KOCHI: The swirling laser lights continue to affect players, especially when they are about to serve. The lights are also flashed after every point and during time-outs. It all needs some getting used to for players. Teams understand why the lights are needed and adjust.
This is a part of the organisers’ efforts to make the Professional Volleyball League a more appealing product. “We want to try and play around with the lighting and effects. The idea is to get people glued to the TV. People should enjoy it,” says Vishal Arora, head of production of the league.
Fleet of 13 cameras
The Rajiv Gandhi Indoor Stadium helps spectators watch the action from close and there are two big screens to catch replays. The organisers said a total of 13 cameras are being used for coverage. Some are placed across the corners of the court, then there is a net camera, an overhead one and others placed on the sidelines.
“We want to capture every emotion and every action. We had to think of how to use wide angles to capture action and super slow motions. We have broadcast cameras which are used for international meets,” Arora said.
Team of 50
The show is put together by a 50-member squad. There is the director, producer, with cameramen, EVS operators and those who operate replays. There is also a graphic team, audio team and commentators. The entire contingent landed in Kochi four days prior to the first game to set up the stage.
“No broadcaster has done volleyball except at the Asian Games. That was the challenge and it is always good to be associated with a new sport. From a broadcast perspective, it is a new sport. We want to focus as much as possible on the players,” Arora said.
PVL is banking on a mix of sporting expertise and general commentary. American beach volleyball player Alexa Chitra Strange and noted presenters like Patrick Kinghorn are the commentators. Alexa, who is of Indian origin, is from Southern California. Kinghorn has experience of covering World Cups and the Olympic Games. Manish Batavia and Sunil Taneja complete the team of presenters.
Second win for Kochi
Kochi Blue Spikers secured their second win beating Ahmedabad Defenders 3-2 (10-15, 15-11, 11-15, 15-12, 15-12).