CHARLOTTE, N.C.—The Big South Conference is an NCAA Division I collegiate athletic conference that includes 11 member schools. When I arrived at Big South 12 years ago, the video equipment across the conference was a ragtag collection of technology. But when the conference began streaming its sports content to our own website, an agreement between the member schools created what I call “centralized video planning.” The result was a basic production infrastructure and workflow that would provide some consistency in our multi-camera sports coverage.
Since then, our conference has adopted a staggered upgrade path, which continues to set new benchmarks in quality. The recent need for a camera upgrade coincided with the move from streaming on our own Big South website to the ESPN+ streaming subscription service. We wanted to make a serious investment, and we wanted to do it right.
RIGHT TOOL FOR THE JOB
As a result, we standardized on JVC ProHD GY-HM850 shoulder-mount camcorders, which are a big improvement over our previous handheld camcorders with integrated lenses. It’s a really nice piece of equipment, and it’s the right tool for the job for us. I’ve gotten positive feedback from virtually all the members—they are appreciative of having these JVC cameras in their arsenals. These are top-notch camera setups.
The conference purchased 36 camera packages, three for each of the member schools and three for the conference office in Charlotte, N.C. Each camera package includes the GY-HM850, an interchangeable Fujinon lens with hand grip focus and zoom controls, ProHD 7-inch LCD viewfinder and a Miller tripod.
Our conference streams hundreds of sporting events throughout the school year and provides a package of about 50 contests to ESPN3. The new JVC cameras are also used to provide coverage of press conferences on the Big South website, and each school’s athletic department can use the cameras for other projects across campus.
COVERING THE BASES
Deliveries on the camera packages began last fall, and all schools were equipped in time for basketball season. As part of the Big South’s agreement with ESPN+, each school provides at least a three-camera shoot for all home games for nine different sports—football, men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s soccer, baseball, softball, volleyball and lacrosse—plus championships and other sporting events as scheduling allows.
What we wanted was the ability to tell our schools, “Here’s everything you need,” and execute that within our budget. JVC really understood what the conference was attempting to do and where we were going. There was really one clear winner on that.
Mark Bryant is the director of broadcast services and development for the Big South Conference. Contact him at email@example.com.
For more information, visit jvc.com.