'Campus Cam' Expands Networks' Coverage

The Pac-12 Networks studios are in San Francisco, but they have 12 important bureaus across the conference.

At each school in the Pac-12 is a mini-broadcast center, where the networks can make use of a “Campus Cam.” A small camera has been installed at each Pac-12 institution that the schools can use for player and coach interviews at a moment’s notice.

So far, the Campus Cam has become a regular staple of Basketball Playbook, the weekly program that wraps up the previous weekend of Pac-12 basketball action and takes a look ahead to the upcoming week. As part of that show, anchor Mike Yam conducts interviews with a handful of coaches each week. Those coaches simply go to a room nearby in their athletic department and make use of the Campus Cam, where they can see Yam and Yam can see them.

“It’s basically a high-definition Skype,” Pac-12 Networks producer Bob Schmelzle said. “It’s an HD signal coming in here and an HD signal going back there.”

The Campus Cam is also used for a variety of digital programming. Recently, Cal star guards Allen Crabbe and Justin Cobbs did an interview for a segment that only aired on Pac-12.com. As the Pac-12 Networks evolve, there will be additional original programming that is sure to make use of the Campus Cam.

 The Campus Cam wasn’t in use yet during the recently completed football season. The networks will make similar use of it next season for Pac-12 Playbook, the weekly show similar to Basketball Playbook.

“We’ve used them for quite a variety of stuff already,” Schmelzle said. “It’s a unique opportunity to give us quick previews on the web. As we move forward, we’ll have more studio programming so we’ll have more opportunity to use it for Olympic sports. It’s a great opportunity for them to get some good publicity.”

The Campus Cam has allowed the networks to produce more regional segments for Basketball Playbook, something they weren’t to do during the football season. That will change next fall.

“Now that we have the Campus Cam, the show kind of has a different vibe to it,” Yam said. “I’m looking forward to having it for football next season.”


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