Lehigh Valley Drone providing UAS for broadcasts of Minor League Baseball team



Service Electric TV2, which is considered the leader in local sports broadcasting in Lehigh Valley, has partnered with a company called Lehigh Valley Drone to add a UAS to its broadcasts of the Lehigh Valley Ironpigs games.

The Lehigh Valley Ironpigs are a Minor League Baseball team, and the Triple-A affiliate of Major League Baseball’s Philadelphia Phillies.

This will be the first time that a UAS is used to provide a live video feed to a professional sports team in Lehigh Valley.

“We are adding a new dimension to an already excellent production,” says John Fries, Co-founder of Lehigh Valley Drone.

“I’m super excited by our test shots and I think the viewers at home will be in for a special treat too.”

Usually, a helicopter is used to feed aerial pictures to the remote production truck, but this method can often prove to be extremely costly, especially for local productions.

“There is absolutely no way a local broadcasting company would have the financial resources to hire a helicopter to cover the game,” Fries tells AUVSI. “Also, the helicopter would not be able to maneuver around to get the same shots as we can.”

UAS offer a more affordable option than a helicopter, and are better suited to maneuver around a ballpark, as Fries alludes to. Because of these reasons, Fries is extremely excited about the potential of this technology for these operations.

“Not only can we provide the nice beauty shots around the park, but we can get to areas that can be used to cover the game play as well,” Fries says. “I’m excited because this really illustrates the benefits of UASs.”

Fries adds that during these operations, a pilot flying/PIC, a camera operator—who will also be part 107 qualified—and a visual observer will be used for all games. 

Lehigh Valley Drone and Service Electric TV2 have committed to use the UAS for at least 20 home games this season. The first game that the UAS was used for was the home opening game today—photos can be seen below. The UAS will also be used for a game this weekend on Saturday, April 14.

“Service Electric Cable TV2 is excited to add this new perspective to our broadcast to enhance our viewers experience,” says Andy Himmelwright, General Manager of Service Electric TV2.

“Every year I look to bring something new and interesting to our television audience.”