Sony Digital Rapids Pixel Power calrec Sony

NAB 2019 Perspectives: The Switch's Charles Conroy Says Traditional Sports Broadcasters Can Help But Need To Listen to Esports' Needs

19/04/2019

NAB 2019 Perspectives: The Switch's Charles Conroy Says Traditional Sports Broadcasters Can Help But Need To Listen to Esports' Needs Company's new VP of gaming is focused on supporting the space from a genuine' place By Brandon Costa, Director of Digital

Friday, April 19, 2019 - 11:40 am

Print This Story

Story Highlights

Esports was a dominating trend at NAB 2019, but few exhibitors put their flag in the ground more dramatically than The Switch. The longtime provider of network connectivity and managed, private cloud services formally introduced The Switch eSports division, which comprises technology and personnel dedicated to integrating esports production, transmission, and distribution from anywhere in the world.

At The Switch's esports activation in the North Hall was recently hired VP, Gaming, Charles Conroy. Joining the company in November, he is a veteran of the esports space, having most recently served as chief development officer for Next Gen Tech, parent company of Complexity Gaming, which was sold to the Dallas Cowboys about two years ago. Conroy is adjusting to life on the technology side and, at NAB 2019, was showing off a newly developed transmission box dedicated to the unique needs of live-esports-content producers and distributors.

Conroy took a few minutes to chat with SVG about his vision for the esports industry, how The Switch is focusing its technology to meet its needs, and why it's so important that the company enter the industry from a genuine place.

The Switch's Charles Conroy: It's the job of the production people to adapt to esports while bringing in the production quality that's expected in traditional sports. I think that's where you see the two worlds really marry.

When did The Switch decide to make this move into esports? What has the effort entailed?

The Switch did BlizzCon and the Overwatch League Finals last year, which was sort of their first foray into esports. Through some traditional sports connections that they had, they were brought in to help produce those events, and they did a great job. [The events] have linear needs that The Switch hit it out of the park with.

A lot of esports is IP-based, so they realized they needed to make a shift to an IP product. They contacted me and brought me in. I had been in esports for 15 years. I was looking for an opportunity to come back into the space working in both the sports world and the esports world. The Switch is a great blend of that. I've started helping develop their esports product, and we did that by going to a lot of tournaments and shows and talking to every tech guy that we could.

One thing that I think is interesting about esports and a fatal [error] that a lot of production companies made in the past is trying to fit the esports model into their traditional sports model. Esports matches aren't a set 90 minutes. It's the job of the production people to adapt to esports while bringing in the production quality that's expected in traditional sports. I think that's where you see the two worlds really marry.

Esports has a need for a lot of the things that traditional sports does, and traditional sports needs to be nimble enough to fill those needs without bringing on the complete traditional sports model, because that's just not an effective way to come in. We made sure not to do that.

We came in from a genuine perspective. We got a lot of information from a lot of people about what products they needed, and we built our esports box that can bring connectivity and can get anyone on network anywhere in the world. We've been sending this to Lisbon and Brazil, streaming both IP and linear.

For a client refresh, we're doing 32 different feeds, sending six or seven clean feeds out that are translated in different languages for casting, and we do that all out of [that box]. We don't need a lot of infrastructure to get that going. We'll take whatever network is there, even if it's public Internet, and get it onto our The Switch network, which is then secured. That has been very popular for them, but it was one of those things where, instead of shoving linear down people's throats, we heard the clients' needs and developed the solution.

What has it been like for you to be on this side of the business, and do you feel that you were able to bring your own expertise in to help build technology that makes it happen?

I will say, there was a really large learning curve. I was coming from sponsorship sales, and I had done some on-camera work. I knew the space really well, but I was never behind the camera. I knew all the guys that were. I came in as an esports expert that was a total production novice. I have a respect for what those knowledge levels need. I was able to meet and learn from all the people I needed to meet and learn from.

