All Hokie, All the Time. Period.

Virginia Tech Olympic Sports


Joined: 03/13/2001 Posts: 176
Likes: 115

Softball TV coverage and production, notes and thoughts

After seeing several posts about how bad the production value, camera's available, lack of announcers, etc for the FSU games at GT, I wanted to pass along a few things. Just what I've seen and learned working in a softball press box for almost 15+ years and seen firsthand a little of the TV side of things. Might be a little random, so sorry in advance.

-There are a couple types of broadcast. What we saw with the VT-FSU games, that is what is called a "pass through." Single camera with no announcers. Even the mighty SEC programs have pass through games, so don't think it's a money thing. All of UT's games over this past weekend were pass throughs.

-What we got with the Clemson series was about as close to a regular TV broadcast you are going to get online. Announcers for these games are typically local or very close driving distance to said school and the school and I'm sure along with the ACCN help choose these people. Also your camera people are most likely going to be students, as you can get by paying very little to them and they get the "experience."

-The ability to produce a game might depend on what other sporting events are going on at the same time, or weekend. I'm guessing the on campus studios that ACCN is requiring everyone to have can only produce so many events at a single time. So if people have baseball, a spring football game, softball, tennis, and who knows what else, things won't make it on air because they just don't have enough cameras, people etc. I remember complaining several years ago, why baseball was getting an online game, but not softball. That doesn't happen too often anymore.

-This is just a guess, with budget cuts and Covid, I think we're going to see possibly more pass through games this season. Less people needed to put on a game, and therefore easier to socially distance staff if there are no camera people, announcers, directors, etc. Not sure if anyone watched last weekend, Beth Mowins and Michelle Smith called an SEC Network softball game between Kansas and LSU from their homes, like many other sports you've seen this year. Hopefully I'm wrong on this guess, but schools are going to save money anyway they can, and schools who are not as invested in their softball programs like we are, just won't throw the $$ at it and just coast with a single camera thinking that will make everyone happy.

-Be happy with what we are getting!! My first memories of college softball are from watching the Women's College World Series when I got home from high school in the mid to late 90s. That was the ONLY softball on TV back then period, other than the Olympics. As we have seen with the explosion of college softball, coverage has expanded. Just a few short years ago, the first games on TV wouldn't be on till sometime in March. I always eagerly awaited the TV schedule to come out and the 1 or 2 times I could see VT on tv down here in TN. We are now getting online games and even that SECN game I mentioned above on regular TV, available the first weekend of the season!! That is unheard of till this year!!

-Be patience with the ACCN, they'll figure out what works and does not work. The SECN had their same growing pains in production, on camera talent, etc. Unfortunately, since last year was cut short, the ACCN didn't even get in a whole softball season, so they are kinda in year 1 now vs year 2 as they should in regards to their softball coverage. However hopefully what ESPN learned with the SECN launch, will payoff as the ACCN grows.

-And let's be honest, if UVA and ACC school X were playing in Blacksburg, would we waste money on producing a game? The only games I've ever seen produced like a normal broadcast that did not involve the home team, were NCAA Regionals.

Thank you for indulging my ramblings. Let me know if anyone has specific questions.

Posted: 02/22/2021 at 12:26AM


Insert a Link

Enter the title of the link here:

Enter the full web address of the link here -- include the "http://" part:

Current Thread:
Softball TV coverage and production, notes and thoughts -- VTsportscaster 02/22/2021 12:26AM
  Yes in a certain way -- VTsportscaster 02/24/2021 11:40PM
  Thanks for this added context -- RVAHokie05 02/22/2021 10:46AM
  Great information. Thanks. -- VTChip 02/22/2021 10:26AM
  No fans?? Now that is sad. -- VTsportscaster 02/22/2021 12:08PM
  Good info ** -- Razor4VT 02/22/2021 09:56AM

Our Sponsors