BBL looks to break new ground with automated TV production
The British Basketball League is to test automated television production at games starting next month, it was announced today.
The trials will determine whether the technology will be deployed on a wider scale in the BBL, which would make it the first UK league to go down this route.
The BBL first started to consider the use of automated TV production systems three years ago, when the technology was considered too primitive, and, in the last year, has been working with providers, testing systems and advising manufacturers on its requirements for basketball.
The first game to be covered by an automated TV system will be the clash between DBL Sharks Sheffield and Esh Group Eagles Newcastle on 14 December.
The game will be shown live on the BBL website at www.bbl.org.uk
SmartCourt, the chosen TV production system, was developed in Israel by technology firm PlaySight and is being installed for the BBL test at the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield, the home of the Sharks, in conjunction with the league’s media and production partners Perform and Televideo.
The system features 4K cameras and artificial intelligence, and offers automated multi-angle views, plus the option to add manned cameras for on-court interviews.
It also assimilates commentary, graphics, an integrated scoreboard and clock, video on demand, a video assistant referee system, automated highlights packages, social media clips and live video for coaches and fans.
Chen Shachar, the chief executive and co-founder of PlaySight, said: “The BBL has been very thorough in their testing of basketball technologies, and we are thrilled that they have gone with our SmartCourt platform for this test. As a company, we're driven by athlete development and improvement, but along the way have developed an affordable and high-quality broadcast component using the new technology - which we call automated production."
Bob Hope, the commercial director of the BBL, added: “This is a significant development for the British Basketball League and the sport in general. The production quality we have witnessed during pre-tests has been exceptional. I have been involved in basketball and TV production for over 30 years. There is no doubt in my mind that automated TV is going to radically alter the way in which sports are covered for linear television and OTT streaming platforms in the future, and I am immensely proud that BBL is pioneering this exciting and brand-new technology in the UK.”
Image courtesy of BBL