Sony Pixel Power calrec Sony

Women's College World Series 2024: ESPN's Production a Specialty-Camera Softball Spectacular

06/06/2024

Women's College World Series 2024: ESPN's Production a Specialty-Camera Softball Spectacular Megalodon debuts; drone, RailCam, and two-point SupraCam bolster the imagery in OKC By Brandon Costa, Director of Digital

Thursday, June 6, 2024 - 3:07 pm

Print This Story | Subscribe

Story Highlights

If you are a sports-production professional, ESPN's presentation of the NCAA Women's College World Series is one of those events for which you come for the coverage and end up staying for the softball. Or maybe it's the other way around? Either way, this is an event that cemented its place as a must-see on the sports calendar long ago and continues to grow as a broadcast spectacle.

An on-field Megalodon is making its debut at ESPN's coverage of the 2024 NCAA Women's College World Series. Here, camera operator Clay Loveless follows Oklahoma's Jayda Coleman after a home run. (Photo: Joshua R. Gateley/ESPN Images)

This year's edition is loaded with exciting production tools. Among the approximate 45 cameras in the plan are the debut of the popular Megalodon (an on-field handheld camera on a gimbal shooting in shallow depth of field) as well as the return of a live drone, a 90-ft.-long RailCam affixed to the left-centerfield wall, a two-point cabled aerial camera above the third-base line, UmpCam in the mask of the home-plate umpire, and microphones on all umpires.

It wasn't that long ago that we were just one production truck up on the hill with a six-camera show, says Meg Aronowitz, SVP, production, ESPN. Our crew of 30 has grown to over 240 credentialed people on our team. The enthusiasm and energy around women's sports have only heightened the excitement for our coverage of this event. ESPN is all-in on the Women's College World Series, and you will see us pull out all the stops.

Like a Kid in a (Production) Candy Store Oklahoma drew first blood with a Game 1 victory over Texas on Wednesday night in a Red River Rivalry best-of-three WCWS Finals inside OGE Energy at Devon Park in Oklahoma City. Game 2 is set for tonight, with an if necessary Game 3 slated for Friday evening.

UmpCam is one of the marquee tech enhancements at ESPN's coverage of the 2024 NCAA Women's College World Series. (Photo: Phil Ellsworth/ESPN Images)

After getting under way with a bang a week ago, the Finals have been a daily fixture across ESPN, ABC, ESPN2, ESPNU, and ESPN+. ESPN's effort is comprehensive, comprising live game coverage, an onsite studio set, and additional presence in the form of shoulder programming at both the ACC Network and the SEC Network.

Game broadcasts, which are produced and delivered in 1080p, are handled with a bunch of tech toys designed to both tell a better story of the game itself and offer cinematic illustrations of the special scenes that make this a bucket-list sports event.

The freshman on the diamond is the Megalodon, which has largely been focused on capturing images on the field, with increased access - approved by the NCAA - to team space. The Megalodon, a Sony FX3 on a gimbal, is operated at this event by Clay Loveless, who runs a similar system on Monday Night Football.

The Megalodon has been the most impactful addition to our coverage this year, says Aronowitz, a 23-year veteran of ESPN. Clay has added so much value with his rig on our coverage.

ESPN SVP, Production, Meg Aronowitz (left) with Beth Mowins, who is calling play-by-play at the NCAA Women's College World Series for the 30th year. (Photo: Phil Ellsworth/ESPN Images)

Loveless has the ability to roam into the dugouts and can go onto the field during dead-ball situations and to track a base runner following a home run.

It is like two cameras in one, says Aronowitz, because we take it live and also feed incredible high-frame-rate video for bumps and edits.

A live drone is provided by New York City-based aerial-camera supplier Xizmo Media. It is operated by pilot Pablo Barrera with an assist from technician Edward Kostakis.

While it does not shoot live action, says Aronowitz, it provides an incredible sense of place around the venue for live in our cut pattern. We do not fly over people, so it does not fly over the stands. We'll sometimes fly on the field to begin or end an inning while the ball is dead.

WHEN you build it, they will come. #wcws is so epic pic.twitter.com/Gq1W0LG5XO

- Holly Rowe (@sportsiren) June 6, 2024

Aronowitz also confirmed that her team is working directly with the Federal Aviation Administration, the NCAA, and Oklahoma City authorities to ensure that all flight paths are approved in advance.

A RailCam is erected along the top of the outfield wall extending about 90 ft. from left field to centerfield. It's regularly in motion and adds depth and perspective on the speed at which action occurs in the outfield on flyballs and home runs.

