Rob Devlin, who works for Tennessee Digital Video, operates the replay machine during a Jan. 24, 2014, broadcast of “High School Hoops” on MyTV30. The series debuted Jan. 18 in Nashville. (Photo courtesy of Tennessee Digital Video
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. -- Two Rutherford County high school rivals faced off on the hardwood last week when Oakland and Blackman met in another key District 7-AAA game.
Not only was a huge crowd in attendance, but the game was also broadcast on WUXP MyTV30 Nashville.
For the past few years, Tennessee Digital Video has produced area high school football games as part of the network’s popular “Thursday Night Lights” series. The network liked the coverage and ratings so much that this year it decided to add high school basketball games to the mix.
“Based on the success of our ‘Thursday Night Lights’ high school football package,” said Nic Dugger, owner of Tennessee Digital Video, “MyTV30 has added an entire series of live HD high school basketball games in the middle Tennessee area. As the production partner of choice, TNDV was contacted directly to provide the mobile production service for this series.”
“High School Hoops” debuted Jan. 18 with a matchup between Christ Presbyterian Academy and Ensworth. Next week, the series stays in Rutherford County to televise the Smyrna and La Vergne boys game. The broadcasts will continue throughout the postseason with locations and dates to be announced at a later date.
“The games are chosen by the management of MyTV30 with the goal of highlighting the best games in the area each week,” Dugger said.
As for the production of the games, it is a massive undertaking each week.
Dugger said the company, with a crew of 17, including former MTSU students, uses a state-of-the-art HD production truck featuring five cameras, matrix intercom, real time dual channel HD graphics, an eight channel instant replay server and a massive 3ME multi-definition switcher.
And most sports broadcasts need a capable play-by-play voice and color commentator. MyTV30 looked to a couple of trusted local voices for those important roles and chose Nashville sports talk radio host George Plaster from 102.5 The Game and NBA star Matt Freije.
For Plaster, it was a chance to call games again after having vocal cord surgery in 2006. At the time, he decided to cut back on the number of games he called on the advice of his doctors.
However, he saw this series as an opportunity to do play-by-play again.
“This is something just to smooth the appetite,” said Plaster, who used to give the play-by-play for Vandy games. “I love doing the games, but I have not had my hat in the ring in recent years. So, when this came up it sounded like fun. Matt (Freije) has become a good friend over the last few years. He and I always have fun talking basketball. He knows basketball really well, and as this thing goes along he is going to do really well.”
As for TNDV, the two high school sports series are only a few of the recent sporting events the company has done in the past few seasons. It has also done the ReMax Long Drive Challenge and the World Billiards Trick Shot Championships, the Powershares World Tennis Tour, which features greats like John McEnroe and airs on the Tennis Channel, the NCAA National Fencing Championships and the Mississippi High School state football championships.