Rangers/Isles to Go 3D

This sounds pretty amazing.  For awhile, I’ve been hearing about big events being broadcast and produced in 3D.  The MLB and NBA All-Star Games, the BCS Championship… and now the Rangers/Islanders rivalry.  From the New York Times and the great Richard Sandomir:

MSG Network will show next Wednesday’s Islanders-Rangers game in 3D, the first time a hockey game has been carried in the technology, the network said. It will be available to Cablevision subscribers and offered to other providers.

The game will also be shown on a screen at the Theater at Madison Square Garden.

For the game, five 3D cameras will be set up on platforms lower down in the arena than for high-definition broadcasts. “You produce 3D games differently,” said Mike Bair, the president of MSG Media. “And you have to hold shots longer and not cut as quickly.” Kenny Albert and Dave Maloney, the Rangers’ radio team, will shift to the 3D broadcast.

Good lord, if anyone knew of a way to get me into this theater screening, I’d be forever in your debt and write many hundreds of words about it.  This sounds like a once in a lifetime chance, to see the first public 3D hockey game.  I’ll try and scope out a way to get tickets or something.

Here’s MSG’s Press Release:

MSG Press Release

MSG, a leader in delivering state-of-the-art, cutting edge technology to viewers, announced today that it will telecast the March 24 Rangers-Islanders matchup from Madison Square Garden in 3D, the first network hockey telecast ever produced in 3D.  MSG will also be the first network in America to offer home viewers a live 3D sports telecast.  In 1998, MSG was the first regular provider of sports coverage in high-definition television, producing all Knicks and Rangers home games in that emerging format.

The Rangers will host a special viewing party of this historic telecast at the Theater at Madison Square Garden that will include appearances by popular Rangers alumni Mark Messier, Adam Graves, Ron Duguay, Nick Fotiu, Ron Greschner, Dan Blackburn and others, as well as fan contests and giveaways .  Tickets to the 3D screening are $20 and available at newyorkrangers.com via Ticketmaster.   MSG HD subscribers with 3D compatible televisions will be able to watch the telecast on a separate channel offered by Cablevision, and MSG is in discussions with other providers.  For more information please visit msg.com/3D.

“MSG has been a leader in delivering emerging technology to our viewers, and a leader in high quality original programming, including a record 64 Emmy nominations this year,” said Michael Bair, president, MSG Media.  “We were the first regular providers of high-definition sports telecasts with Knicks and Rangers games more than a decade ago, and we’re excited to continue this tradition of providing the most innovative and creative telecasts to our audience.”

MSG is planning a renovation which will be a comprehensive top-to-bottom transformation of the arena that will enhance the experience for customers, athletes, entertainers, fans and marketing partners.  The state-of-the-art facility will also include the most up-to-date technology throughout the arena for fans attending events.

Longtime Rangers voice Kenny Albert will call the play-by-play, former Ranger Dave Maloney will serve as analyst, and Al Trautwig will serve as television host for the evening.

The game will be shot using 3ality Digital’s image-capturing technology, which integrates with existing broadcast equipment for pixel-perfect 3D imagery.   3ality Digital, which has more than a decade’s worth of development work behind its systems, has been the technology of choice behind a number of recent 3D sports productions, including BSkyB’s January Premiere League Soccer broadcast, the first live 3D broadcasts of NFL and college football games shown in theaters, and the 2010 Sony Open golf tournament.

Gamecreek Video will provide a separate high-definition mobile video production unit for the game, working with 3ality Digital camera rigs and image processing systems. In the Theater at Madison Square Garden, RealD’s 3D stereoscopic Cinema Processing System will enable the audience to view the game in 3D via eyewear, screen and filtering technology.

A provider of advanced 3DTV-capable technology, Harris Corporation, an international communications and information technology company collaborating with MSG on the telecast, supplied NetVX ™ encoders and signal processing equipment that will be used to ensure synchronous transport of the 3DTV signals from Madison Square Garden to the network operations center.

Emrick, Cup Final Coverage Among Those Nominated For 2010 Sports Emmy’s

As you all likely know if you’ve read this blog in the past, there is a national, sports-centered edition of the Emmys every year, and hockey is usually shut out, except for Mike Emrick, who typically gets a nomination for play-by-play work, against the other heavyweights of sports broadcasting.  Well, while that did happen again, NBC also got nominated for it’s work on the Stanley Cup Final and the promo spots for the Winter Classic.  The NHL On VERSUS finally broke thru in the same category as the Winter Classic promos, getting nominated for their “Every Second Counts” campaign.

Congrats to all, and here are all the hockey-themed Sports Emmy nominations.  There should be an NBC press release up shortly, you’ll find it here:

Outstanding LIVE SPORTS SPECIAL

MLB on FOX: The World Series – FOX

NBA Playoffs on TNT – TNT

NBC Super Bowl XLIII – NBC

Stanley Cup Final – NBC

The Breeders’ Cup World Championship – ESPN

The Indianapolis 500 – ABC

X Games 14 – ESPN

Outstanding Sports Personality ‑ PLAY‑BY‑PLAY

Mike Breen – ABC

Joe Buck – FOX

Mike Emrick – NBC

Al Michaels – NBC

Jim Nantz – CBS

Mike Tirico – ESPN

Outstanding SPORTS PROMOTIONAL ANNOUNCEMENT ‑ EPISODIC

2009 NASCAR on FOX – FOX

Underground

2010 NHL Winter Classic – NBC

24/7 Jimmie Johnson Race to Daytona – HBO/Ultrabland

Every Second Counts – Versus/MJZ

Look Up, One Second, Rivalry

Sunday Night Football – NBC

UPDATE: From NBC:

NEW YORK – March 18, 2010 – In a non-Olympic year, NBC Sports received 17 total Sports Emmy Award nominations, including Outstanding Live Sports Special for Super Bowl XLIII and the 2009 Stanley Cup Final; Outstanding Live Sports Series for “Sunday Night Football”; and nominations in individual talent categories for Bob Costas (Studio Host), Al Michaels (Play-by-Play), Cris Collinsworth (Event Analyst), Mike Emrick (Play-by-Play) and Tony Dungy (Studio Analyst – in his rookie year as a broadcaster).

