During the pandemic, Creative Technology began working with NEP and the US Open to solve the challenge of player interviews with the press. The goal was to create a solution that allowed the athletes to safely conduct their post-match interviews with as many press outlets as needed without coming into contact with large numbers of people and/or getting outside of the mandated protective zones. The workflow needed to be no or low-touch and the solution needed to be manageable to implement on a temporary basis.
The result for the last two years has been the development of a virtual studio for athletes to comfortably conduct their interviews without needing to be in the same physical space as the press. The “private green-screen room” includes Unreal Media Servers, robotic cameras, Stype tracking support and fiber lines to the Operations Center. Everything is set and sanitized so that the athlete can enter on their own, insert their personal IFB and begin the interview process seamlessly.
As Jeff Chenery from CT explains, “This makes it easy for the athletes to get comfortable and run the show. In front of them is the live interviewer on screen or a grid layout of the press corp. They can get prompts and communicate directly with the TD and the robotic cameras follow the action. Backgrounds can be adjusted and customized and everything is controlled remotely by the crew. It is a successful evolution of the post-game interview process and we’ve had interest from several other sports entities about our set-up.”
Over the course of the tournament