By Lauren Gudknecht
Assistant Sports Editor
After the official shutdown of sporting events, broadcast crews have begun to struggle. According to “The Sentinel-Record,” Greg Calvin, a sports audio technician who has been left unemployed along with other technicians due to the corona virus outbreak. Calvin had been a sports audio technician in New York for 31 years.
Calvin stated, “I don’t see a time in the near future where they are going to put 45,000 fans in a stadium.”
Some of the networks have paid the crews for the canceled games, but the audio technicians, the camera operators, stage managers and producers have all been laid off.
With many NCAA tournament games lost, CBS and Turner paid the staff for all lost games, while NBC paid for all canceled events. ESPN and Fox Sports are paying most if not all of their technical people all through the middle of April, stated “The Sentinel-Record.”
April is one of the biggest months for regional networks with the baseball season starting up and overlapping with the end of NHL and NBA regular seasons. Regional networks hold the rights of 42 professional teams, 16 NBA, 14 MLB and 12 NHL. Sinclair Broadcast Group, one of the nation’s largest holders of regional sports networks, only paid their crew members through March 15. Sinclair would have aired at least three times as many games in April compared to other networks.
The regional networks are currently rebroadcasting games. However, the crew members that worked on the live broadcasts are not able to earn residuals when the games are re-aired.
Leslie Fitzsimmons, the vice president of IATSE’s Local in Milwaukee said, “We lost all of our income; we need help.”