.

Last year, COVID accelerated a lot of concepts that we were already thinking about, says Brown. However, because of COVID, we had the unique opportunity to have a lot of space that I don't anticipate will be available as we push into the new year and start returning to the office. While we're excited about the technology and I think there's going to be a time and a place for us to eventually move to that as one of many different production options, we're just not quite there yet in terms of core infrastructure and space [in Atlanta].

Diamond motif in Turner Sports' new graphics package for NBA on TNT celebrates the league's 75-anniversary season.

What we were able to do last year was prove a concept, he continues. I think that was significant because, if and when we have the available infrastructure at the facility in Atlanta to manage things like this on a full-time basis, we now know we can do that. I think there are definitely ways that we can look at being more efficient, particularly with basketball. But, for now, the plan is to get back to a pre-COVID type of operation.

Turner Sports' current use of REMI production workflow will be limited to the virtual-shot-clock operator, who will be located in Atlanta. All other crew, however, will be onsite in the truck.

The production team has made very clear to us that they are much more collaborative when they're in the same room and that makes the product better, says Brown. That's the approach that we're taking for now. From an operations standpoint, the execution of the physical remote is going to look a lot more familiar, and everybody is going to be a lot more comfortable in terms of how they execute. I think that is going to continue to improve the broadcasts and bring the audience experience back to what they're used to seeing and hearing, which is a big win.

New Graphics Package Celebrates NBA's 75th-Anniversary Season Turner will roll out a brand-new graphics package for wraparounds tonight, debuting its revised NBA on TNT look. The package is built on a diamond motif, matching the league's special diamond-shaped logo for its 75th season. In addition, viewers will see refracted light on many graphics elements as if they were looking through a diamond.

We're coming from a package that was very monochromatic and dark with everything desaturated to a very vibrant, colorful, juicy package, says Jordan Shorthouse, VP, creative director, Turner Sports. I think it's phenomenal, and it's going to play perfectly into this year's telecasts. We loved the [previous package], but we've been living with that dark package for four or five years and were definitely ready for a change. We just wanted something with more vibrancy, more color, more fun, and that's what you're going to see when this package hits air.

Although the insert, scorebug, and virtual-shot-clock graphics will not change, the new wraparound package will give NBA on TNT broadcasts a wholly revamped look. The LED monitors in the Inside the NBA studio have also been updated with the new graphics look.

After opening with Tuesday and Thursday games this week, TNT will primarily carry games on Tuesday nights before transitioning to both Tuesdays and Thursdays in mid January. At that point, the Tuesday-night telecasts will also be updated to reflect the diamond-motif package but with a twist: all elements will be black and gold.

Tuesday night is more about the culture, fashion, and style of the NBA, says Shorthouse. We're trying to be a bit sleeker and play into that whole culture concept so that is why everything is black and gold. We did that last year, and now we're updating the package to reflect that same color scheme but with the new design style.

As soon as Opening Night is over, he continues, we're going to start working on the Tuesday-night package to get everything turned blac
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