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

Most recent headlines

22/05/2019

X-Rite Showcases New Color Formulation Software at ITMA 2019

X-Rite Showcases New Color Formulation Software at ITMA 2019 New release of Color iMatch has the unique ability to intelligently process color data to accoun...

22/05/2019

ITV Studios Global Entertainment and Huanxi Media agree deal for futuristic thriller Snowpiercer

Published: Tue 21 May 2019 ITV Studios Global Entertainment and Huanxi Media ag...

22/05/2019

Hong Kong's ViuTV upgrades its audio and prepares for an IP future

Hong Kong free-to-air broadcaster ViuTV is preparing itself for an audio-over-IP future with the purchase of an Artemis Light console, a Brio12, a Brio36 and Ao...

22/05/2019

Cobalt Digital Offers 4K Solutions at BroadcastAsia 2019

Cobalt Digital Offers 4K Solutions at BroadcastAsia 2019 May 21, 2019 Cobalt Digital Offers 4K Solutions at BroadcastAsia 2019 CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - May 21, 20...

22/05/2019

Public Value: ZEISS Ranked Best Company in 2019 Public Value Atlas

OBERKOCHEN/Germany, BERLIN/Germany, 21.05.2019. President & CEO of the ZEISS Group, Prof. Kaschke: "The top ranking in the 2019 Public Value Atlas demonstrat...

22/05/2019

May 17 - World Telecommunication and Information Society Day

May 17 is World Telecommunication and Information Society Day (WTISD). In 2019, the International Telecommunication Union celebrates the 50th anniversary of Wo...

22/05/2019

Net Insight AB: Net Insight appoints new VP People

Net Insight AB: Bulletin from the Annual General Meeting in Net Insight AB (publ) on 8 May 2019 5/8/2019 Solna - The following resolutions were passed at the ...

22/05/2019

2019-05-21

Since Apple News+ launched in March, publishers have been using the platform to showcase innovative live covers, special issues and customised feature stories f...

21/05/2019

NETFLIX LAUNCHES THE TRAILER FOR CHOPSTICKS

A sweet and innocent girl, Nirma and her seasoned accomplice, con-man - Artist are all set to trick and persuade you into dropping all your plans and sitting ba...

21/05/2019

Ericsson unveils new 5G innovation hub in Moscow

The facility, located at Ericsson's head office in Moscow's Metropolis Business Center, had a grand opening on May 21, 2019 and features a testing labor...

21/05/2019

Nokia President and CEO Rajeev Suri comments on the 5G market at Annual General Meeting

Press Release 21 May 2019 Espoo, Finland - The Annual General Meeting (AGM) of...

21/05/2019

5 things driving the migration form LTO to object storage

5 things driving the migration form LTO to object storage After 16 short years, since we've been banging the drum at Object Matrix, the migration away from...

21/05/2019

Ra's al Ghul, aka the Demon's Head, Returns in Six-Issue DC Miniseries

Neal Adams to Write & Draw Batman's Arch-Nemesis During DC's Year of the Villain May 15, 2019 Ra's al Ghul, leader of the League of Assassins, gr...

21/05/2019

WARNER BROS. HOME ENTERTAINMENT AND DC PRESENT BATMAN: HUSH

May 16, 2019 Burbank, CA - A mysterious villain puppeteering Gotham's most dangerous forces leads the Dark Knight into uncharted waters in Batman: Hush, ...

21/05/2019

Limited Drama Series YEARS AND YEARS Debuts June 24 on HBO

Limited Drama Series YEARS AND YEARS Debuts June 24 on HBO May 16, 2019 The six-part limited drama series YEARS AND YEARS debuts MONDAY, JUNE 24 (9:00-10:00 ...

21/05/2019

WARREN ELLIS RESURRECTS WILDCATS WITH ARTIST RAMON VILLALOBOS THIS AUGUST

May 16, 2019 This August, Warren Ellis unites with artist Ramon Villalobos for an action-packed new era of WILDCATS. Following his genre-breaking work reintro...

21/05/2019

Turner Sports' 2019 PGA Championship Thursday Coverage Delivers All-Time Records for PGA Digital Platforms

PGA.com, PGAChampionship.com & PGA Championship App Establish Best-Ever Single ...

21/05/2019

DC UNIVERSE Offers First Episode Of Doom Patrol For Free Preview On Leading Pop Culture Sites

JUST IN TIME FOR FINALE BINGING -- DC UNIVERSE OFFERS FIRST EPISODE OF ORIGINAL ...

21/05/2019

DC UNIVERSE OFFERS FIRST EPISODE OF ORIGINAL SERIES "DOOM PATROL" FOR FREE PREVIEW ON LEADING POP CULTURE SITES

May 17, 2019 Burbank, CA - DC Universe original series Doom Patrol has been ...

21/05/2019

COSTUMES FROM "THE BIG BANG THEORY" JOIN THE SMITHSONIAN'S NATIONAL MUSEUM OF AMERICAN HISTORY COLLECTION

May 17, 2019 Burbank, CA & Washington, D.C. - Sheldon Cooper's Super Hero ...

21/05/2019

HBO DRAMA SERIES EUPHORIA, STARRING ZENDAYA, DEBUTS JUNE 16

Drake Is An Executive Producer Of The Show, Created And Written By Sam Levinson May 17, 2019 The drama series EUPHORIA begins its eight-episode season SUNDA...

