WMWM Broadcast of the Beverly/Salem Football Game

Brian Vita brian_vita@cssinc.com
Thu Nov 23 13:57:14 EST 2006

Picking up the ball and continuing a tradition that began in 1939, WMWM 
91.7 Salem State College Radio broadcast this Thanksgiving's football 
match-up between rivals Beverly and Salem.  Although it was set up with 
only 48 hours notice, the broadcast went almost flawlessly succumbing 
only to minor problems at the remote end caused by heavy rainfall 
shorting out the originating equipment.  Apparently Rick Moore, who 
graciously provided the feed for us, was sitting unprotected in the 
bleachers in the rain as he and his equipment got thoroughly soaked.

For the technically curious, here's how we pulled it off:

Rick Moore owns a "for profit" Internet radio station 
(www.moorestuffonline.com) that has been broadcasting a lot of the local 
ball games.  He covers his costs by selling spots just as was done when 
he did the games on WESX.  From what I understand, Rick is using several 
mics (headworn and handheld) feeding into a mixer.  The mixer then feeds 
a laptop which in turn is using a cellular modem to upload the signal to 
his server.

We contacted Rick and obtained his permission to rebroadcast the game 
from his web feed.  Since WMWM is a non-comm, Rick agreed to let us 
cover the paid spots with PSA's.

At the studio end we used a laptop plugged into Salem State's computer 
network to pick up the feed.  Since the college was nearly deserted 
there was no congestion on the network (we might have been the only 
one's using it).   The laptop feed an external Audigy II card which in 
turn was plugged into the studio console.  I opted not to use the 
station's automation computer for the feed since I needed to keep that 
free to run PSA's and ID's off of.

At pregame time the remote feed was fed into the cue buss and the 
station's music was kept on the air until the appropriate time.  By 
keeping the game active on the cue buss and potting it up and down on 
the program buss, we were able to cover spots while monitoring the live 
feed.  As a side note, Shaun Hayes of WMWM called the studio just before 
half time and said that he'd been listening to the game on WNSH when he 
heard it announced that WMWM was carrying it.  He noted that our feed 
was about 6 seconds ahead of theirs.  (Apparently WNSH had made similar 
arrangements with Rick but through miscommunication had not confirmed 
the plan.  Rick was unaware that they had made the decision to proceed).

The game ran well with occasional line noise as Rick's equipment took a 
beating from the weather.  Various mics came in and out as they became 
water soaked.  In the last few minutes of the game we lost our feed 
entirely as Rick's laptop became waterlogged.  We were finally able to 
reach him by cellular and put the last two minutes of the game on-air 
having him announce the game into his cell phone which we put live on 
the air. (a WMWM exclusive!).

All in all it went remarkably well.  Given that this is the first time 
that WMWM has been able to do something like this in years, its a new 
milestone for the station.  Perhaps we can use this as a starting point 
for more and bigger things.

A special thank you to Roger Kolakowski, formerly of WESX, for putting 
the ball in motion, also to Rebecca Jimenez, the faculty advisor at WMWM 
for clearing it at the school's end, and the E-board at WMWM for a REAL 
quick decision to carry the game.  A major thank you to Rick Moore for 
providing us with the feed.

Brian Vita
The guy who used caffeine and laptops to pull this off.

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