Television Sports Production

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ISBN 9781138781306; Paperback
276 Pages

5th Edition
Television Sports Production
By Jim Owens

Book Description

Unlike a studio production, many factors can adversely affect your television sports shoot including weather, lighting, and natural sound. A successful shoot is dependent on extensive planning, careful budgetting, technology, location, and a thorough understanding of the intricacies of the sport itself. With so much at stake, why not learn from an expert?

In Television Sports Production, Fifth Edition Jim Owens walks you through the planning, set-up, directing, announcing, shooting, and editing involved with covering a sports event. This manual gives you the tools to effectively cover sports ranging such as football, soccer, and basketball. Tips and advice on using mobile units, cameras, audio equipment, and lighting rigs will enable you to produce live or recorded coverage like an expert and capture professional-quality footage on the first take. After all, there are no instant replays!

This new edition has been updated to include:

    Techniques used by producers to capture the essence of individual

    Tips on shooting in 3D, 5D, 4k and 8K

    Coverage using surround sound and the second screen

    Extras such as camera and microphone diagrams and an easy-reference glossary

Table of Contents


Foreword xi

Acknowledgments xiii

Preface 1


Chapter 1 What Is Remote Production? 7

Live-to-Tape 8

Remote versus Studio Production 8

Chapter 2 Personnel 9

Personnel Descriptions 9

Freelance Personnel 17

Chapter 3 What is Television 21

Defining Television

Multiplatform Television 23

Platform Integration 25

How is Television Changing 26

Television Formats 26

High Definition Television

3D Television

4K Television

8K Television

Future Television

4-8K 3D

Holograms 26

Chapter 4 The Second Screen & Social Media

What Makes a Good Second Screen 29

Partnerships are Paramount: Case Studies

Social Media

Balancing the Budget 29

Chapter 5 The Mobile Production Unit 27

The Remote Truck Mobile Unit 29

Inside a Remote Truck

Production Area in a Remote Truck 29

Audio Area 30

Record/Videotape Area 30

Video Control Area

IT Structure 31

Outside the Remote Truck

The Compound 31

Virtual Remote Productions 31

The Flypack 32

All-in-One Mobile Production Unit 34

Complex All-in-One Production Unit

Computer Based Mobile Production Unit

Communication Devices 37


Chapter 6 Planning the Production 41

Coordination Meetings 42

Remote Surveys 43

The Contacts 44

Venue Access 44

Location Costs 46

Electrical Power

Other Areas for Survey Consideration 46

Program Transmission 46

Other Areas that Significantly Impact the Survey 47

Location Sketch 81

Backup Plans 81

Chapter 7 Cameras

Camera Placement

Types of Cameras

Why POV/Robotic Cameras

Camera Set-up Checklist

Camera Shots

Camera Movement

Camera/Lens Moves

Shooting Sports


Caring for the Camera

Chapter 8 Lighting

Indoor Venue

Outdoor Venue

Other Lighting Concerns

Chapter 9 Audio Production

Stereo Audio for Television

Basic 5.1 Surround Sound

Audio Levels

Microphone Pick-up Patterns

Microphone Sound Generating Elements

Types of Microphones

Phantom Power

Microphone Accessories

Microphone Placement

Gamestime Audio

Communications (Intercom) Systems

Prerecorded Audio

Chapter 10: Graphics

Television Graphics Goals

Tips on Making Great TV Graphics

Viewer Enhancement Tools

The FoxTrax

Virtual Information Graphics

Virtual Ads


Transposition Replay Systems


Chapter 11: Pre-production and Set-up 85

Production Meetings 85

The Show Format 85

Equipment Set-up 86

Cabling 88

Camera Meetings 91

Facilities Check 92

Schedule 97

Rehearsals 97


Chapter 12 The Production 101

Producing the Remote 101

Directing the Remote 102

Types of Sports Action 102

Action Flow 102

Stop-and-Go Sports 102

Directing Stop-and-Go Action 103

Directing Emphasis on Scoring 104

Pumping 104

Continuous Action Sports 105

Camera Action Tends to Be Rapid 107

Increase in Shot Size 108

Camera Changes During Action 108

Team and Individual Sports 108

Team Sports 108

Individual Sports 108

Building Emotional Involvement 109

Dealing with the Dominant Player 109

Limited Space for Coverage 110

Horizontal versus Vertical versus Circular Action 10

Horizontal Action 110

Vertical Action 111

Circular Action 111

Combinations 111

Coverage Design 112

Follow-the-Bouncing-Ball 112

Needs of the Audience 112

Directing Style 113

Facilities and Coverage 114

Directing Cameras 114

Assigning Cameras 114

Camera Initiative 116

Directing Replays 116

Directing Graphics 117

Shading 126

The Crew 133

Chapter 13: Directing: Telling the Story

Understanding Story

"We Are Going to Add Show Business to Television Sports"

The Sports Director’s Role as a Storyteller



The Viewer’s Position

Equipment Enhancement

Directing is Like Conducting a Symphony

Chapter 14 Sports Announcing 135

Play-by-Play Sportscast Training 135


Television Announcer Sports Cliches

Announcers and the Broadcast Booth 135


Doing the Interview 139

Go Beyond the Obvious 140

Spotters 141

Chapter 15 Post-production 143

Editing Guidelines 146

Chapter 16 Production Safety 147

Trips & Slips 147

Weight 148

Hearing 148

Electrical Power 148

Cables 149

Weather 149

Heights 150

Hazardous Areas 150

Chapter 17 Budgeting for the Remote

Budgeting Case Study

Equipment Rental

Crew Costs

Operational Costs


Chapter 11 Milestones in Sports Broadcasting 155

Appendix I Truck Diagrams 161

Appendix II Camera Placement Diagrams 167

Baseball: Small Production

Baseball: Large Production

Basketball: Small Production

Basketball: Large Production


Football (American)


Soccer/Football: Small Production

Soccer/Football: Large Production


Tennis: Small Production

Tennis: Large Production

Volleyball: Small Production

Volleyball: Large Production

Appendix III Microphone Placement Diagrams 197

Baseball: Audio Diagram

Basketball: Audio Diagram

Soccer/Football: Audio Diagram

Tennis: Audio Diagram

Appendix IV Event Storyboards 233

Opening Ceremony XIX Olympic Winter Games

Appendix V Sports Announcing Article 241

Glossary 261

Index 275

Author Biography

Jim Owens has worked and taught in the video and television industry for over 30 years. His international television work has included fourteen Olympic broadcasts and has taken him to over thirty countries. He is the author of the Video Production Handbook, Television Production, and Television Sports Production and has had over thirty articles published in television and broadcast magazines in the United States and Europe. Owens is Dean of the School of Communication Arts at Asbury University in Wilmore, Kentucky, where he has taught since 1981.

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