CBS Sports' Fall 2009 coverage of the U.S. Open Tennis Championships has been named the winner of the prestigious 2010 Sports Emmy George Wensel Technical Achievement Award.
The event was noteworthy due to its use of the "Flomotion" effect, which was created with a Orad Hi-Tec Systems MVP (Motion Video Play) sports enhancement system.
During the network's U.S. Open coverage, producers deployed Flomotion to quickly track onscreen objects—such as the tennis ball or player—and freeze or follow the action, using frame overlays to show the position of the object(s) at any given time. Flomotion allowed viewers at home to see critical points of the match on a frame-by-frame basis, for such sequences as a long rally or key shots. The system also enabled U.S. Open commentators to analyze and track the distances players ran or the path of a player during the match.
The Flomotion tracking platform is based on optical recognition, there is no need for camera modifications, and graphics can be inserted on the fly and transformed into smooth, real-time animations in a matter of seconds.
Ken Aagaard, senior vice president of operations and production at CBS Sports, said Flomotion allowed the CBS team of producers to deliver a new perspective on key points throughout any given match of the Championships, "resulting in a one-of-a-kind viewing experience for tennis fans watching tournament matches at home."
The George Wensel Technical Achievement Award is given out annually to a broadcaster and recognizes an extraordinary technical innovation that enhances the overall viewing experience. The award was presented to CBS Sports at the 31st Sports Emmy Awards ceremony held in New York City in late April.