The following highlight clip is a great example of how production elements like the Megalodon, SupraCam, and RailCam provide unique visuals in live and replay:

ANOTHER ONE #WCWS x ESPN / @OU_Softball pic.twitter.com/w18P0eic6T

- NCAA Softball (@NCAASoftball) June 6, 2024

UmpCam, meanwhile, offers an angle that many viewers of softball and baseball have become quite accustomed to over the years. Its first-person view is far more impactful these days, with improved image quality giving the viewer at home the sense of what it's like to be in the batter's box.

All in all, an impressive array of production tools serve up exciting depth to the images cut by the front bench, led by Coordinating Producer Nick Rud, producer Kerry Callahan, and director Anthony DeMarco. (Earlier in the World Series, in another front-bench pairing, producer Seth Miller and director Mike Griffin handled day games.)

I am a firm believer in not adding technology just for the
LINK: https://www.sportsvideo.org/2024/06/06/womens-college-world-series-202...
See more stories from svg

More from Sports Video Group

24/07/2024

LA Clippers Offer First Look at Massive Intuit Dome Halo Board

LA Clippers Offer First Look at Massive Intuit Dome Halo Board New arena set to open for the start of the 2024 NBA season this fall By Brandon Costa, Director ...

24/07/2024

Paris 2024: A Look at All 35 Olympics Venues From The River Seine to Tahiti

Paris 2024: A Look at All 35 Olympics Venues From The River Seine to Tahiti By SVG Staff Wednesday, July 24, 2024 - 10:50 am Print This Story The 2024 Sum...

24/07/2024

TNT Sports' Dave Grundtvig Finds Sonic Gold in a Second Mic Array at NBA Summer League

TNT Sports' Dave Grundtvig Finds Sonic Gold in a Second Mic Array at NBA Sum...

24/07/2024

MLB Network Launches Direct-to-Consumer Offering

MLB Network Launches Direct-to-Consumer Offering Standalone service is available at $5.99 per month By Brandon Costa, Director of Digital Wednesday, July 24,...

23/07/2024

The Next Announcer You Hear May Be Generated by AI: How NBC's AI Version of Al Michaels Changes the Game

The Next Announcer You Hear May Be Generated by AI: How NBC's AI Version of ...

23/07/2024

The Evolution - and Enduring Value - of Regional Sports Distribution: A Fireside Chat With Patrick Crakes

The Evolution - and Enduring Value - of Regional Sports Distribution: A Fireside...

23/07/2024

Skills Shortages: Collaborative Effort and Action on Diversity Needed to Avoid Industry Destabilization

Skills shortages: Collaborative effort and action on diversity needed to avoid i...

23/07/2024

Skills Shortages: Exploring the Growing Challenges Around Recruiting Top Talent

Skills shortages: Exploring the growing challenges around recruiting top talent By David Davies Tuesday, July 2, 2024 - 09:14 Print This Story Staff at wo...

23/07/2024

Save the Date: SVG Esports Production Summit Returns to L.A. on Nov. 12

Save the Date: SVG Esports Production Summit Returns to L.A. on Nov. 12 Annual event provides a gathering place for esports-production leaders as the business u...

22/07/2024

Match Ball: Bringing the PSA German Open 2024 to Global Viewers When On-Site Connectivity Failed to Deliver

Match ball: Bringing the PSA German Open 2024 to global viewers when on-site con...

22/07/2024

The Longhorns' Move to the SEC and the Next Generation of Live Video on Campus: A Conversation with University of Texas at Austin's Jeff Hanel

The Longhorns' Move to the SEC and the Next Generation of Live Video on Campus: A Conversation With University of Texas at Austin's Jeff Hanel Whats to ...

22/07/2024

ESPN's Sunday Night Baseball Statcast Edition Powered By Google Cloud Alternate Broadcast Returns With a (Shohei Ohtani) Bang

ESPN's Sunday Night Baseball Statcast Edition Powered By Google Cloud Altern...

21/07/2024

Live From the 152nd Open: NBC Sports Set for Final Round, Expands Remote Operations for Top Tracer and Live From Cameras

Live From the 152nd Open: NBC Sports Set for Final Round, Expands Remote Operati...

21/07/2024

Live from the 152nd Open: NBC Sports Set for Final Round; Expands Remote Operations for Top Tracer, Live From' Cameras

Live from the 152nd Open: NBC Sports Set for Final Round; Expands Remote Operati...

