Showtime at Consol with CBS Sports Network, Rebellion

July 7, 2014

It was showtime for the Pennsylvania Rebellion during their game against the USSSA Pride Monday at Consol Energy Park.

CBS Sports Network televised the National Pro Fastpitch softball league game, exposing the Rebellion to 96 million homes.

Winkler Productions, which has produced events as varied as National Football League games and professional bull riding, was charged with producing the two-game series between the Rebellion and USSSA Pride.

“We’ve worked with NPF for three seasons,” Winkler said. “It’s a great opportunity for the league. The games had been on ESPN but not nearly as many as CBS Sports net offers now.”

The NPF has a one-year contract with CBS Sports Network with 17 games on the schedule, including tonight’s series finale.

An 18th game would be added if the season-ending championship series goes an extra game.

Seven cameras were positioned around the field – left-center field, center field, first base, third base, home plate and a rover – and two players and one umpire wore microphones during the game. A miniature camera, attached to the cap of the home plate umpire, was tried out during Sunday’s game.

“We have 40 to 50 people involved in the production,” Winkler said. “Most are from the Pittsburgh area.”

Winkler said Dartfish video software is one of the newer technologies on the production. It allows a super slow-motion on video replays.

“It’s cutting-edge technology used in the last winter and summer Olympics,” Winkler said.

Eric Collins, who has broadcast Major League Baseball games with the Los Angeles Dodgers and college football for ESPN and the Big Ten Network, did the play-by-play and Barbara Jordan, who works on NCAA softball games and partnered with Bernie Guenther at the NPF draft, provided color analysis.

Joe Tuscano has been with the Observer-Reporter since 1980. He has covered all sports for the newspaper, including the Steelers, Pirates, Pitt football, local college football and wrestling. He has worked for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the Jeannette News-Dispatch and North Hills Record. He graduated from Duquesne University in 1980.

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