21/05/2019

CINEMAX DRAMA SERIES JETT DEBUTS JUNE 14

May 17, 2019 Fresh out of prison, retired professional thief Daisy (aka Jett ) Kowalski is reluctantly drawn back into doing what she does best after being f...

21/05/2019

YEAR OF THE VILLAIN BRINGS BATTLE-DAMAGED LOGO COVERS TO DC IN AUGUST

May 17, 2019 Burbank, CA - DC continues to show fans that it's good to be bad as the Year of the Villain rolls on this summer! Dark Gifts is the feature...

21/05/2019

GAME OF THRONES CONCLUDES WITH ALL-TIME HBO RECORD; BARRY QUADRUPLES PRIOR SEASON FINALE

May 20, 2019 Last night, the final episode of GAME OF THRONES was watched by a...

21/05/2019

Creative Spotlight: Fire and Ice

Fire and Ice are a team of eight UK-based creative wedding photographers and videographers who specialise in capturing their clients' special days across th...

21/05/2019

TechnipFMC to Address Attendees at the UBS Global Oil and Gas Conference

Press release | May 20, 2019 TechnipFMC to Address Attendees at the UBS Global Oil and Gas Conference LONDON & PARIS & HOUSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Regulatory N...

21/05/2019

Rohde & Schwarz Monitors OTT, Tackles 5G and Shows Off Pixel Power at NAB 2019

Rohde & Schwarz Monitors OTT, Tackles 5G and Shows Off Pixel Power at NAB 2019 Rohde & Schwarz keeps expanding its horizons-now into 5G broadcasting and al...

21/05/2019

Sound Devices Scorpio Now Shipping

REEDSBURG, WI, MAY 20, 2019 The Sound Devices Scorpio, a 32 channel, 36 track portable mixer-recorder with 16 mic/line preamplifiers, is now shipping. This pr...

21/05/2019

40th-Annual Sports Emmy Awards: ESPN, NBC Sports Group Reign While World Series on Fox Takes Top Prize

40th-Annual Sports Emmy Awards: ESPN, NBC Sports Group Reign While World Series ...

21/05/2019

Around the Biz 5/21/19: As MLB Changes Tracking Systems, ESPN and Fox Sports Take Aim at Sports Gambling

Around the Biz 5/21/19: As MLB Changes Tracking Systems, ESPN and Fox Sports Tak...

21/05/2019

2019 Sports Emmys: Fred Gaudelli Praises the Innovative Spirit of NBC Sunday Night Football

2019 Sports Emmys: Fred Gaudelli Praises the Innovative Spirit of NBC Sunday Nig...

21/05/2019

2019 Sports Emmys: Director Matt Gangl on Fox Sports' Live Sports Special Win For Its World Series Coverage

2019 Sports Emmys: Director Matt Gangl on Fox Sports' Live Sports Special Wi...

21/05/2019

2019 Sports Emmys: Telemundo Deportes' Eli Velazquez Applauds Team Effort for 2018 FIFA World Cup Production

2019 Sports Emmys: Telemundo Deportes' Eli Velazquez Applauds Team Effort fo...

21/05/2019

NEW VOICE FOR W

YolanDa Brown Tuesday 21 May 2019 UKTV is excited to announce its new continuity announcer for premium entertainment channel, W. Award winning saxophonist and ...

21/05/2019

Hitachi Automotive Systems' EV Inverter Adopted for the e-tron, Audi's First Mass Production Electric Vehicle

Tokyo, May 17, 2019 ---Hitachi Automotive Systems, Ltd. today announced that its...

21/05/2019

Channel 4's The Crystal Maze Unveils Brand-New Eastern Zone

The Crystal Maze will return in 2019 with all new celebrity episodes and an all new zone: The Eastern Zone. Influenced by the historic art, architecture and mon...

21/05/2019

Dalet Expands Partnership with Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment to Enhance the Fan Experience

Dalet, a leading provider of solutions and services for media organizations and ...

21/05/2019

Get the latest on the 2019 Indian General Election results on ...

Get the latest on the 2019 Indian General Election results on Sun News Date Released:21 May 2019 Share Tweet ( ...

21/05/2019

Hitting the right beat

Home // Applications // Hitting the right beat...

21/05/2019

Why Gemini 1x1 Soft is the perfect light for any scene

Home // Applications // Why Gemini 1x1 Soft is the perfect light for any scene...

21/05/2019

One millionth smart meter connects to Britain's secure network

At 14:48 on 21 May 2019, the 1,000,000 milestone was reached when a SMETS2 electricity smart meter was installed in Slough by SSE. Significant progress has bee...

21/05/2019

Experience the last stop of Soundgarden's 2013 King Animal Tour In New York and Los Angeles

Experience the last stop of Soundgardens 2013 King Animal Tour In New York and L...

21/05/2019

Post Malone Spans the Globe on Beerbongs & Bentleys' World Tour with Support from disguise

Post Malone Spans the Globe on Beerbongs & Bentleys' World Tour with Suppor...

21/05/2019

Bob Schacherl Announcement

Bob Schacherl Announcement posted: 21/05/2019 Bob Schacherl, co-CEO of Robe North America, has announced that he will be stepping down from his post on Ju...

21/05/2019

Infront unveils new digital force iX.co

Infront unveils new digital force iX.co posted: 21/05/2019 Focus on connecting sports industry to global audiences, fusing storytelling with technology I...