19/07/2024

NBA Summer League Is Once Again a Breeding Ground for Tech Innovation

NBA Summer League Is Once Again a Breeding Ground for Tech Innovation The goal is enhancing gameplay quality, officiating, live production, viewing experience ...

19/07/2024

NFL Flag Football May Be a Kid's Game, But ESPN Gives It the Pro Treatment

NFL Flag Football May Be a Kid's Game, But ESPN Gives It the Pro Treatment The league's new kinder, gentler entry features plenty of audio, MindFly came...

19/07/2024

A Cloud for Every Occasion: How Grabyo Supports LPGA, CONCACAF, UFC With Cloud-Based Live-Production Solutions

A Cloud for Every Occasion: How Grabyo Supports LPGA, CONCACAF, UFC With Cloud-B...

19/07/2024

Live From the 152nd Open: EMG/Gravity Media's Hamish Greig on How Little Novas' Play Big Role in 150+-Camera Production

Live From the 152nd Open: EMG/Gravity Media's Hamish Greig on How Little No...

19/07/2024

WNBA All-Star 2024: ESPN Readies for Competitive Showdown Between WNBA Stars, Team USA

WNBA All-Star 2024: ESPN Readies for Competitive Showdown Between WNBA Stars, Te...

19/07/2024

NBA Summer League Once Again a Breeding Ground for Tech Innovation

NBA Summer League Once Again a Breeding Ground for Tech Innovation By Jason Dachman, Editorial Director, U.S. Friday, July 19, 2024 - 2:55 pm Print This St...

18/07/2024

SVG New Sponsor Welcome: Mediaproxy's Mark Rushton on the Importance of Real-Time Broadcast Analysis for Live Sports

SVG New Sponsor Welcome: Mediaproxy's Mark Rushton on the Importance of Real...

18/07/2024

The Palio di Siena: EMG Italy in the Saddle for Historical Horserace

The Palio di Siena: EMG Italy in the saddle for historical horserace By Roberto Landini, Italian Correspondent Monday, July 15, 2024 - 15:51 Print This Sto...

18/07/2024

Paris 2024: NBC Sports Brings SMT Back into the Fold for Olympics Graphics, Data Presentation, Optical Tracking and More

Paris 2024: NBC Sports Brings SMT Back into the Fold for Olympics Graphics, Data...

18/07/2024

Paris 2024: NBC Sports to Bring Sound of the Games to Life With Audio-Technica Mics and Audio Gear

Paris 2024: NBC Sports to Bring Sound of the Games to Life With Audio-Technica M...

17/07/2024

All Sessions From SVG Regional Sports Production Summit 2024 Now Available To Watch on SVG PLAY

All Sessions From SVG Regional Sports Production Summit 2024 Now Available To Wa...

17/07/2024

Paris 2024: Inside Look at OBS Plans for 11,000 Hours of Games Coverage

Paris 2024: Inside Look at OBS Plans for 11,000 Hours of Games Coverage The effort ranges from the largest live-TV effort ever to personal Athlete Moments By K...

17/07/2024

Paris 2024: Topping 40, Telemundo's Olympic Commentary Team Is Its Largest Ever

Paris 2024: Topping 40, Telemundo's Olympic Commentary Team Is Its Largest E...

17/07/2024

Interview: Appear CTO Andy Rayner on R&D, Security and Future Growth

Interview: Appear CTO Andy Rayner on R&D, security and future growth By Jo Ruddock Wednesday, July 10, 2024 - 13:59 Print This Story As Appear celebrates ...

17/07/2024

Globecast Employs IP and Cloud Distribution for Malaga Premier Padel P1

Globecast employs IP and cloud distribution for Malaga Premier Padel P1 By David Davies Monday, July 15, 2024 - 15:59 Print This Story In a year that is e...

17/07/2024

Paris 2024: NBC Sports Teams Up With Chyron for Live Broadcast Graphics at Olympics

Paris 2024: NBC Sports Teams Up With Chyron for Live Broadcast Graphics at Olymp...

16/07/2024

Paris 2024: NBC Olympics Taps Sony for Imaging, Monitoring and Technical Support

Paris 2024: NBC Olympics Taps Sony for Imaging, Monitoring and Technical Support By Ken Kerschbaumer, Editorial Director Tuesday, July 16, 2024 - 9:08 am P...

16/07/2024

Live From MLB All-Star 2024: TXR Productions Takes Globe Life Field Into the Center of Game-Day Entertainment

Live From MLB All-Star 2024: TXR Productions Takes Globe Life Field Into the Cen...

