Mossman Prophecies No. 015
July 2, 2007
The 47-game streak is the one that gets most of the
attention, as well it should. But there is a 45-gamer
that deserves some mention too.
When Oklahoma and Washington tee it up this Saturday
it will mark the 45th consecutive OU game to be televised.
ABC has the honors this week after TBS produced last
The process for getting a game on television is tremendous
and it far exceeds any other medium’s coverage.
Here are some facts and figures and a rundown of a
network production involving OU football...
The crew starts making contact with us eight or
nine days before the game itself. The media relations
office receives a listing of addresses for the announce
team and several members of the production staff.
On Monday, we overnight to each of those people
our latest set of game notes (the same ones you
can see on SoonerSports.com), a media
guide and a set of newspaper and magazine clips.
The latter helps them catch up on news they may have
Beginning on Monday of game week the contact is daily.
We set up interview times for coaches and players,
although those don’t actually occur until later
in the week. Those are the interviews you see during
the game with the black background or the network backdrop.
We also decide on the actual starting time of the game.
The network dictates that time and that’s the
reason the games never start at the top or bottom of
the hour. For instance, this week’s game begins
at 2:35 p.m.
It might interest you to know that television requests
that we have most of the pre-game festivities concluded
before air time. Nothing bothers a television producer
more than to come to a game site right in the middle
of the Star Spangled Banner.
That’s the reason we play it before television
joins us. It avoids any disrespect of running video
or audio over the national anthem.
Also during the week we provide pictures and other
facts that the network requests. This week, ABC asked
for a team picture of the 2000 squad to illustrate
Coach Stoops’ coaching tree. That photo includes
Mike Stoops, Mark Mangino and Chuck Long all seated
Things really start brewing late Wednesday or early
Thursday when the trucks arrive. This week, ABC will
have an uplink truck, a production truck, a power truck
and an office trailer. The crew gets in Thursday morning,
and network and OU officials do a walk through of the
stadium around noon.
The walk through allows the television staff to review
camera and broadcast locations, while gathering information
about band location, team entry points and other points
specific to the game. This is also the time when arrangements
are made to get a video feed to the replay official
located in the press box.
The on-camera interviews I referenced earlier take
place during the noon hour on Thursday at the SoonerVision
studios. Not only do they give the network an opportunity
to get interviews finished, they allow the announcers
time to get to know the players on a more personal
On Thursday afternoon, the technical crew completes
the arduous task of running cable through the stadium.
Miles of cable go to the various camera locations.
There may be as many as nine for this game. A standard
game is six or seven.
Friday is another whirlwind. The announce team meets
with the OU coaches in the late morning. They begin
with Coach Stoops, and then have 15-20 minutes with
The insight provided during the meetings is crucial
for broadcasters who rarely see the same team two weeks
in a row. The coaches don’t divulge much in the
way of secrets, but they talk in some detail about
personnel and general team strategies.
Out in the field, the technical staff is putting the
finishing touches on its preparation. OU officials
run the clock and turn on the lights to provide a game
feel and to ensure that all of the various facets of
the stadium are interfacing well for TV.
Crew call on Saturday is six hours before kickoff,
although the announcers won’t arrive until several
The personnel needed to carry off a project of this
magnitude are significant. This week, OU issued 93
media credentials to ABC staff. Less than half of those
fly in from other regions in the country. While the
producer, director, etc., often fly in from the east
coast, many of the camera operators and technical personnel
are from the Midwest, including many from Oklahoma.
Television and college football have been great partners
over the years. As you can see, it’s a partnership
that takes a tremendous amount of planning, preparation
and hard work.
Mossman Prophecies Archive
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Kenny Mossman, Associate Athletics Director for
Communications, provides his perspective on Oklahoma
Athletics in his regular column on SoonerSports.com.