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Volume 22 No. 35
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ACC Network eager to test out technology

If there’s a new technology that enhances the broadcast of a live game, the ACC Network wants to experiment with it.

 

That’s the approach Amy Rosenfeld is taking with the soon-to-launch channel. She is head of production for ACC Network and a senior coordinating producer for ESPN, which puts her in a prime spot to learn about and implement new technologies.

“Got a new twist on the pylon cam or the helmet cam, we’ll test it,” she said. “The schools have been very forward-thinking about wanting to be the leaders in that way and pushing access.”

The first initiative to improve game production already is in the works. ESPN will embed cameras in the soccer goal posts at five ACC schools this season, providing a unique camera angle that the network has used in its MLS broadcasts, but not previously in college soccer.

The five schools that will be using the goalpost cam initially are Duke, Florida State, North Carolina, Notre Dame and Virginia. They’ll be receiving new soccer goals that have holes cut out where the camera goes. ESPN is covering the costs of any new equipment that’s implemented for a broadcast.

Rosenfeld, in her 12th year at ESPN, grew up in the production business working soccer matches around the world. It’s not surprising that she was drawn to soccer first with the conference channel, which launches Aug. 22.

She also has her sights on several other production enhancements, such as never-before-tried camera angles, microphones in the ground to pick up additional audio and more miked players and coaches.

“We want to take some creative chances,” Rosenfeld said.

Louisville’s first-year coach Scott Satterfield, for example, will have a camera crew following his football team in training camp for an all-access show that will debut Sept. 1. Clemson coach Dabo Swinney has one, too. Such shows have become more common in recent years, but ACC Network wanted to establish early on that access would be a critical component of the channel’s content.

The reason it makes sense to try these new or enhanced concepts on a conference channel, Rosenfeld said, is because the coaches and players will have deeper relationships and trust with the in-house production crew at each school.

“We want to be the beta test for a lot of technical initiatives,” she said. “Immersive reality, augmented reality, new camera angles — why not? We’re going to be in the weeds as a test pilot.”