Behind the Scenes at Sirius-XMsirius dog



By Kyle Atras

At Sirius Xm satellite radio a lot goes into making what you hear on the air sound so smooth and natural. Currently the second most subscribed product, only behind Comcast, in the country the product must be at the highest level.

However, for this to happen a lot of people are needed to take audio and information and organize it so that it can be used effectively by the various hosts on the different shows that you hear each day. xmradio

Who exactly are those people behind the scenes, you might ask. Maybe you wonder how all the different sound clips and highlights are assembled that you hear on the air.

Well in fact there is an entire team and workstation for this stuff to be done. In fact, there are multiple offices around the country that help with the various sports, so that you get up to the minute information and scoring plays on your satellite radio.

Here we will be specifically centered on the office in Washington, D.C., which is in charge of MLB NBA and College Sports.  Working on cutting audio from interviews on the different sports talk shows held in D.C. to cutting game highlights for each game in these three sports. All other sports clips and highlights are sent down from various cities, which include New York and Toronto.

When the interviews take place on air they are put into a file on the audio system at Sirius Xm. After this an email will come from the producer of the show to have the interview be cut by people in the newsroom.

Once, this email is received by the newsroom, somebody either accepts the interview or passes it on to someone to listen and cut audio from.  Usually the email will also include talking points, or reason the guest is on, so that the people in the newsroom will have guidelines to follow while cutting the interview.

First, the person working the interview will cut the full interview from the segment of the show in which the interview takes place. Next, the full interview will be put up in an audio editing program and the interviews will then be played and important parts will be cut, ranging from 8-20 seconds, with the ideal time being 15 seconds per cut.

They are then labeled in the correct format and placed in the right folder. Once this is done the cuts are sent up to Sirius XM in New York through another program.

Lastly, an email is sent back to the producer and to the rest of the D.C. sports newsroom to notify every one of all the cuts and is listed exactly as they appear in the folders so that they can be found easily. Also included in the email is where the files are located so that update hosts and different show hosts can request the clips to be used on air.

However, when it comes to live games and highlights the tables are flipped and the people in the newsroom must cut all that they feel is necessary or key plays in each game.  When it comes to baseball and college football it is pretty straight forward to cut all runs or points scored and in baseball when pitchers throw more than five strikeouts during the game and each one after that need to be cut.  Also, for MLB and college football games’, depending on the play to be cut, decides which broadcast to use so that it can be cut from each teams own broadcasters. This way more emotion and excitement can be provided for each clip. 

When it comes to NBA games it is hard to just cut points scored because of the high scoring that occurs in each game. This results in only key plays from star players to be cut and possibly used on air later. Mainly, highlights are cut from the 3rd and 4th quarters because that is when games are usually on the line and when the most exciting plays occur in a game.

Once all of these cuts are made and placed in there correct folders, sent to New York, and the cut sheets are sent out, then it’s up to the Update anchors to take the cuts they feel are important to include in their 3 minute updates that air on the top of each hour. Also, each talk show on Sirius Xm can then select cuts to play during their shows.

So next time you listen to MLB Network Radio, College Football Radio, or a Sirius XM Sports Update and hear player audio or press conference quotes you will know that a lot of people have had their hand in getting that 15 second clip to you so that your listening experience can been enhanced with the sound of the players and coaches themselves.




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