Streaming High School Sports with Wirecast

Munzing Media uses Wirecast to stream high school Sports on Maine Today Media websites.

Munzing Media has chosen Telestream’s Wirecast live production software to stream high school sports—such as football, basketball, and hockey games—live via Websites run by The Portland Press Herald (Portland, Maine), Kennebec Journal (Augusta, Maine), and the Morning Sentinel (Waterville, Maine), three major in-state newspapers published by Maine Today Media, Inc.

Livestreampic-325Munzing Media—and the efforts to stream high school sports to the people of Maine and potentially a global audience—began in 2010 when Teacher/Coach Rob Munzing brought the idea to Maine Today Media, which contracted him to provide the games. Having proven demand to see Maine high school sports online in the first two seasons, Munzing purchased Wirecast 5 software to cost-effectively:

 Produce a broadcast-quality HD Webcast using either single or multiple cameras
 Integrate sponsor ads, logos, scoreboards, and other elements crucial to monetizing content
 Enhance the live show with graphics, CG text, video effects, high-quality audio, camera transitions, social media, and other professional touches
 Streamline production gear to fit into a few rolling suitcases for easy transport to remote production sites
 Stream directly from Wirecast to Brightcove, Maine Today Media’s CDN, as well as Livestream, Munzing Media’s CDN.

“Wirecast makes it possible for people like us—with aspirations to play in the big leagues—to become broadcasters of high-quality HD sporting events. When viewers tell us our Webcasts are on par with TV games they’ve seen, we’re very proud of that. And they’re grateful to be able to watch games they wouldn’t otherwise see on their TV, computer, or mobile device. But with growing interest from online fans and increasing sponsorship from advertisers comes the responsibility to deliver a flawless show every time, and that’s what Wirecast enables us to do.”, says Robert Munzing, Owner of Munzing Media

The Background:
As a home-based business in Gardiner, Maine, Munzing Media has evolved from streaming live high school sports using a rudimentary production set-up to their current Wirecast multi-camera HD Webcast configuration. Leveraging his 35-year-career as a high school teacher and football coach in Maine, Munzing does play-by-play announcing while operatingScreenShotPortlandPress-325Screen Shot-Portland Press Herald Wirecast during live games.

Living up to its slogan Full Stream Ahead, Munzing Media provides live streams of the hottest local high school games in the state, including regular season and play-off football games seen on The Portland Press and Morning Sentinel Websites.

During the 2013 school year, Munzing streamed over 75 events. These included 2013 high school basketball quarterfinal games in the Eastern Maine Class A, Western C and Western D divisions, which streamed on Kennebec Journal and Morning Sentinel sites. Munzing also streamed 2013 state championship hockey games on a Website run by another Maine newspaper, The Lewison Journal.

The Challenge:
The biggest challenge for Munzing Media is consistently maintaining high-quality, production standards while delivering reliable, uncompromised live HD coverage. This means continually adapting their production set-up to the unique needs and constraints posed by different gyms, football fields, and other high school venues across Maine.

Nate at Mt. Blue Under the Stars-325Munzing strives to accomplish these goals on an extremely limited budget and run an increasingly profitable operation as commercial sponsorship grows. Munzing Media’s crews typically range from one person—Rob Munzing—to several people—including Rob’s adult sons Andy and Nate, who help with testing, setup and control of the equipment as well as sideline interviews of coaches and players. The production team also includes Brittany Bourgeois, and Gary Verhille and Rob Kennedy serve as announcers.

The Solution:
After extensive research, including watching Wirecast tutorials on YouTube and scouting for advice on online forums, Munzing was convinced of Wirecast’s ability to cost-effectively manage his streaming media production needs. In 2012, when the initial Wirecast setup proved successful, he quickly upgraded to Wirecast 5.

The Set-up:
Munzing Media keeps operating costs down and production values up by relying on the following gear:WirecastMM-325

 Wirecast 5 and Desktop Presenter software from Telestream
 Apple MacBook Pro with Retina Display and Thunderbolt 2 I/O technology
 One Panasonic AG-AC90 AVCCAM Full-HD handheld camcorder to dynamically cover game action and sideline interviews
 One prosumer-grade Panasonic camcorder in a fixed position
 One Go-Pro camera that provides wide-shots of the venue
 Blackmagic Design Intensity Extreme Card for HDMI and component analog video capture and playback
 Wireless transmitter for wireless RF relay of a camera’s signal within the venue during production
 Blackmagic Design ATEM TVS switcher to supplement Wirecast production control when multiple operators are involved
 Samsung wireless microphone for sideline interviews
 Apple iPad Mini with Verizon Card for 4G LTE cellular service for signal transfer to CDNs when high-speed Internet connections are not available; and US Cellular provides back-up transmission
 Streaming to CDNs including Brightcove and Livestream directly from Wirecast
 Monitor, headphones, tripods, monopods, cabling and other accessories

The Results:
“Wirecast has catapulted us to a higher level of HD production and streaming. More importantly, we’re able to put sponsor logos on scoreboards and roll commercials during our breaks. Considering the success of our Maine high school sports Webcasts, there’s no doubt we’ve caught lightning in a bottle. Wirecast has made everyone—including our viewers, our partner Maine Today Media, and commercial sponsors—very happy.", says Munzing

For more information:
Maine high school sports live streaming and on-demand video produced by Munzing Media can be accessed at Maine Today Media websites, including http://www.pressherald.com, www.onlinesentinel.com, and http://www.kjonline.com.

Munzing Media also offers live and on-demand video at new.livestream.com/accounts/546422.

TelestreamLogoFor more information on the Telestream Live Streaming software and Wirecast, please visit their website by clicking here.