From Basketball to Soccer, Willamette University live streams sporting events to athlete friends and families

Willamette University is a small liberal arts school located in Salem, Oregon where Christopher Sabato, the Assistant Director of Athletics for Media, organizes live broadcasts for the sports teams. From outdoor soccer matches to indoor basketball games, Sabato shares with us his techniques for live broadcasting these events and how the students families watch from out of state.

At Willamette University, the majority of the student population comes from out of state making it important to the Athletics Department that these families are able to watch the live sports broadcasts online. Using a selection of live streaming hardware and software which includes PTZOptics cameras, Wirecast, Magewell capture cards, xKeys controllers and more, Christopher regularly produces high quality live broadcasts the schools sports fans enjoy all season long. At the end of the day, it’s all about the fans that cannot make it to every game who are now able to watch live and enjoy the broadcasts from the comfort of their homes.

For outdoor broadcasts during the soccer season, Christopher uses a PTZOptics 20X-SDI camera housed in an outdoor enclosure to capture all the action using a PTZ joystick controller. The Dotworkz outdoor camera enclosure is designed for permanent outdoor use and includes two weather sealed cable ports which Sabato uses for HD-SDI video and RJ45 converted to DB9 to be used for camera control with the HuddleCamHD joystick. The camera captures all the action from high above the field mounted on top of a SkyHawk TriPod mount made by US Sports Video. This giant tripod allows Christopher to follow the direction of game play from high above the athletes on field. “I don’t have a big production crew. So everything has been designed to be operated by myself or one other work study student,” says Christopher.

During basketball season, Christopher uses 5 cameras to produce a professional video broadcast with the PTZOptics cameras, Wirecast 7, HDMI & HD-SDI Magewell capture cards and the xKeys 24-button controller. The broadcast quality looks like it could be available on ESPN and Christopher has used a few IP networking techniques to pull in the live scoreboard timer he explained for us: “I have a clock camera setup using NDI® and Newtek’s Connect Pro with effectively zero latency.” Using a clock camera as you can see in the picture above, Christopher is able to take the video feed and crop just the timer and shot clock for his game title in Wirecast. With a little Wirecast magic, he’s able to layer the live shot clock and game time onto his virtual scoreboard title.

During every live broadcast, Christopher tries his best to include a play by play announcer audio feed, saying, “It’s our goal to have play by play in all our sports broadcasts.” Once the game starts a dedicated play by play announcer will handle all audio including ad spots, bumpers and pre-recorded interviews. The Technical Director can play video overlays, with no audio, to match what the PxP is sending. The Technical Director mixer is sending an aux out to a Galaxy Audio Anyspot wireless receiver. The play by play audio workflow is explained below along with the entire video/audio system outline.