Television Sports Production with Jim Owens

How have you seen television sports production technologies and workflows change and evolve over the years?

Jim Owens: The transformation of how sports production technologies have changed in recent years has occurred in a rapid-fire succession. When I first started in the ‘80s, we were using multi-million dollar trucks. Today, production software is available for a fraction of that cost. The changes in the last couple of years have forced all of us to re-think how we create television. While the story process is still the same, the technology has radically changed.

What are your thoughts on new cloud workflows for television sports production in the new digital age?

Jim Owens: I think that the entire industry is headed that direction…quickly. With so much of it occurring during the pandemic, many people who thought that they would never like REMIs or IP production have realized that there are creative new options and are open to the changes.

What was one of the most important things you learned on set?

Jim Owens: I think that the most biggest things I’ve learned while working on sets is the importance of communication. Good communication between the crew members solves a lot of problems. It is also essential to build relationships.

Jim Owens

If you could share 3 ‘Television Sports Production’ best practices, what would they be?

Jim Owens:

Tip #1. The more you prepare before the production, the better you will be ready to handle the issues that arise.

Tip #2. As a director or producer, take care of your crew. Show them respect. You can have the best equipment in the world, but if your crew is off, you may not have a great show.

Tip #3. Give everyone a chance to provide input. Give your crew a voice.

Recommended Reading

Television Sports ProductionTelevision Sports Production
5th Edition
By Jim Owens

Unlike a studio production, many factors can adversely affect your television sports shoot including weather, lighting, and natural sound. A successful shoot is dependent on extensive planning, careful budgeting, technology, location, and a thorough understanding of the intricacies of the sport itself. With so much at stake, why not learn from an expert?

In Television Sports Production, Fifth Edition Jim Owens walks you through the planning, set-up, directing, announcing, shooting, and editing involved with covering a sports event. This manual gives you the tools to effectively cover sports ranging such as football, soccer, and basketball. Tips and advice on using mobile units, cameras, audio equipment, and lighting rigs will enable you to produce live or recorded coverage like an expert and capture professional-quality footage on the first take. After all, there are no instant replays!

This new edition has been updated to include:

  • Techniques used by producers to capture the essence of individual
  • Tips on shooting in 3D, 5D, 4k and 8K
  • Coverage using surround sound and the second screen
  • Extras such as camera and microphone diagrams and an easy-reference glossary

To order your copy of the book, “Television Sports Production“, click here >>

Jim OwensJim Owens has worked and taught in the video and television industry for over 30 years. His international television work has included fourteen Olympic broadcasts and has taken him to over thirty countries. He is the author of the Video Production Handbook, Television Production, and Television Sports Production and has had over thirty articles published in television and broadcast magazines in the United States and Europe. Owens is Dean of the School of Communication Arts at Asbury University in Wilmore, Kentucky, where he has taught since 1981.

Jody Michelle SolisInterview conducted by Jody Michelle Solis. Jody serves as Associate Publisher for HD Pro Guide Magazine (, StudentFilmmakers Magazine (, and Sports Video Tech ( Magazine. She enjoys content creation, shooting/editing video, and teaching dance/yoga.


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