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Oct 20, 2016

CBS St. Louis Affiliate Covers the Presidential Debate with No Limits

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This year’s U.S. Presidential Election has been unique, to say the least. From the DNC and RNC conventions to the rallies, protests, events, and fundraisers, the activities leading up to November 8 have definitely kept broadcasters on their toes.

When the second presidential debate was scheduled for Washington University in St. Louis, the team at KMOV-TV knew they’d need all hands on deck to cover it. The CBS affiliate was no stranger to covering the debates in its hometown because they had done it four times in the past. But this year promised to be busier than ever.

The team was tasked with producing pre and post-debate content. Sunday morning they had a field anchor position outdoors and a live shot indoors for the 2 hours Sunday morning newscast. They also produced an hour of post-debate coverage for the evening programs and were responsible for fronting live shots for 5 Meredith affiliates. This required every LiveU unit they had and two live tracks. The five portable units were deployed throughout the Debate Hall – the press area and Spin Alley, plus the protest in the Free Speech area.

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Wi-Fi Reliability

The CBS team purchased Wi-Fi from LiveU at the debate for an added layer of peace of mind.  “We heard hardwire Ethernet powering live video solutions experienced bandwidth performance issues at other debate locations. The LiveU pack, combined with the dedicated Wi-Fi, gave us a more reliable option. It also gave us the flexibility to move around and guaranteed locations to go live,” said Bill McCormac, News Operations Manager, KMOV-TV.

For the Sunday morning coverage, KMOV used LiveU MultiPoint to send the main anchor location back to KMOV. This meant KMOV did not have to send live trucks with the additional staff needed for the late news coverage. The team used MultiPoint to get live shots out of Spin Alley. It allowed for active live shots walking around various locations in Spin Alley and the media filing center.

“We had that much confidence in LiveU,” added McCormac.

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Flexibility to go anywhere

The team had to be nimble for the post-debate coverage. “We wanted to interview the people that asked the candidates questions during the debate. The LiveU units gave us the ability to be mobile – inside or outside to search for them. And that units never failed to give us a stable picture for that whole hour, when the cell and Ethernet bandwidth near the facility was extremely low,” noted McCormac.

The KMOV team successfully covered the second presidential debate without any hiccups. LiveU proved to be a key component of the affiliate’s success.

“LiveU made the event easier to manage. We weren’t limited to one location, we didn’t need to worry about cabling, and we could turn interviews around fast. LiveU was rock solid the whole day. The onsite service and support from LiveU gave me and our crew peace of mind that things would go well. And everything it did go well,” concluded McCormac.

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Photo credit: Zach Dalin KMOV TV