The latest happnings from around the world of sports

ScheduALL to provide operations management for NBC’s 2008 Summer Olympics coverage.

NBC is implementing the ScheduALL operations management software to schedule and manage feeds for the network’s coverage of the Olympic Games in Beijing. ScheduALL will originate and distribute content scheduling information across a wide array of broadcast and broadband media outlets.

The Beijing Olympics marks the third consecutive broadcast of the Olympic Games in which NBC has used ScheduALL, and, with more than 3600 hours of coverage planned, the broadcasting logistics are by far the most complex. Also, for the first time in the United States, NBC will provide live streaming video coverage of events over broadband outlets including Web sites and cell phones.

ScheduALL is a key component of a comprehensive digital media asset solution currently in implementation at NBC that will manage 48 HD feeds and up to 32 streaming encoders for transmitting Olympic content. The software will store and manage critical information such as start and stop times for each event, video router assignments and satellite uplink scheduling, and then pass this information automatically to downstream systems to facilitate on-air coverage for each feed. In addition, ScheduALL will generate reports with scheduling and resource allocation data that can be easily accessed by personnel in the NBC’s Beijing operations center as well as the company’s central broadcasting facility in New York.

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SportsTime Ohio debuts HD channel

SportsTime Ohio, a 24-hour regional sports network, has launched a new HD channel and is now producing the 133 Cleveland Indians baseball games it will air this season (both home and away) in HD. Last year, the network broadcast all the Indian’s home games in HD. Cleveland NBC affiliate WKYC-TV will air the remaining 20 games in HD.

SportsTime Ohio is currently airing 18 hours of programming during a typical weekday in HD, including all the Indian games and their original studio productions. A few programs produced by outside companies will still be in SD.

Pittsburgh Pirates train with pitching simulator

ProBatter Sports, based in Milford, CT, has signed a deal with the Pittsburgh Pirates to provide two of its ProBatter PX2 video pitching simulators. The Pirates will be installing the ProBatter systems, which employ technology to recreate the experience of facing live pitching, at their PNC Park home in Pittsburgh as well as their Pirate City spring training site in Bradenton, FL.

The ProBatter PX2 system allows a hitter to face a DVD-quality image of a real pitcher, which is projected onto an 8ft by 10ft screen. The pitcher winds up (or throws from a stretch) -- at the moment of release, an actual ball is fired through a small hole in the screen, delivering virtually any pitch a human being can. Hitters can be challenged by an endless array of fastballs, sinkers, cutters, curves, sliders, change-ups, etc. – at speeds up to 100 mph and variable in increments of two mph. Moreover, the pitches can be delivered with pinpoint accuracy and thrown to pre-selected locations inside and outside the strike zone.