Arlington, TX (February 24, 2015)—A DiGiCo SD9 mixing console was central to ESPN Classic’s contribution to the recent inaugural College Football Playoff National Championship Megacast.
According to ESPN, its CFP Megacast of the championship game, which was played on Monday, January 12, 2015 and was simulcast across multiple ESPN networks and services, delivered not only the highest rating in cable television history but also the largest audience, as reported by Nielsen. The audio for ESPN Classic’s telecast—including performances by the Oregon and Ohio State marching bands, Aloe Blacc singing “America the Beautiful,” and Lady Antebellum performing “The Star-Spangled Banner”—was mixed by Buckeye, AZ-based freelance audio mixer Jason Blood of Happy Helmet Productions, Inc.
“I was basically focusing on trying to capture the essence of what it would sound like if you were watching the game inside the stadium,” explains Blood, who has mixed broadcast audio for major sports events and networks. “With the SD9 desk, we had a smaller footprint to work with, which we needed because we were squeezed into a pretty small space, in the back of B unit next to the comms guys. But that’s what’s great about the SD9—the MADI streams go right in, and the AES and analog inputs are right on the back; there wasn’t a whole big box of other gear that we needed to find a place for.”
Although there were more than 100 microphones located throughout Cowboy Stadium for use on the broadcast by Game Creek Video, which had six remote units on site, Blood was able to mix using a more manageable number. “The SD9 console made it convenient for us because we were able to take just a couple of MADI streams from the submix truck and some AES feeds from the game truck and we were ready to go,” he says. “So we were operating on a more efficient scale.” Production equipment specialists VER Video Equipment Rentals supplied the SD9 console system.