I basically got a technical degree in the last four months. The first meeting was super-intimidating because everyone was using abbreviations I had never heard of and it was like they were speaking a different language. I walked out kind of shell-shocked. It has been great since then, though. Our engineers are some of the smartest in the world, and they've been very patient with me. I can bring them in and talk to the right people, and I can keep up with the conversation. It's they who have been able to create what I think is a really cool product, giving me the opportunity to advise how we utilize it, where we deploy it, and how to do that in a genuine way.

What are some of the conversations you are having here at NAB 2019? Are they with novices e looking to understand the space better? Are you seeing a lot of hardcore esports broadcasters looking to take their productions to the next level?

I think it runs the gamut. NAB has the mix, but I've still ha
LINK: https://www.sportsvideo.org/2019/04/19/nab-2019-perspectives-the-switc...
See more stories from svg

North America Stories

18/08/2019

Legendary Sports Broadcaster and Hall of Famer Jack Whitaker Dead at 95

Legendary Sports Broadcaster and Hall of Famer Jack Whitaker Dead at 95 His ability to write about a moment and capture it was only exceeded by his humanity By...

18/08/2019

Newblue Targets Larger Market With Innovative Update Of Pioneering Video Titling Solution

-- NewBlue , a leader in user-friendly graphics and video titling tools, has r...

17/08/2019

5 Essentials of Music Career Success

A successful career in music doesn't happen overnight. It takes patience, tenacity, an openness to critique, and even some failure to clarify your goals and...

17/08/2019

Summer 2019's Biggest Film Releases Used Blackmagic Design

-- Blackmagic Design announced today that a number of the 2019 summer season's worldwide film releases used numerous Blackmagic Design products during pro...

17/08/2019

Showtime Offers Two Episodes of On Becoming a God' For Free

Showtime has put the first two episodes of dark comedy On Becoming a God in Central Florida online for free sampling. The two episodes are on YouTube, SHO.com a...

17/08/2019

Amazon Premieres Jim Gaffigan Stand-Up Special Aug. 16

Photo Credit: Emily Wollmering / Comedy Dynamics Amazon Prime premieres the Jim Gaffigan stand-up special Quality Time Aug. 16. It is Amazon's first origin...

17/08/2019

Silicon Valley' Back For Final Season on HBO Oct. 27

Comedy Silicon Valley starts its sixth and final season Sunday, Oct. 27. There are seven episodes. The show, about the offbeat characters at the heart of the hi...

17/08/2019

Empowering Young Women + Connecting with Nature

Community Aug 16, 2019 As part of ongoing efforts to share the world and efforts, to make it a better place, GoPro for a Cause is excited to support Y-WE. ...

17/08/2019

Filling the Pipeline

Plug-ins have changed my life, and probably yours. Yet some hardware effects have no software equivalent-like boutique guitar effects, or tube-based equalizers....

17/08/2019

Technicolor Names Steffen Wild as Head of Virtual Production

LOS ANGELES - Technicolor has added industry leader Steffen Wild to head its Virtual Production department....

17/08/2019

EditAvance Creates Haunting Atmosphere for Sharp Objects

Sharp Objects , the HBO miniseries that just landed eight Emmy nominations, is widely respected as a psychological thriller masterpiece. Director Jean-Marc Va...

17/08/2019

JACKIE VAN BEEK and MADELEINE SAMI TO DIRECT AUBREY PLAZA IN FEATURE COMEDY HOPE FOR NETFLIX

Directors: Jackie van Beek & Madeleine Sami (The Breaker Upperers) Hope marks...

17/08/2019

Sacred Games 2 Launches with an Exclusive Fan Screening, Along with the Cast & Crew

Image Link Red-Carpet Video Netflix's most-awaited show, Sacred Games 2,...

17/08/2019

WBHE to Release Veronica Mars (2019): The Complete First Season on DVD October 22 and on Digital August 19

Home Entertainment July 30, 2019 WBHE to Release Veronica Mars (2019): The ...

