WGBA On Top of Wisconsin Sports With Broadcast Pix

GREEN BAY, WIS.—At WGBA, the NBC affiliate in Green Bay, we used to rent a large production truck to produce nearly 100 events per year. However, it’s hard to make money on remote shoots when you spend so much renting a truck. Despite downsizing to a Broadcast Pix Granite 1000 integrated production switcher, our station continues to deliver solid local sports and event programming.

It’d be fair to say we are a Broadcast pix “power user;” we push just about every feature on the Granite pretty hard, and it’s worked very well. The Granite anchors our six year-old Mercedes Benz Sprinter 3500 remote production van.

We chose the Granite mainly for the size—the interior of the Sprinter is pretty tight—but you also get a lot of bang for your buck with Broadcast Pix. We populate three monitors in the van with built-in multiview, including our main monitor for the director and audio operators, plus dedicated monitors for graphics and replay. We’ve also assigned five Panasonic HD cameras to the unit, each with 500 feet of cable, as well as a few POV analog cameras for specific shots. We also use all six keyers regularly and the clip and animation stores constantly.

The Granite switcher serves as the anchor for WGBA’s Mercedes Benz Sprinter 3500 remote production van.

The Granite production switcher also provides frame sync on all inputs—a huge time saver. For example, when we cover the Green Bay Gamblers, our local United States Hockey League team, we include footage from the in-house scoreboard production team. We receive their camera feeds via fiber, then convert them to HDSDI and switch them in our production.

We use the Granite switcher for two of our most popular productions focusing on the Green Bay Packers. We produce “The Mike McCarthy Show,” a 30-minute weekly program every Tuesday during the NFL season featuring the team’s head coach, for WTMJ-TV, the NBC affiliate in Milwaukee; as well as “Packers Live,” which is shot live on Monday nights at Lambeau Field during the season.

Last summer, we produced live coverage of Brett Favre’s induction into the Packers Hall of Fame, which was carried by local stations and NFL Network. With so many outlets needing access, it was a very complicated production, so the Granite’s aux buses came in very handy. I could just provide separate feeds right off the switcher without the need for an additional outside switcher.

Starting in August we’ll begin weekly high school football, as well as high school basketball games. With Broadcast Pix’s Rapid CG software, we can interface directly with Daktronics scoreboards, so we get score and game clock data inserted automatically into our graphics without having to type in the information.

We expanded our production calendar last summer with coverage for the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers, a minor league team of the Milwaukee Brewers. We’re also using the truck more for news, including weather segments on location throughout the viewing area.

Whatever you give the Granite, it’ll handle it.

Tom Matthies is the live event producer/director for WGBA. Contact him attom.matthies@nbc26.com.

For more information, please visitwww.broadcastpix.comor call 978-600-1100.