Equipment might affect quality of UK telecasts from Canada

ssloan@herald-leader.comAugust 14, 2010 

Wildcat fans will get their first look at the University of Kentucky men's basketball team next week, but because the games are in Canada, the broadcast quality might be affected, according to broadcaster WKYT (Channel 27).

The CBS affiliate has had to hire a Canadian production crew to film the games rather than risk problems with the licensing process required to send its own crews, said Mike Kanarek, WKYT's vice president of operations.

"It becomes a lot more difficult when you're using a foreign production truck, literally, and the capabilities of that truck and what it can and can't do is far different than ours," Kanarek said.

Because of that, the quality of the games broadcast won't be as high as it would if produced by WKYT, he warned. However, he said it should be better than that of the games UK played last season in Cancun, Mexico.

"They're not familiar with working with a regional sports network, and the truck has limitations," he said. "That will limit the look of the telecast."

In Canada, WKYT is dealing with a crew that "doesn't do a lot of basketball," though "they do quite a bit of hockey," Kanarek said.

One of the differences will be that the games will be transmitted in a 4:3 aspect ratio instead of the 16:9 aspect ratio that WKYT uses to fill out high-definition televisions, Kanarek said.

Closed captioning is also being done in Lexington because the Canadians' uplink truck doesn't have that capability, he said.

Reach Scott Sloan at (859) 231-1447 or 1-800-950-6397, Ext. 1447.

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