Since the College Football Playoff was launched in 2014, ESPN has gradually built up its National Championship productions. For this year’s edition at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, CA, the network turned the game into a massive undertaking, including PylonCams on the first-down and yard-to-gain markers as well as the biggest MegaCast yet. Despite all of these major, in-your-face highlights on the broadcast, Creative Mobile Solutions (CMSI) handled business behind the scenes by providing the smaller details needed to produce a spectacular finale.


 Getting the Job Done on Saturdays
Before handling the biggest game on the docket, Creative Mobile Solutions was responsible for ESPN’s weekly slate of Saturday Night Football. The crew’s main task was supplying high-speed file transfer, EVS support, and the Avid Symphony edit system to help the show run as smoothly as possible. With a rotating schedule that takes operations across the country, CMSI President Noah Gusdorff devised a plan to overcome the chaos of the season.


“After the equipment is installed in Week 1, there are no onsite techs during the regular season,” he explained. “ESPN is able to take advantage of our managed services and receive remote support to power their games.”


The tedious work doesn’t start when the whistle blows. Before every primetime game, Gusdorff and his team provided services for the premiere pregame show in college football: College GameDay.


GameDay requires greater attention in the days and hours leading up to the game,” he says. “[On the show], their highest priority is timely delivery of on-air content from Bristol, CT.”


Saving the Best for Last
In addition to the title game, the college bowl season on ESPN required the technology to be deployed at both the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, CA, and the Orange Bowl in Miami. Although the assignment remained the same, Gusdorff needed to make some crucial adjustments to compensate for both the size and magnitude of postseason play.


 “For bowl games, we utilize two onsite techs by dividing edit, EVS, and file-transfer duties between them,” he says. “In addition, we have larger EVS systems and a larger amount of ENG card ingest back to Bristol. It’s a larger network footprint to manage.”


Looking back on this season, Gusdorff commends his team members on their diligence in completing every task thrown at them and the power of a remote production.


 “We were able to quickly and efficiently support these edit systems onsite,” he says, “as well as augment/assist truck vendors with EVS workflow and file-transfer support, with all of this work accomplished remotely.”