How do you solve a problem like live broadcast?

by Steve Zucker

ScheduALL - live broadcast

NBC scores huge ratings with the live broadcast of The Sound of Music

It’s been more than 50 years since the last live broadcast of a Rogers and Hammerstein show. In a historic broadcast in 1957, CBS aired Cinderella (coincidentally starring Julie Andrews, who of course played Maria in the movie version of The Sound of Music). Thanks to 18.6 million viewers that tuned into the new complex production of The Sound of Music in December, it’s clear that this will be the first in what will surely be a new genre of TV broadcasts.

The technical requirements involved in this elaborate stage production were expansive and the live component added an even greater set of obstacles for producers:

  • 300 plus cast and crew
  • A 39,000 square foot studio
  • 1000 movie lights
  • 12 wired cameras
  • More than 1700 audio instruments and elements

ScheduALL - Broadway

Can you imagine trying to manage this many moving parts without a comprehensive resource management tool? Your most important resources are both limited and expensive. The equipment, facility and people listed above need to be efficiently allocated, managed, tracked and reported to ensure the right asset is in the right place at the right time.

The Sound of Music production was executed so precisely that it ended within one half-second of the scheduled three-hour run time.

It is essential that a good analytics reporting system is used during production so that NBC can look back and analyze how resources were utilized; detecting patterns and trends to make the next production as efficient as possible.

NBC has signed on the same producers for another Broadway musical during the holiday season of 2014 – Peter Pan will air on December 4, 2014.

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