Big West Conference, Broadcast Management Group Up the REMI Ante for Hoops Championships at the New Dollar Loan Center
The men’s and women’s tournaments were the first live broadcasts from the new Dollar Loan Center
In March, the Big West Conference men’s and women’s basketball championships became the first-ever live events to be broadcast from the brand new Dollar Loan Center in Henderson, NV. Just as it has done for several of its conference championships over the past year, the Big West enlisted Broadcast Management Group to produce 15 games in five days using the company’s REMI workflow and the Broadcast Operations Center (BOC) near Las Vegas.
“We were very pleased with the quality of broadcasts on ESPN+ during the basketball championships and heard nothing but positive feedback,” says Dan Butterly, Commissioner of the Big West Conference. “Team BMG has done an exemplary job throughout, which has allowed our participating teams and student-athletes to shine.
“For BMG, working with the Big West team has been incredible,” says Todd Mason, CEO of BMG. “Dan and his entire team have a clear and remarkable vision of what they want to do, and both of our teams have been able to capitalize on our collective expertise to meet and exceed Big West’s goals over the past year.”
Inside the Workflow: Ops in Vegas BOC, REMI Truck in Arena and Across the Country
In order to produce the tournaments, BMG used centralized equipment and technology from its Broadcast Operations Center (about 30 minutes from the Dollar Loan Center) as well as one of its REMI mobile units at the arena. BMG produced all games from the same control room, but the flexibility offered by the BOC allowed the production team to take advantage of several different control room systems to prep and design while the games aired. .
“Everything went very well, as expected,” says Mason. “This was another notable example of a major event successfully produced using the benefits of the REMI workflow. A year ago, you would have thought of REMI [only] for small events, but now REMI can withstand the pressure of consecutive matches day after day. BMG REMI projects are not limited to four or five camera sets, but can handle 10-15 camera sets which include specialized equipment like Spidercams, jibs, Steadicams and more.
Using the REMI model, BMG was able to utilize the best production talent available across the country, including a PA/graphics operator in New York and one in Kansas City, a transmission/communications engineer in Chicago, and one of game producers at his home in Arizona. People at home received a custom-designed webRTC communication panel and multiviewer from BMG that has several different views depending on what the operator needs to see. The rest of the control room team – mostly full-time staff – was at the BOC in Las Vegas.
“For this project, we were able to take advantage of the … rapidly growing production market in Las Vegas … but we were also able to select the people we were looking for for this project in Chicago, Arizona, New York and Kansas without worrying travel expenses,” says Mason. “And for those people, they were able to get in so many games in just five days without leaving their homes.”
The on-site team was made up like a typical game with all of the home team except the live announcement team, who traveled to the venue. Mason adds that this production was actually less spread across the country than 95% of its productions due to the Dollar Loan Center’s proximity to BMG’s BOC – allowing BMG to easily locate more personnel there.
This marked the latest in a long line of collaborations between the Big West and BMG, having previously worked together on the Men’s and Women’s Cross Country Conference and Women’s and Men’s Football Championship broadcasts. Following the hoops tournaments in March, BMG also presented a 30-minute recap at the Women’s Golf Championship earlier this month and is expected to serve Big West men’s and women’s tennis (April 28-May 1), beach volleyball (29 April-May 30, 2022), Men’s Golf (May 1-3, 2022) and Men’s and Women’s Athletics Championships (May 6-14, 2022).
“The partnership [with BMG] has evolved in the sense that we learn something new with each broadcast and that makes each subsequent broadcast even better,” says Butterly. “We still have four championship broadcasts ahead of us, so we’re excited to be working with BMG to tell the stories of our student-athletes and see them compete at the highest level.”
Viva Las Henderson: Big West looks to continue building a legacy at Dollar Loan Center
This year’s Big West men’s and women’s basketball championships were a historic moment for the conference with games broadcast live on ESPN+ as part of the new rights agreement and the new Dollar Loan Center, which has opened in March. The pair of tournaments not only marked the first live streams from the site, home to the Henderson Silver Knights (AHL affiliate of the Vegas Golden Knights), but also marked the start of a renewed conference commitment to the area. Vegas. .
“We knew moving to the Las Vegas Valley after 20 years in Anaheim was a bold move, but we also felt it was the right move for us at the time,” Butterly says. “We were the first conference to hold a championship tournament in Las Vegas and now we’ve come full circle. Even without fans at our 2021 event, many coaches, players and administrators in attendance said playing Michelob Ultra Arena felt like a true championship experience.
With the support of our member institutions, the Big West explored various options in the Las Vegas Valley and beyond in search of the best experience for our student-athletes and fans. According to Butterly, the Dollar Loan Center seemed like the “perfect choice”: a brand new facility perfectly sized for the Big West with the full support of the Vegas Golden Knights and Henderson Silver Knights organizations, as well as the City of Henderson.
“We’re happy with the first-year results, but that doesn’t mean we’re happy,” Butterly said. “We have already started working on next year’s event. Now that we have successfully opened the building and established a long-term presence in the market, our member institutions and all of our partners now share a vision of how we can grow the event and make Henderson and the Dollar Loan Center a real destination. for the coming years.”
The future of REMI: BMG sees a bright future for remote workflows
Since launching its REMI BOC and REMI mobile units in recent years, BGM has only grown demand for solutions like those used by the Big West Conference. Mason says with this growing demand comes the need for an educated team and engineers to work on these REMI shows. Over the past year, the company has worked with a number of packers and freelancers to help them get up to speed successfully.
“A lot of people don’t like to change, but we focused on people who are more open to change for the benefit of their business and career,” Mason says. “We provide the training and equipment needed to work successfully remotely. The industry is largely moving towards this production model, so for packers and freelancers, being proactive about embracing this change is going to become increasingly important.
As an example of how these new production models benefit the entire live-streaming ecosystem, Mason references how a director working on a basketball game in Dallas would have to travel on a Monday, direct the game on Tuesday, then go home on Wednesday. Under the REMI model, that same director working from one location could make three to six games that could be broadcast across the country in the same time frame with no travel costs to the broadcaster. The network would have access to that director for more games, and the director could earn more — all without leaving home.
“Now multiply those times all the other positions that can work remotely with the technology that BMG has perfected, it’s a game-changer,” Mason says. “Decentralized production teams benefit all parties, the network, the production company and the freelancers.”