RPS produced world-feed broadcasts for the league, CBS Sports, RSNs, and others
In this year’s COVID-abbreviated regular season, WNBA teams played a condensed 22-game schedule in a bubble in Bradenton, FL. While ESPN/ABC handled a large chunk of the domestic broadcasts, Ross Production Services was on hand to produce the world feed for 96 WNBA games in less than two months.
The world-feed broadcasts comprised 39 telecasts on CBS Sports Network, one game on CBS, and several more on RSNs and NBA League Pass. In addition, RPS provided dirty and clean feeds for RSNs’ regional telecasts, as well as for streams on Facebook and Twitter.
“The success of the WNBA/RPS partnership was made possible through hard work, dedication, and teamwork in order to achieve both health safety and the high-level consistency of the product each and every broadcast,” says Mitch Rubenstein, VP, Ross Mobile Productions. “Combine that with innovation that has become the standard offering we provide for our customers at Ross, and it was a very rewarding and successful two months.”
RPS had two mobile units — FIN4 and FIN5 — onsite for two months with each Sprinter mobile unit supporting one of the two courts at Feld Entertainment Studios in Bradenton.
To limit crew onsite in accordance with COVID-19 safety precautions, announcers called all games remotely from home, and several traditionally manned camera positions were converted to robotics. RPS played a key role in enabling these workflows via the Ross Production Cloud and Ross Video’s Furio Live remote-control camera systems.
RPS shipped Announcer Home Kits to six commentators, including long-time basketball analysts Carolyn Peck and Debbie Antonelli, for remote commentary. Each kit provided an announcer headset, cough box, PGM return, and direct IFB and talkback with the production team in the onsite truck. The Ross Production Cloud enabled ultra-low-latency video and audio between talent with less than a half second of delay total and full remote management of kits. RPS controlled the encode and decode process, secured all video via the production portal, and allowed each talent to log in with unique info.
In addition, to keep WNBA players and personnel safe on the court, RPS used two Ross Furio Live Camera Systems on each court in lieu of traditional handheld cameras. This kept technicians off the court and eliminated the need for camera operators below each basket.
Says Rubenstein, “We were honored to work with the WNBA and its players to help provide a television platform to showcase their skills on the court and advocate for social justice.”