“The Safe Return of Regional Sports Using Remote Production”
“Our world was turned upside down in March,” admits Mobile TV Group COO Nick Garvin, “but we’re back to work.”
Since July, the company’s been producing multiple live sporting events daily, but as Garvin says, “It’s a new world for us.” MTVG has been implementing changes and workflows, to make sure, Garvin continues, “we keep everyone safe.” Although this has meant the mandatory adoption of masks, upgraded filters, frequently sterilization, individual headsets, dividers (designed and manufactured in house), redesigned areas of the mobile units to allow for protection between team members and social distancing, MTVG has also employed new approaches for a safe return to work.
In the second “show-and-tell” session of the Collectively Speaking event, “The Safe Return of Regional Sports Using Remote Production,” Garvin, joined by Peter Wehner, Director of Engineering for MTVG, explains how live sports broadcasts are adapting the NBA and NHL’s “bubble” isolation model. For the NAB’s “bubble” in Orlando, FL, Wehner notes, “We have a full crew producing the regional material, but the feeds are sent back [from Orlando] to our mobile units at the local venue. We’ve created a whole new broadcast [model].” (For MLB teams, playing outside of a bubble but to empty stadiums, MTVG produces its regular, local venue-based broadcast.)
“The production workflow is so important to networks, to our clients,” Garvin emphasizes, “and that’s something we’re extra-sensitive about. We have to change in this new world, but realistically we have to keep their workflow intact while keeping them safe and offering them technologies for working remotely.” To this end, MTVG launched a page on its site “strictly for distancing,” Garvin says, chartings measurements and specs for the updated units and positions.
Wehner reports that clients have been responsive to these new precautions and configurations: “It’s not ideal, but everyone’s really adapted well.”
“Change is hard,” Garvin admits, “but when the options are ‘change’ or ‘not work, the decision becomes pretty easy.”