SBD/March 15, 2012/Media

CBS, Turner Rolling Out New Technology, Graphics For NCAA Tournament



Entering the second year of their partnership broadcasting the NCAA men’s basketball tournament, CBS Sports and Turner Sports are rolling out some new technology and graphics for the games. CBS Sports Exec Producer & VP/Production Harold Bryant said while the broadcast will have the same look as last year, the nets have enhanced it. “We have scores at the top of the screen that we call our blue flashing light. We’ve enhanced that light to alert people when a game is tight and if they need to switch over to another network,” Bryant explained. There will also be a graphic on the bottom of the score bar to signal when teams are in the bonus. “It’s a pretty standard thing that’s been added throughout the year, but we thought it was important to have it for the tournament,” Bryant said. Turner Sports Senior VP & Exec Producer Jeff Behnke said the nets have increased the number of cameras they will use during the first week. They have added a slash camera to every venue, which is a lower-level camera similar to one used in end zones at football games. Behnke said they have also added super motion to every venue that did not have it last year. He said the action cam -- or sky cam -- was present at only one regional site last year, but will appear at all four this year. “We are also going to be adding a virtual 360 telestrator at a couple sites next week as well,” Behnke said. For the telestrators, the nets are working with sports media companies Red Bee and LiberoVision. Behnke said LiberoVision will be used for next weekend’s Midwest regional in St. Louis, while Red Bee will be used for the South regional in Atlanta. Bryant added Red Bee will be also used for the Final Four in New Orleans. Behnke also mentioned an outside vendor has revamped the set that will be used on location at the Final Four. “We’ve expanded the footprint by eight square feet. We’re bringing in a design that complements our N.Y. and Atlanta studios,” Behnke said. “It’s going to have a huge digital screen on the front of the desk, so that’s a big upgrade for us at the Final Four.”

BUILDING BLOCKS: Behnke and Bryant both said having last year’s experience to build on has made their partnership more effective. “From the Turner side, the CBS folks, we depended on them enormously and we still do because they had 30 years of experience doing the tournament,” Behnke said. “Now we’ve got the building blocks of doing it together and we’ve learned a lot. And I think it’s fair to say that CBS has learned a lot about the way that Turner goes about it with our history of doing basketball.” Bryant echoed Behnke’s point, saying it was “nice to have some fresh eyes.” He said, “We’ve got the 30 years of experience, but it was nice to take a new perspective.”
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