17/08/2019

WBIE, TT Games, The Lego Group and Universal Games and Digital Platforms Announce Lego Jurassic World for Nintendo Switch

Home Entertainment July 31, 2019 WBIE, TT Games, The LEGO Group and Universal ...

17/08/2019

Peanuts 70th Anniversary, Holiday Collection Limited Edition Available October 1, 2019 from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment

Home Entertainment July 31, 2019 Peanuts 70th Anniversary Holiday Collectio...

17/08/2019

Friends New York City Pop-Up Experience on Sale Now

Consumer Products Television August 2, 2019 Friends New York City Pop-Up Experience on Sale Now(August 2, 2019 Burbank, CA) Tickets to The One with the Po...

17/08/2019

HBO's RECOMMENDED BY HUMANS Tool Lets You Stream 50+ Free HBO Episodes, Movies & Documentaries

HBO's RECOMMENDED BY HUMANS Tool Lets You Stream 50+ Free HBO Episodes, Mo...

17/08/2019

JP Richards Promoted to Co-President, Worldwide Marketing, Warner Bros. Pictures

Motion Pictures August 9, 2019 JP Richards Promoted to Co-President, Worldwide Marketing, Warner Bros. Pictures(August 9, 2019 Burbank, CA) JP Richards has be...

17/08/2019

HBO Drama Series THE DEUCE Created by George Pelecanos and David Simon, Returns for Third and Final Season Sept. 9 Exclusively on HBO

HBO Drama Series THE DEUCE, Created by George Pelecanos and David Simon, Returns...

17/08/2019

HBO Sports Launches Official HARD KNOCKS Podcast

HBO Sports Launches Official HARD KNOCKS Podcast The Five-Episode Podcast Series Kicks Off Today Offering Insight into Each Episode; Special Guests will appear...

17/08/2019

Unlocking the Super Power in Her Pen: DC and WriteGirl Empower the Next Generation of Female Storytellers

DC August 12, 2019 Unlocking the Super Power in Her Pen: DC and WriteGir...

17/08/2019

Mythology & Modern- Day Clash as WBHE and DC Present Wonder Woman: Bloodlines This October

DC Home Entertainment August 12, 2019 Mythology & Modern- Day Clash as WBHE a...

17/08/2019

HBO Max and BBC Three Get Starstruck

HBO Max and BBC Three Get Starstruck HBO Max Six-Part Comedy Series Created by, Written, and Starring Edinburgh Comedy Award Winner Rose Matafeo to be Br...

17/08/2019

SMPTE Announces Annual Award Recipients for 2019

SMPTE Announces Annual Award Recipients for 2019 Society Will Recognize Honorees During Annual Awards Gala lWord Doc Version available here. Individual phot...

16/08/2019

NAB Launches 2019 Congressional PSAs

NAB Launches 2019 Congressional PSAs Program features 303 members of Congress and their family members WASHINGTON, D.C.- Public service announcements (PSAs) fe...

16/08/2019

Experience 5G on moto z2 force with the 5G moto mod

Motorola and Verizon are bringing the power of 5G to moto z2 force. Starting this week, the 5G moto mod will be compatible with the moto z2 force, along with f...

16/08/2019

motorola one action: the industry's first ultra-wide action cam

Life doesn't stand still, and neither should you. Luckily, we're giving you a way to capture more of what matters. Meet motorola one action, the newest ...

16/08/2019

Berklee Online Increases Rates of Female Students, Staff, and Instructors

Berklee Online is paving the way for a new era in a music industry that has historically lacked female representation and leadership. Over the past decade, Berk...

16/08/2019

Forbes Names Berklee Top College for Alumni Success in Entertainment

Berklee was named no. 3 on a new Forbes list of the top 15 schools in the U.S. producing alumni who have achieved commercial success and critical acclaim in the...

