Sunday, January 6, 2008

Pack Network Premiere

By K.J. Cardinal

Yesterday was a very big day for me both personally and professionally. First off, Anna turned three months and is doing amazing. Not to downplay a milestone in the life of the cutest little girl ever (she's actually deadlocked for that title with Angie's niece JuJu), but yesterday was an even bigger day for Pack Network.

As most of you know, Pack Network is the new company that I started along with Adam Polgreen. Yesterday we had our first official PackCast production, which is an enhanced online video production, for America East.

What this really means is that we try to replicate a true television broadcast, but only distribute the production online. We have been providing online video streaming all year for most home events at UNH, Northeastern and UMBC, but not at this caliber. At those games we have trained staff and students run a scaled down version of our PackCast, which is still a notch above the current industry standard.

Yesterday's broadcast featured a five-camera shoot with dedicated announcers, a "Fox Box" scoreboard, on-screen graphics, tons of in-games notes, instant replays and commercials. We experienced a few technical difficulties along the way, but overall yesterday's production was a great success for it being our first real PackCast.

Things were so hectic before and during the game that Adam and I didn't really get a chance to enjoy what was going on, but now, a day later, I can say that yesterday's production was probably the proudest moment of my professional life.

It was so amazing to have our A Team of Pack Network staff members - Adam, me, Matt Fuller (the stats guru) and Norm Harnick (our ace cameraman) - on hand to pull off the broadcast. Matt & Norm have been the staple staffers that get what we're doing and are really irreplaceable for us.

What made yesterday even more special was the on-air talent that we had. Eric Frede, who most of you probably know from NESN or when he got his start back in the day at WMUR in N.H., was our play-by-play announcer. Just to hear Eric call one of our games and for him to say "Pack Network" during a "PackCast" was a real treat. He's a consummate professional, an amazing announcer and a generous friend. Pam Roecker was our color analyst.

Take a look at the clip below to get a feel for the type of broadcasts that we are doing. This clip is also going to be a commercial that we run in the PackCasts. I'm not going to spoil the finish, but we were fortunate enough to get one of the best women's basketball games that I've ever seen...and I've seen a lot of women's hoops.

Lastly, not to make this sound like my Emmy Award acceptance speech, but I definitely want to take a minute to publicly thank some folks for their help in getting Pack Network to where it is right now:
- Matt Bourque: thanks for your support in anything and everything I do professionally and personally
- Eric: I can't thank you enough for jumping on board to help us out and take our broadcasts to the next level
- Mom & Dad: your undying support for everything I do is something I can never thank you enough for
- Angie: your belief and support in Pack Network from the beginning still drives me every day and I couldn't ask for a better wife

America East PackCast Schedule
Sunday, January 13: WBB - Maine at Albany, 2 p.m.
Saturday, January 26: WBB - Boston U. at UNH, 12 p.m.
Saturday, February 2: MBB - UMBC at Vermont, 1 p.m.
Sunday, February 10: WBB - Stony Brook at Vermont, 1 p.m.
Wednesday, February 13: WBB - Hartford at Vermont, 7 p.m.
Saturday, February 16: WBB - UMBC at Binghamton, 2 p.m.
Log on to at game time to watch the PackCasts for free.

1 comment:

  1. We are so proud of you KJ. I could tell in your voice yesterday when you called after the broadcast that you were really happy with how things went. I also could tell in Eric's voice at the end was excited too:) Thanks for the thanks but it is a pleasure helping you kids out, whether its Dad helping Tiffany & Pete with their ice buildup on friday or helping you whenever, it is what makes us the happiest. It's what life is about for us. We are just so fortunate that you all super appreciate anything we do. We are Blessed. Love Mom