By Maria Cipriano
On Mar. 9, the St. Louis Blues played against the Chicago Blackhawks at the United Center in Chicago. It was the first National Hockey League (NHL) game to be broadcasted on National Broadcasting Company (NBC) by all women.
Two Sacred Heart graduate assistants (GAs), Camila Cayere and Lauren Baker, are involved with the Sacred Heart sports broadcasts and expressed their thoughts on this first-time occurrence. Baker has been involved with the SHU broadcast for four years.
“With the SHU broadcast, as a GA, I am heavily involved in the pre-production, creating graphics, video elements, shooting ENG (electronic news gathering) and gathering all equipment needed,” Cayere said.
Baker is also heavily involved in the pre-production portion of the SHU broadcasts.
“For the SHU broadcasts, I am one of the leaders. I help with the pre-production work from graphics, gathering highlights for various players, and getting all of the cameras from the studio that are needed,” Baker said.
Baker thinks that this broadcast was a way to show what women can do in sports.
“As more and more women are getting involved in sports broadcasting, I think we are making the statement that women like sports too and that we want to be a part of the broadcast in any way possible,” Baker said.
According to NBC, the game was originally pitched by the producer Kaitlin Urka, and then the game took place on March 9, on International Women’s Day. In addition, from NBC, the game was called by Kate Scott, Kendall Coyne-Schofield, and Allison Jaime “A.J.” Mleczko, both U.S. Olympic gold medalists.
“I think in any level of sports, an all-women’s broadcast is significantly important because it shows that women can do every single job/position in a broadcast,” Cayere said.
Baker also thinks that this first broadcast was significant and hopes there will be more to come.
According to NBC, Jen Botterill, a three-time Canadian hockey Olympic gold medalist, anchored with Kathryn Tappen during the studio coverage that began at 7 p.m. Also from NBC, Botterill was reminded that there are more opportunities out there, no matter the field.
“I can see more and more women in the control room and broadcasters as well. I think that it will continue to grow because women are as knowledgeable and capable of doing these jobs as men are,” Cayere said.
“This is something that has never been done before and can be in the future of broadcasting,” Baker said.
During the SHU broadcasts, Baker is the graphics operator and ensures the everything is set up. Cayere has served as a camera operator, graphics, technical director, and the director of a broadcast.
“My favorite memory was when I got the opportunity to direct two women’s games. It was something I thought I never thought I would be able to do. I did it and absolutely loved it,” said Cayere.
“During the NEC Championship game for the 2018 season, I was working on the football broadcast. My job was the utility person with the camera operator on the field,” Baker said. “Once SHU won, we got to rush the field and captured the team celebration. We got interviews with our sideline reporter Allison Gaskins.”
Furthermore, from NBC and Tappen, Leslie Visser, who is the first female NFL analyst on radio and television, paved the way for more women to have the opportunity to broadcast sports on camera.
“I think the future for women in sports is bright because more and more women are getting involved in sports and broadcasting,” Baker said.