16/08/2019

Nevion adds JPEG XS video compression to Virtuoso media node

Nevion, award-winning provider of virtualized media production solutions, announced today that it has added a new JPEG XS encoding and decoding media function t...

16/08/2019

Primetime Ratings: NBC Wins on Weird Night For Nielsens

NBC had the top score in Thursday prime ratings, winning the race with repeats. NBC had a 0.8 in viewers 18-49, per the Nielsen overnights, and a 4 share. Rerun...

16/08/2019

SMPTE Announces Annual Award Recipients for 2019

-- SMPTE , the organization that is defining the future of storytelling, today announced the group of industry leaders and innovators who will be honored at t...

16/08/2019

Telestream News: Second Generation Wirecast Gear To Launch at IBC

-- Telestream , a global leader in file-based media workflow orchestration, media streaming and delivery technologies, today announced the latest version of W...

16/08/2019

Big South Conference Standardizes on JVC ProHD Cameras for ESPN+ Streaming Sports Platform

-- JVC Professional Video, a division of JVCKENWOOD USA Corporation, today ann...

16/08/2019

Visual Effects Society Announces Special 2019 Honorees

-- Today, the Visual Effects Society (VES), the industry's global professional honorary society, announced the 2019 inductees into the VES Hall of Fame, t...

16/08/2019

New Australian Sci Fi Film Quanta Shot on URSA Mini Pro and Graded with DaVinci Resolve

-- Blackmagic Design today announced the new sci fi film Quanta was shot ent...

16/08/2019

AJA I/O Hardware Helps Brainstorm Deliver Flexible, Real-Time Graphics and Virtual Set Solutions

-- Spanish broadcast specialist company Brainstorm is known for creating sophi...

16/08/2019

RT Software Joins Grass Valley Technology Alliance To Drive Innovation and Interoperability

Grass Valley, today added RT Software Ltd. as a founding member of the Grass Val...

16/08/2019

New products from Aaton and Transvideo at IBC 2019

New products from Aaton and Transvideo at IBC will include: Aaton - new product Melody2, double input analogue audio preamplifier with low noise and extended...

16/08/2019

New products from Tiffen at IBC 2019 EXPO

New and recent products from The Tiffen Company at IBC Expo will include: Steadicam M-2 The latest top-of-the-line Steadicam system designed to incorporate th...

16/08/2019

Foundry partners with ACCESS:VFX to lead diversity drive in the visual effects, animation and gaming industries

Foundry (https://www.foundry.com/, the leading developer of creative software fo...

16/08/2019

Golden Melody Awards Look And Sound Great With DPA Microphones

When you are giving an acceptance speech at a major awards ceremony, there are two things you want to be sure of that everyone can see you and that everyone c...

16/08/2019

Insight TV Announces Co-Production with VICE Studios for Streetkings in Jail

Insight TV, the world's leading 4K UHD HDR broadcaster and producer of native UHD content, is announcing details of its gritty new series Streetkings in Jai...

16/08/2019

Quicklink Remote IP Commentary to be demonstrated at IBC 2019

Quicklink, one of the leading global providers of software and hardware IP solutions, will be demonstrating their Remote IP Commentary solution at IBC 2019 on s...

16/08/2019

Qligent Strengthens Vision Analytics Platform to Measure Return on Engagement

Qligent has updated its industry-first, award-winning Vision Analytics innovation for IBC2019 with a fully matured, open platform that harnesses the power of d...

16/08/2019

Marshall Electronics Cameras Head to the Rodeo

Mason Goodchild, owner of Morsando Media, knew he needed a compact POV camera that could outlast the elements to film the Calgary Stampede. For the second year ...

16/08/2019

Big South Conference Standardizes on JVC ProHD Cameras for ESPN+ Streaming Sports Platform

JVC Professional Video, a division of JVCKENWOOD USA Corporation, today announce...