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WNBA Tip-Off 2024: CBS Sports Commits to Women's Pro Basketball With Full Onsite Productions

24/05/2024

WNBA Tip-Off 2024: CBS Sports Commits to Women's Pro Basketball With Full Onsite Productions The graphics package has been rebranded to match the league's timeouts, rules By Kristian Hern ndez, Senior Editor

Friday, May 24, 2024 - 10:49 am

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Rookies are finding their footing, veterans are integrating new players into their huddles, and the WNBA is getting started on CBS and CBS Sports Network. CBS Sports' first broadcast of the season - Saturday, May 25 with the New York Liberty vs. Minnesota Lynx at 1 p.m. ET - will signal its renewed commitment to the league, which will feature all onsite productions for games on CBS and continued reliance on local networks for games on CBS Sports Network.

This the first year that we're internally producing broadcasts of the WNBA, says Todd Keryc, coordinating producer, remote production, CBS Sports. We're excited to put all of our efforts behind these games.

Going In-House: Broadcaster Opts for Onsite Route for Eight-Game Slate on CBS The 2024 season will offer WNBA fans an impressive, eight-game schedule on CBS. As with its other sports properties, the broadcaster is choosing to produce these over-the-air matchups via the traditional onsite method.

CBS Sports begins its 2024 WNBA coverage with the New York Liberty vs. the Minnesota Lynx on CBS on Saturday, May 25.

Game Creek Video Columbia and Celtic are the designated mobile units for the package. Having production and operations onsite in every venue allows coverage to be ratcheted up to its fullest potential. The productions will feature six cameras, multiple Marshall POVs, and a new graphics package reflecting the league's timeouts and rules. On the audio side, the familiar push-to-talk referee system with which officials explain calls to the viewing audience will be seen on the broadcasts.

Keryc aims to bring the broadcast quality that fans are used to seeing on CBS: These games will look, feel, and sound as if you were watching NFL, college football, or college basketball on our network.

The 12-game schedule on CBS Sports Network will continue to be produced via a clean feed provided by the home team's network. For example, Marquee Sports Network will send its feed for Connecticut Sun vs. Chicago Sky on Saturday, May 25 at 8 p.m. Facilitating this is the working relationship between CBS Sports and the local networks for all 12 franchises, as well as with representatives from the WNBA/NBA: WNBA Broadcast Lead Kathleen Reidy; Associate Manager, Broadcast Partner Manager, Affiliates, Seth Goldberg; Senior Manager, Broadcast, Bryan Boardman; and Senior Manager, Media Operations and Technology, Justin Akiva.

We got to talk with [the WNBA/NBA] to hear their vision for the league, and they got to hear what we're planning, says Keryc. We also want to work with the local networks to make sure that those shows look similar to what we would do internally as a show on CBS or CBS Sports Network.

The decision to cover all WNBA broadcasts with an NFL-worthy attention to detail coincides with the league's heightened popularity in the sports landscape. Thanks to increased ratings for women's basketball at the collegiate level during March Madness and the Women's Final Four, along with an influx of highly talented and marketable players into the pro ranks, the WNBA has been must-see television. With superstars Caitlin Clark, Angel Reese, and Cameron Brink in a handful of games on CBS air, taking production onsite was the logical call.

We're taking over the production of these games at a really opportune time, says Keryc. The league is on fire with a ton of new names, but there is already a number of established stars in the league, like Diana Taurasi. We think that our platform can be used for more storytelling and be a national spotlight for women's sports.

Busy Summer Ahead: WNBA Coverage Joins the NWSL, BIG3, PGA TOUR CBS Sports begins its 2024 WNBA coverage with the New York Liberty vs. the Minnesota Lynx on CBS on Saturday, May 25.

Jumping into full onsite productions isn't a strategy that can be achieved without proper planning. Prior to taking the step, the broadcaster checked its sports calendar to identify points of logistical friction. Two instances on the CBS schedule particularly pop out: a weekend of back-to-back games featuring the Connecticut Sun vs. Dallas Wings on Saturday, June 15 at 1 p.m. and the Chicago Sky vs. Indiana Fever on Sunday, June 16 at noon; and, on Saturday, Aug. 17, a doubleheader of Lynx vs. Washington Mystics at 2 p.m. and Liberty vs. Las Vegas Aces at 4 p.m.

Since we knew about those three dates, says Keryc, we also knew that we were going to have to spread out our talent and production and operations teams a little bit. We're used to working multiple games on a single day for college basketball or NFL, so two WNBA games in one weekend is pretty standard for us.

In a summer already filled with broadcasts of the BIG3 and multiple PGA TOUR events, the 20-game WNBA slate will be joined by another mover and shaker in women's professional sports: the National Women's Soccer League. With multiple games happening concurrently or close to each other, the broadcaster relies on crews to stay on top of the respective leagues. This includes Coordinating Producer Julie Keryc, Todd's wife, who is an important asset on CBS Sports' NWSL coverage.

We have plenty of people who are great at their jobs, who are given more opportunities to produce both NWSL and WNBA, he says. [These broadcasts] make them better and provides them more reps.

All-In on The W: Collaboration, Communication Enable Enhanced Coverage Production on CBS Sports Network will be based on the clean feed from the home team's local network.

The commitment to ons
LINK: https://www.sportsvideo.org/2024/05/24/wnba-tip-off-2024-cbs-sports-co...
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