In a Search for the 'Ultimate Replay,' YES Network Adds 4K Cameras, 3D Views

Over the past month, YES Network has added new replay technology to its telecast lineup for Bronx Bombers games at Yankee Stadium.

Working in conjunction with Israeli firm Replay Technologies, the regional sports network has been presenting YES View, which affords virtual three-dimensional vistas of batting and plays at the plate from intertwined 4K cameras shooting at 200 frames per second, according to YES Network senior vice president of broadcast operations and engineering Ed Delaney.

Under the YES View setup, nine static cameras have been positioned and calibrated in Yankee Stadium’s 200 level along the first base line, extending from just to the right of home plate to the grandstand in right field.

As is the case with other technologies, like the Emmy-winning slow-motion YES MO, Delaney said the network’s goal is to “bring viewers closer to the action and, ultimately, provide the definitive replay.”

Testing of YES View began during home games throughout April before the RSN unveiled the upgraded replays on-air during a series in early May versus the Oakland Athletics.

Since then, Delaney said, YES has been enhancing its home telecasts with three or four YES Views per contest.

Starting with a view of the batter from the left of the pitcher’s mound, the YES View pivoted to show Yankees catcher Chris Stewart getting his left foot down and then connecting with the ball in front of the plate, pulling it down the left field line and into the stands for a round-tripper.

Similarly, the technology illustrated how lefty-swinging second baseman Robinson Cano in the May 30 game versus the New York Mets jumped on a slider in the middle of the plate that he lined for a homer.

On a close play at the plate, YES View turned to alternate perspectives showing how David Adams’ slide outside the third base line enabled him to avert the catcher’s sweeping tag attempt.

YES officials were introduced to the technology during last summer’s London Olympics, where the international feed included some enhanced views of the gymnastics competition. Replay Technologies later gave YES executives a baseball demonstration involving local players in Israel.

While he wouldn’t discuss pricing specifics, Delaney called the technology a significant investment that has been offset to some extent because its deployment at Yankee Stadium is being used by the vendor as a marketing tool of sorts. “A lot of people are coming by to see the replays,” said Delaney, pointing to MLB Network, NBC Sports and Fox Sports as companies that are checking out the technology.

Typically, four or five Replay staffers work the system, alongside a YES producer who selects which plays to clip and fashion into replays. The unit is connected to one of the RSN’s TV trucks, where the game producer can view the replays on the monitor wall.

As YES production personnel have become more familiar with the technology and its processes, they have reduced amount of time it takes to bring the replays to air from 2:30 to 1:30. Delaney is confident that “we’ll get under a minute soon.”

Delaney is also exploring the option of moving the replay system to focus on first base or another point on the field.