16/07/2024

Live From MLB All-Star 2024: With New Technologies, Audio Production Gets Complicated

Live From MLB All-Star 2024: With New Technologies, Audio Production Gets Compli...

16/07/2024

Paris 2024: NBC Sports Selects Cisco for Olympics IP-Networking Support

Paris 2024: NBC Sports Selects Cisco for Olympics IP-Networking Support By Ken Kerschbaumer, Editorial Director Tuesday, July 16, 2024 - 1:18 pm Print This...

16/07/2024

Live From MLB All-Star 2024: MLB Network Streamlines Busy Schedule of Televised Content in Texas

Live From MLB All-Star 2024: MLB Network Streamlines Busy Schedule of Televised ...

16/07/2024

Live From MLB All-Star 2024: FOX Sports Feels Right at Home at MLB's Newest Ballpark

Live From MLB All-Star 2024: FOX Sports Feels Right at Home at MLB's Newest ...

15/07/2024

Paris 2024: NBC Sports' Olympics Efforts To Rely on Canon U.S.A. for Lens Support

Paris 2024: NBC Sports Olympics Efforts To Rely on Canon U.S.A. for Lens Support...

15/07/2024

Dave Loggins, Composer of Iconic Masters Tournament Theme Song, Dead at 76

Dave Loggins, Composer of Iconic Masters Tournament Theme Song, Dead at 76 His song Augusta' has set the stage for the PGA Masters Tournament since 1982 ...

15/07/2024

NBC Sports Olympics Efforts To Rely on Canon U.S.A. for Lens Support

NBC Sports Olympics Efforts To Rely on Canon U.S.A. for Lens Support 4K UHD and HD field, portable, and studio lenses will be deployed for Olympics, Paralympics...

15/07/2024

Live From MLB All-Star 2024: ESPN's Phil Orlins on the Benefits of New Format, 4DREPLAY at Home Run Derby

Live From MLB All-Star 2024: ESPN's Phil Orlins on the Benefits of New Forma...

15/07/2024

Live From MLB All-Star 2024: ESPN Adjusts Storytelling Approach To Meet New Rules at Home Run Derby

Live From MLB All-Star 2024: ESPN Adjusts Storytelling Approach To Meet New Rule...

14/07/2024

Live From MLB All-Star 2024: With Full Slate of Events in Arlington, MLB Network Settles In for Multi-Day MLB Draft at Cowtown Coliseum

Live From MLB All-Star 2024: With Full Slate of Events in Arlington, MLB Network...

14/07/2024

Live From MLB All-Star 2024: League's Global Events Team Runs to the Rodeo for MLB Draft in Fort Worth

Live From MLB All-Star 2024: League's Global Events Team Runs to the Rodeo f...

13/07/2024

Wimbledon 2024: Sally Richardson on the BBC's Complex and Comprehensive Coverage

Wimbledon 2024: Sally Richardson on the BBC's complex and comprehensive co...

13/07/2024

Wimbledon 2024: Whisper Expands Offering With Enhanced Access All England Feed

Wimbledon 2024: Whisper expands offering with enhanced access All England feed By Jo Ruddock Friday, July 12, 2024 - 08:57 Print This Story (L-R): Harry A...

13/07/2024

Wimbledon 2024: Moov Caps a Summer of Tennis With Extensive Role in SW19

Wimbledon 2024: Moov Caps a Summer of Tennis With Extensive Role in SW19 By Jo Ruddock, SVG Europe Saturday, July 13, 2024 - 12:13 pm Print This Story | S...

12/07/2024

Fox Sports Heads to Berlin for Euro Final; Wraps Up Massive Month of International Soccer Coverage

Fox Sports Heads to Berlin for Euro Final; Wraps Up Massive Month of Internation...

12/07/2024

Euro 2024: UEFA Gets Set for Spain v England Final

Euro 2024: UEFA gets set for Spain v England final By George Bevir Friday, July 12, 2024 - 11:19 Print This Story When England take on Spain on Sunday in ...

12/07/2024

Euro 2024: Inside UEFA's International Broadcast Centre

Euro 2024: Inside UEFA's International Broadcast Centre By George Bevir Friday, July 12, 2024 - 08:00 Print This Story The IBC in Leipzig, Germany (Ph...

12/07/2024

NBC Sports Bay Area & California's Rusty West on Vendor Partnerships Bringing Broadcast Elements to Life

NBC Sports Bay Area & California's Rusty West on Vendor Partnerships Bringin...