NewTek TriCaster Powers WOAI/KABB TV Election Coverage Via Facebook Live
NewTek TriCaster successfully helped WOAI / KABB television stations do something extraordinary on election night. Besides broadcasting the election on their respected primary HDTV channels, both stations delivered a separate live broadcast using Facebook Live. Clauda Kienzle reports here.

NewTek TriCaster Powers WOAI/KABB TV Election Coverage Via Facebook Live

SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS On November 8th, the night of the much-anticipated 2016 Presidential Election, two prominent San Antonio television stations did what affiliate stations traditionally do—they carried their respective network’s live national elections feeds on their primary HDTV channels. KABB-TV/DT HD—which is local FOX29—featured the Fox network’s coverage, and its sister station, WOAI-TV/DT News 4 carried NBC’s coverage. But during those live broadcasts, this San Antonio duopoly did something revolutionary. They delivered a completely separate live broadcast—focused primarily on their local Bexar County races—via the social media platform: Facebook Live.
“We’re reaching across broadcasting, social and digital platforms to engage loyal and new viewers wherever they are, and on whatever devices they want to use.”
All in all, they were simultaneously broadcasting on their live HDTV channels, streaming media to their website and delivering yet a third live stream via Facebook Live. To produce the Facebook Live show, they chose a NewTek TriCaster 8000 live production system because it integrates essential broadcast production tools within a single system, including the ability to stream media directly to Facebook Live. 20161107_154723-resized Social Broadcasting “Facebook Live is a very powerful medium that could potentially change our industry significantly. It gave us instantaneous reach to online viewers and the ability to interact with them in real-time. Throughout our special election night coverage, we actively engaged viewers via Facebook Live, and featured their posts and tweets as part of our show,” said Blaise Labbe, Director of News for WOAI/KABB, which are San Antonio news leaders serving Southern Texas households.
“This Facebook Live undertaking was a very high priority for our stations and our parent company, Sinclair Broadcast Group,” Labbe said.
In the weeks leading up to the election, announcements were made during the KABB and WOAI newscasts to promote the planned Facebook Live local coverage. They also pushed notifications and mobile alerts to viewers to remind them to check out their innovative Facebook Live stream. A special landing page was created for the portal, featuring advertisements sold just for this special coverage, a media player for the live video, and a chat box for viewers’ comments. “While KABB FOX29 skews Hispanic adults 18-49, the WOAI/NBC affiliate attracts higher-income Caucasian adults 25-54,” Labbe said,
“But with Facebook Live, we were able to reach everybody—across all demos—at once.”
Since the broadcast networks don’t generally have time on election night to delve into local races, these San Antonio stations reinforced their positions as local news leaders by providing this in-depth local coverage on their Facebook page. Between KABB and WOAI, the two stations produce 55 hours of live news programming weekly, including a 4-hour block for the live morning show seen on FOX29. [Continue Reading...]
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