Mobile TV Group Becomes Major Utility Player in MLB

Last week, I spent a few hours at Appalachian State University attending an event for soon-to-be graduates of the School of Communication. My panel focused on turning your passion for sports into a career and how to become a daily beat writer. I am proud of the school and love giving back.

What don’t I love? I feel a little nauseous knowing that I have been left out of the group of “young graduates.”

For Mobile TV Group, the arrival of MLB Opening Day on Thursday is another important day on a busy year-round sports calendar. The company builds, installs and operates mobile production units. We cover approximately 4,500 live events each year.

Opening Day will reflect 30 years of broadcast experience, often working with MLB. The company continues to strengthen its ties with the league this season, supporting local broadcasts for MLB’s D-backs, Padres and Rockies. For MTVG, this means additional equipment that gives the broadcast an even richer feel.

MTVG COO Nick Garvin estimates that a complete MTVG unit with all cameras and systems weighs approximately 80,000 pounds. For local media broadcasts of MLB, MTVG installed more than 20 gadgets, including robotic cameras to capture plays, dugout cameras, and wireless cameras with shallow depth of field (for the dramatic look that’s all the rage in sports production right now). Added for broadcast. MTVG also plans to incorporate MLB’s graphics machines and servers into its private cloud.

MLB’s Plan B

MLB took over the Padres and D-Backs broadcasts last season after media rights returned to the league from Diamond Sports Group. SBJ colleague Eric Bacharach dissected MLB’s strategy moving forward with these pieces in this week’s SBJ Magazine, and league EVP and local media Billy Chambers said: Many of the functions within it have never been done at a regional level before. ”

Diamond’s eventual bankruptcy is one of two RSN suspensions that Garvin and MTVG faced in 2023. When the AT&T Sportsnet channel was shut down, Garvin said that the cities MTVG served around the affected cities were Denver, Houston, Pittsburgh, and Las Vegas (MTVG works with his NBA and his NHL broadcasts). Masu). “That was a pretty stressful time,” Garvin said, resulting in conversations with the league that will help MTVG prepare for its next move.

The flip side of the RSN buzz was a direct opportunity to ensure daily content reaches local sports fans who crave it.

“I’m very proud of how we got through this turbulent period,” Garvin said of last season. “…every team, every league, every network, one thing everyone can agree on is that these games need to be captured. The biggest question is where and how they are viewed. Yes, and that’s important to us.”

Garvin said MTVG was scheduled to participate in 12 of the 15 games originally scheduled for Opening Day. There will be a total of 16 productions. That means in some cases, like the D-Backs vs. Rockies game, MTVG will oversee both home and away broadcasts. Garvin told SBJ that 122 pieces will be produced over 86 games in the first week of MLB competition alone.

Mobile TV Group will assist with broadcast production for 12 of 15 games during Thursday's MLB Opening Day

Mobile TV Group will help produce 12 games on MLB Opening Day on Thursday

During his more than four years at YES Network, Matt Duarte has devoted much of his energy to the YES App. The platform has been around since its launch in 2021, in 2022 it added Pick-N-Play Live (a free-to-play prediction game), and last year it introduced DTC Viewing and its YES Rewards program. did. With each enhancement, Duarte, RSN’s vice president and head of strategy and business development, wants to see how loyal his Yankees fans are and how interested they are in a more immersive and engaging experience. has become clear.

“Given their passion and how the Yankees reinvest in their team, facilities and players every year, we want to do the same in terms of what we’re building and what we’re trying to do. I feel it’s equally very important to ‘act on the side of YES,”’ Duarte told SBJ. “Especially when it comes to apps.”

And those changes are working well so far. According to the network, during the 2023 Yankees season, the average time spent per user on the YES app increased by more than 8% year-over-year, despite a 13% reduction in game time. During spring training this year, YES saw a 49% increase in unique viewers per game over the previous year.

Level up your engagement

This year, YES is enhancing the app experience with dynamic on-air questions through a partnership with Kero Sports. Viewers will see questions pop up on the screen that reflect the in-game situation and possible outcomes. The person who correctly predicts the play and accumulates the most His YES coins by the end of the game will receive His YES Rewards, which can be redeemed for gift cards from Yankees brands His partners such as Amazon, Uber Eats, Dunkin’, etc. Points will be awarded.

Previously, such questions included a menu-driven presentation that allowed users to guess the outcome of an at-bat based on a list of common outcomes (single, double, triple, home run, etc.). Now, Coach Duarte said that if Aaron Judge walks with the bases loaded, fans will be able to choose whether or not he can score two or more runs.

yes network

“If you want to do something more passive, you can opt in or out of the experience,” Duarte said. “But the bottom line is that [the dynamic questions] It changes and evolves based on your partner’s algorithm over the course of the game. ”

Kero Sports offers similar services through team apps for the Falcons, Bulls, and Vikings. Duarte said YES first heard about the company several years ago, adding that Kero Sports is “very positive about growing” with the experience the YES app wanted to create. Duarte said Kero Sports helped build the infrastructure for the YES Rewards program, which he said integrated smoothly into YES’ existing partnership with the fan loyalty and engagement platform LiveLike. . “I like to think of them as an overall connective tissue,” Duarte said of LiveLike.

Other YES app additions this year include the YES Rewards referral program, compatibility with LG and Vizio smart TVs, a secondary Spanish language feed, and improvements to live stats features.

YES app features dynamic in-game questions during Yankees games in partnership with Kero Sports

  • The Blackhawks are offering commemorative physical tickets for $10 that include an augmented reality component that recreates “Blackhawks Classic” moments should something significant happen on or off the ice during the game.
  • Cosm has a multi-year partnership with ESPN to produce NBA, NHL, U.S. Open Tennis, College Football, Men’s/Women’s College Basketball, College Baseball/Softball, and select UFC matches in upcoming shared reality venues. He promised to broadcast it, SBJ colleague Rob Schaefer reported.
  • NHL Network’s coverage Friday night marked a new frontier in innovation for the league. Working closely with technology partner AWS, the NHL produced Capitals vs. Hurricanes entirely from the cloud. It’s the first time a game like this has been broadcast live, writes SBJ’s Joe Lemire.
  • The Nationals and Giants, along with the Phillies and Astros, will be using MLB’s Go-Ahead Entry facial recognition ticketing solution this season, Schaefer said.
  • The Blackhawks and NBC Sports Chicago will air the first RSN animated alternate cast during the April 6 matinee vs. Stars game, Lemire wrote. The theme for the family-friendly game, which will be broadcast on NBC Sports Chicago Plus, is “Tommy Hawk’s Birthday Party,” a nod to Chicago’s mascot and features hearty animation of Blackhawks and Stars players.
  • The PGA Tour’s vision of becoming a major media and entertainment company will become a reality with the opening of the massive PGA Tour Studio in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, in January, SBJ’s Josh Carpenter reports in this week’s issue. This is a 165,000 square foot building that will open with seven studios (expandable to up to 12). The venue’s main studio will be surrounded by his 30-foot-high LED video/graphics wall.
  • The Cavaliers have released renderings of their new technology-enabled training facility, the Cleveland Clinic Global Peak Performance Center, writes SBJ’s Tom Friend. The 210,000-square-foot complex on the Cuyahoga River, in conjunction with the Cleveland Clinic, will simultaneously become a global sports science and wellness center for the general public.

Cavaliers aim to open Cleveland Clinic Global Peak Performance Center in 2027

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