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Ken Cleary

Assistant Athletic Director for New Media
Department of Athletics

Ken Cleary

Ken Cleary

“ITS has provided invaluable guidance and support in the Department of Athletics project to prepare for the launch of the ACC Network. As part of this project, ITS has been intimately involved in many facets of the project.

The Carolina Athletics Media and Communications Center will be the home of the ACC Network on the Carolina campus. The MCC is currently under construction in the Smith Center complex on Skipper Bowles Drive. This facility will be the hub for broadcast production and will link all athletic venues on campus. The MCC will include three broadcast control rooms, two studios, engineering space and offices for the Carolina Athletics creative and communications teams.

Over the past year, the Transport Operations team has been pulling fiber-optic cable across campus to connect athletic venues to the Smith Center complex. This fiber will carry video, audio and data back to the MCC for production. The final program signal is then transmitted from the MCC to ESPN for distribution through websites, over-the-top devices and over the air. Incidentally, ITS has a hand in almost all athletics broadcasts on campus, as these broadcasts no longer require satellite uplinks. The program transmission for these broadcasts now travels over ITS fiber, where it’s handed off to ESPN transmission partners at ITS Manning.

Another critical part of the project in which ITS has provided invaluable assistance is the transport of digital audio over the campus network. The broadcast production world is transitioning to audio transport over IT networks as they provides efficiency and financial benefits. Athletics Broadcast Engineer Kevin Tucker has worked with Tom Livers, Ryan Turner, Jim Gogan and others to design a digital audio network to move audio signals to and from athletics venues using the campus network while keeping the audio data isolated from other network traffic. This design and deployment truly has Carolina on the cutting edge of broadcast technology.

Not to be overlooked, the project to make Adobe Creative products available to students and staff has revolutionized how Athletics creates content for video boards, television shows, social media and many other projects. Fiscal year 2017-2018 was the first year Athletics fully deployed the Adobe solution. It has enabled students and staff alike to work on projects across campus, share content seamlessly and have access to world-class creative tools that previously would have been cost-prohibitive to access.

There is no question that partnerships with ITS across many disciplines has enabled Carolina Athletics to be more efficient, to save money, provide students with unprecedented learning opportunities, and connect Carolina’s student-athletes and sports programs with fans around the country and the world.”