SAUtv kicks off live sports broadcasts


By Sara Clifton

SAUtv announcer Chris Scudder gives viewers updates and play-by-play information for a Queen Bees volleyball match at St. Ambrose University in Davenport.

SAUtv, the campus television station, recently broadcast its first live sports game of the season with the Queen Bees home volleyball game against Iowa Wesleyan. SAUtv will stream regular conference games live on its website.
“Broadcasting live gives a great feel to the show,” production specialist Matt Carroll said. “It gives you an adrenaline rush knowing that you need to concentrate the whole time and flaws and all will be shown to the audience. It’s a really great experience not only using the equipment but also learning to tell a story, and sports is a really great outlet for that.”

SAUtv has been broadcasting games for over 25 years. The Oct. 19 game was the first live broadcast in six months, the last being the NAIA National Men’s Volleyball Tournament. Behind the scenes, the work to broadcast the live game started well before game day.

Jon Anderson, chief engineer for SAUtv, started testing lines a week before the broadcast. With a limited amount of equipment, he also reconfigured studio cameras for sports videotaping, which included swapping lenses, tripods and other studio controls.


“The first game is always the hardest, that’s why we start setting up two hours before the game,” Anderson said. There were four camera operators, a director, technical director, and two announcers for the first match. Sam Peterlin, director for the first match, was the only student that night with previous experience directing.

“You can use the four cameras we have here and make it look just as good as an ESPN game with 10 different cameras,” Peterlin said. “It is a matter of manipulating the other cameras to look like there are more than there really are.” Every game is unique and has its own formula, he has learned.

“You have to recognize the situation on court,” he added. “Then you have to be able to get the footage your announcers need on the screen so they can talk about what is happening or could happen.”

Announcers JW Siedlecki and Chris Scudder worked all the games, giving viewers updates and play-by-play information.

“The first broadcast went really well, it was nice to see some new faces helping out,” Siedlecki said. “I think its going to be a great year for SAUtv.”

SAU won the first match and students were switched to allow others to operate the production equipment. Sophomore Tom Prior made his directing debut for the second match. “The first time directing was definitely nerve-wracking,” he said. “It was tricky to keep up with the switching of camera views, paying attention to every angle, being fully aware and making the production the best it can be.”

Anton Wilkins worked as technical director for the second match and ran camera for the third match of the game. “I really loved it,” Wilkins said. “I enjoyed switching the camera views. I also liked working camera one because it is the main action camera.”

Finally, with a win in the third match, the night wrapped up production; equipment was packed up and cables were rolled up.

Don Schneider, operating manager of SAUtv and instructor, worked in the control room throughout the game running master control, graphics and replays. He thought the first production went very well and said he’s excited that this is just the first of many more to come.

You can catch the replay of the game by going to SAUtv’s website and going to the Game Central tab. You can then watch the full broadcast of this game and hear broadcasts from past KALA, SAU’s radio station, football productions.

Future productions from SAUtv include men’s basketball against Augustana College on Tuesday, Nov. 29, and men’s and women’s double-header basketball games on Saturday, Dec. 3, and Wednesday, Dec. 7. The broadcasts can be seen on the school’s Mediacom digital channel 81 and website.

(Sara Clifton is a St. Ambrose University student in Davenport and is photo editor and ad manager for The Buzz student newspaper.)

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