NBC received five nominations in all for coverage of the NFL, three for Ironman World Championship, two for NBC Sports promotional campaigns and one each for NBCSports.com and NBCOlympics.com. The announcement was made today by the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. The winners will be announced by the Academy on April 26.

MADDEN TO RECEIVE LIFETIME ACHEIVEMENT AWARD: Legendary broadcaster John Madden will receive this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award. Madden, the most honored NFL broadcaster of all time with an unprecedented 16 Emmy Awards for Outstanding Sports Analyst/Personality, is a Hall of Fame coach and most recently served as the game analyst for “NBC Sunday Night Football” from 2006-2009. Madden served as an NFL broadcaster for 30 years for CBS, Fox, ABC and NBC and on February 1, 2009 earned rave reviews and critical acclaim Super Bowl XLIII — his final game and 11th career Super Bowl.

“John Madden was the best analyst in the history of the National Football League and, in my opinion, the best analyst of any kind in sports television history,” said Dick Ebersol, Chairman, NBC Universal Sports & Olympics. “John is much more than a football legend, he’s an American icon. He is the only sports television talent who resonates across all ages – kids grow up today playing his video game and watching him on TV, as their fathers grew up watching him on NFL sidelines every Sunday as the head coach with the best winning percentage in league history.”

NBC SPORTS NOMINATIONS:

·      Outstanding Live Sports Special: Super Bowl XLIII

·      Outstanding Live Sports Special: Stanley Cup Final

·      Outstanding Live Sports Series: “Sunday Night Football”

·      Outstanding Sports Personality, Studio Host: Bob Costas

·      Outstanding Sports Personality, Play-by-Play: Al Michaels

·      Outstanding Sports Personality, Play-by-Play: Mike Emrick
·      Outstanding Sports Personality, Sports Event Analyst: Cris Collinsworth

·      Outstanding Sports Personality, Studio Analyst: Tony Dungy

·      Outstanding Technical Team Remote: “Sunday Night Football”

·      Outstanding Live Event, Audio/Sound: NBC Golf Tour

·      Outstanding New Approaches – Short Format:
*      Countdown to Vancouver, NBCOlympics.com

·      Outstanding New Approaches – Sports Event Coverage:
·      “Sunday Night Football” Extra, NBCSports.com

·      Outstanding Edited Sports Special: Ironman World Championship

·      Outstanding Camera Work: Ironman World Championship

·      Outstanding Editing: Ironman World Championship

·      Outstanding Sports Promotional Announcement – Episodic:
*      2010 NHL Winter Classic
*     “Sunday Night Football”

And from the NHL:

The NHL was well represented when the 31st annual Sports Emmy Award nominees was announced Thursday.

NBC’s production of the 2009 Stanley Cup Final between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Detroit Red Wings was nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Live Sports Special.

NBC also was nominated for an award for Outstanding Sports Promotional Announcement – Episodic for its promotion of the 2010 NHL Winter Classic game, between the Philadelphia Flyers and Boston Bruins at Fenway Park.

Also, NBC NHL Game of the Week play-by-play announcer Mike “Doc” Emrick is a nominee for Outstanding Sports Personality – Play by Play. Emrick, who also serves as play-by-play announcer for the New Jersey Devils and Versus national telecasts, has won numerous awards throughout his illustrious career, including the 2004 Lester Patrick Award for contributions to hockey in the U.S., and he was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2008.

The Awards will be given out April 26.

Bob Miller’s Back

Good news about the Hockey Hall of Famer, according to Helene Elliot of the LA Times:

Kings play-by-play announcer Bob Miller, who missed four games after being afflicted by shingles, said he plans to return to work Thursday when the Kings face the Chicago Blackhawks at Staples Center. The game will be broadcast on FS West.

Miller, 71, has missed only 21 games in his 37 seasons as the Kings’ voice. He fell ill during the team’s trip to Nashville two weeks ago and missed the Kings’ games against Montreal, Columbus, Chicago and Nashville. (Another game, at Dallas, last Friday, wasn’t televised).

The Kings scrambled their radio and TV crews while Miller was gone and Mike Kalinowski, the team’s manager of communications, filled in admirably on radio. But it will be great to see the return of Miller, a past winner of the Hockey Hall of Fame’s Foster Hewitt award in recognition of his contributions to his profession and the game.

Checking Up on VERSUS With Less Than a Month to Go In the Season

It’s been a few weeks since VERSUS began broadcasting hockey again, so let’s take stock in what they’ve done.  There has been little to complain about from my point of view about what the network’s been up to the past little while.  They’ve been showing a lot of really good games and providing the studio content that every NHL fan believes they should be doing but fears they won’t get.  The improvements to the scoreboard graphics are fantastic.  The integration of website content and network stuff has been real good.

Some improvements?  How about fitting the rest of the graphics to go along with that fancy scoreboard?  A few more pre-game shows in the playoffs?  A nightly hockey show in the future?  Kind of just kidding about that one, but whatever.  How about showing a game of some importance on the final day of the season?  Just a few suggestions, but I’m mostly happy with what VERSUS is doing, and many more will discover this sentiment now that they have DirecTV.

Morning Music Breakdown

Oh, good morning.  Had a great time at red and green night at Prudential Center.  First class stuff.

VERSUS reviews and Bob Miller are part of the day.  Enjoy it.