TNT brings the “All Access” mentality to the DeChambeau-Koepka show
In what has become a Thanksgiving tradition for golf fans, Turner Sports will produce the next episode of Capital One’s The Match Friday live from Wynn Las Vegas. The latest edition, which features fierce rivals Bryson DeChambeau and Brooks Koepka face-to-face, will bring back many of The Match’s core production tools, including Cart Cam, Aerial Drones, Microphone Players / Caddies, and Toptracer Shot Tracking.
“What makes this event special and what we’re really looking to capture is this intimacy with the golfers,” says Chris Brown, Vice President, Operations and Technology, Turner Sports. “This is the very essence of The Match. Between the Cart Cam, the RF microphones [on players and caddies], and everything in between, we feel ready to make fans feel like they’re on the right track. [with DeChambeau and Koepka]. “
All about access: Cart Cam, Golfer Mics back on the fairway
As an exhibition match for charity, The Match provides fertile ground for production technological innovation, and Turner capitalized on the event accordingly. Most notable of its innovations is the Cart Cam, which captures competitors as they move around shot to shot in their golf carts.
“If I make a list of [our] main innovations during COVID, the Cart Cam would be very close to the top, ”says Brown. “I think seeing and hearing this intimate moment inside the golf cart with the players is quite special. Cart Cams are definitely back [this week], and they’re here to stay.
The two player carts will be equipped with three BSI camera systems: a robotics and a POV at the front left / right of the cart, a third POV behind the shoulder overlooking the course. BSI supplies Turner Sports with the same high-tech systems (with a few minor tweaks) used for on-board cameras on NASCAR and other auto racing shows.
“It was lightning in a bottle that we were able to do at the start,” says Brown. “When we did The Match in [May] 2020, virtually all production was halted at the time [due to the pandemic]. When we did this show we could literally have almost anything we wanted in terms of gear. And, since the NASCAR season had been interrupted, all this equipment was available.
“So we actually have the same BSI POVs and the same robotics used for NASCAR in these Cart Cams,” he continues. “Since then we have managed to schedule the game during times when this equipment is available and BSI has enough of these systems. [to serve us]. They know we love to do the Cart Cam, so they make sure they’re available for us.
In addition to using Cart Cam, Turner’s production team will be looking to capture intimate, unrestricted moments with DeChambeau and Koepka via wireless RF mics on golfers and caddies. Turner is also deploying a Unity IP-based intercom system to provide golfers with a mix-minus audio stream so they can hear each other as well as advertisers.
“We hope to capture this caddy / golfer conversation in the cart and on the course with the mics and Cart Cams,” says Brown. “It’s every scratch golfer’s dream to hear what Brooks and Bryson are talking about with their caddies.”
Capture “The Match”: Drones, Tracer Cams, More
Given the proximity of the Wynn Golf Course to the McCarren International Airport, Turner is unable to use a traditional aerial shot. Instead, TNT’s coverage will include live aerial feeds from a drone (provided by Kane Aerial Production) as well as live view from the rooftop of the Wynn Las Vegas hotel.
In addition to the Cart Cams and the drone, Turner’s 27-camera add-on includes three Tracer Cams for Toptracer shots (two RF, one wired), one RF Steadicam, one RF jib, and four additional portable RFs.
“We are very heavy on RF [mics and cameras] for those shows, ”Brown notes. “The key is to be able to have this transparency [RF] coverage over the entire golf course. Here we are helped by the fact that this is a 12 hole golf course which is all relatively flat so it is much easier to cover from an RF point of view – unlike some [previous versions of The Match] where we had difficult terrain that we had to conquer.
In the compound: ND7 serves TNT; Handles Atlantic B / R
NEP ND7 (units A and B) is on site to house the production of The Match. Without an official pre-game studio show this year, Turner was able to locate the entire production in ND7 rather than multiple trucks.
Instead of a traditional studio show, Bleacher Report is broadcast live Brooks & Bryson: press conference in the hot seat before the match. Starting at 2:30 p.m. ET, the interactive Q&A will feature inquiries from fans on the B / R social media and the B / R app, as well as questions posed by a handful of special guests before check-out time is 4 p.m. ET..
In addition to the deployment of the NEP Atlantic mobile unit on-site, the live broadcast will be produced with the multi-site / REMI workflows developed by Turner during the pandemic to unite Vegas, New York and Atlanta.
“The launderer’s report [press conference] is going to be a unique combination that connects the remote site [in Vegas] and the B / R headquarters in New York with a production team sitting in Atlanta to produce the event, ”says Brown. “All the work that we did during the pandemic and the technology that we acquired to do these [remote] productions have enabled us to transform this technology and produce this live press event as efficiently as possible. We will look for other opportunities like this in the future.
Building a Legacy: The Evolution of “The Match”
Since the first chapter of The Match in 2018, which starred Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods, Turner Sports has strived to create a whole new golf viewing experience for fans. Friday, this mission continues.
“Taking an idea and watching it grow into what we made of it was amazing,” says Brown. “We were able to present something unique and we are very proud of it. We don’t go into a traditional golf course and don’t use traditional camera positions and traditional movements to cover it. We all want to cover it in unique ways.
“As the production teams got more and more creative in how to present this,” he continues, “we were able to respond to that on the tech side and make that vision a reality. Ultimately, that’s our goal. It has been wonderful to be a part of that and to see all the hard work that everyone has put into it. “
TNT will exclusively broadcast the 12-hole event live (as well as simulcasts on TBS, truTV and HLN) starting at 4 p.m. ET from the Wynn Golf Course on the Las Vegas Strip.