Originally Posted by gman40
So, while we're on the subject of signals being passed down, what would the structure be for professional sports? Meaning, as example, the NFL is shooting the football game with their own cameras, it goes to their own trucks, where does that broadcast have to go to before it reaches the local stations that plan to show said game? Is there a source, outside of the NFL, that it must pass through first? Or, does it go directly from the NFL to the broadcast stations? Or, does it go from one broadcast station and then passed down to another? What I'm trying to ask is, let's say the Washington D.C. FOX station would be the main FOX station to show Redskins games. Would the FOX station in Richmond or Roanoke get their broadcast of the NFL game from the D.C. station, or would they get it directly from the NFL? Would the signal have to pass through one station to the next before it arrives to Roanoke? I guess my train of thought on this question would be comparison to a WAV file being converted to MP3 converted again to MP3 and once again converted to MP3 before it reaches its final destination? Or would all stations get equal signal quality of that broadcast? I hope I'm making sense! LOL! Just trying to get a better understanding of how it works.
The NFL does not have a "broadcast" arm like NASCAR. The networks themselves contract out services from a mobile production company. I believe the last time I heard (several years ago so this could have changed by now) it was NEP Supershooters for all the networks.
Each network provides an on site engineer who has final say on things before they are sent, usually by sat and fiber optics to the network broadcast center where it is then uplinked to the stations. Usually all the commercials during the game are also sent from the the same production truck and commercials during the half time and pre and post game are inserted at the broadcast center.
Normally during football season, production trucks are pre positioned at all the stadiums since there are so many games in such a short time period. Not counting tear down time and travel time, setup for a football takes several days so the trucks are normally left in place. The equipment is switchable and so if FOX or ESPN or ABC is doing the game, all the equipment is put in 720p mode. If the game is on CBS, NBC or NFL Network, the equipment is switched to 1080i. Graphics for all the networks are carried on the production trucks so depending on who is airing that game, that networks graphics are used from that truck.
NASCAR on the other hand has their own truck that they move from track to track each week and feed to the network carrying the race.
College sports are handled in whatever fashion the network has with that conference. Some are handled by the conference itself (meaning they contract the production truck and the network just sends the air people staff) while other conferences will sign a deal with the network and let them worry about it.