1st and Ten Lines Wembley

Sportvision’s 1st and Ten Line is about to make its debut in London’s Wembley Stadium. The now-familiar graphics feature that clearly illustrates the first down for TV viewers made the trip across the pond with the rest of the Fox Sports contingent for the National Football League’s first regular season game played overseas. The 5-2 New York Giants take on the winless Miami Dolphins in Wembley this Sunday, Oct. 28.
Mike Jakob, spokesman for Chicago-based Sportvision, said the preparation involved some minor tweaking for 1st and Ten, the software-based graphics program that overlays a yellow line on the field of play. The application required a bit of polishing to be deployed via PAL, the European broadcast standard.
“It’s not terribly difficult for us,” he said. “It was an issue of PAL versus NTSC. Our system can handle PAL, but we normally don’t use it. We’re always adding new features to the software, and it had been a while since we tested everything on PAL.”
Jakob said the event had the same energy of the season opener.
“It feels like the first show of the year,” he said. “Typically during the first of the year, we have three set days. Instead of a normal game day with one set day, we have three set days over there.”
The Wembley appearance is a timely one for Sportvision, which is trying to break into the European football world. Jakob said ESPN uses Sportvision graphics for Major League Soccer in the United States, but European leagues are not yet on board. Jakob said Sportvision was “in talks with parties in Europe about deploying in soccer."