In this year's election 126 million Americans turned out to vote; the most in history. The television audience was assuredly massive as well, which meant that networks such as ABC Times Square Studios had to be ready for seamless, split-second updates during the entire night. That level of coordination is only possible with a state-of-the-art communications system- in this case by RTS Digital Matrix Intercom.
Jeff Hartnett, Director of Technical Operations & Engineering, has been with ABC Times Square Studios since before the 2000 election. In that time, the only thing that has remained constant is change.
How many/which locations were ABC Times Square Studios' intercom systems connected for the election?
In every location, inside the studio, in two trucks and three other locations with TSS plus trunking to ABC's main campus
Do all of ABC Times Square Studios' facilities use RTS?
Did ABC Times Square Studios connect any mobile units? If so, how many and where?
Two NEP (HD) trucks and a fly pack control room in the building
How many users were on ABC Times Square Studios' intercom network during the election?
We used 16 KP32 panels in the studio, 8 panels in the Demographics control room, another 6 panels inside for various and 40 panels in the two trucks.
How long did it take to setup the additional components for the election?
It took from 10/24 to Election Day 11/04 to build everything involved
How would you describe your experience with RTS technical support?
Great group of guys and very knowledgeable.
From a technical perspective, how did 2008 compare to elections past?
Quite a bit more involved on the technical side and a lot of planning was involved.
How did the night go overall?
What is the next big event that ABC Times Square Studios is planning to cover, and how does that compare to the Election?
We do a large New Years Eve show here each year – Dick Clark and Ryan Seacrest "ABC Rockin Eve" Not quite as big of a production but with lots of music acts …
Is there anything else you would like to add?
Ken Smalley and Chuck Roberts have been a big help to us. During four days of the Elections week we had Chuck here for vendor support. The intercom system at Times Square Studios used the Washington and London bureaus along with connections into the main campus of ABC. Times Square Studios is also connected to ESPN in Bristol, CT