Audio for football games has reached a pinnacle, at least technically. The ability to pull in sound from the gridiron — from microphones on players to parabolic receptors with sensitivity a CIA spook would respect — is just short of reality-show pervasiveness. The only brakes on collecting sound during games are legal ones, a combination of league dicta, collective-bargaining agreements, and collegiate regulations.
The incipient 2019-20 NFL and collegiate seasons reflect both boundaries and accomplishments but also demonstrate how other audio technologies are making themselves felt on the field.
Wendel Stevens, veteran A1 for NBC’s Sunday Night Football, notes that, although much of the production approach to the games’ sound remains at the high level it achieved last season, this year’s audio infrastructure has been getting significant updates. For instance, a migration to Dante-based signal transport that began last year is nearly complete for this season.
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