Listen to Austin 360 Radio

Dinges: Fox Sports takes Austin-made drones for a test drive

Gary Dinges
gdinges@statesman.com
Fox Sports tested out drones recently with some assistance from supercross riders.

Fox Sports says it hopes to use drones made by an Austin company to help it cover a variety of sporting events in the months and years to come.

During a recent test at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, three remote-controlled, camera-equipped drones from HeliVideo Productions recorded Monster Energy Supercross riders in action. The test went well, Fox Sports executives said, with some of the footage being used in a special the network aired.

“There is no question we are looking into ways to incorporate this next-level technology into a wide variety of our sports properties,” said Eric Shanks, the president, chief operating officer and executive producer of Fox Sports. “We chose to run this live-event simulation … because both companies share a passion for being on the cutting edge, always looking for what’s next.”

Fox Sports has rights to air everything from the NFL to pro golf to NASCAR, so the possibilities are endless, Shanks said.

“While certainly not limited to use in motor sports, capturing the speed and on-track aggressive competition of Monster Energy Supercross from new and unique angles with multiple drones in operation at the same time was a great place to start,” he said. “We’re thrilled with what we learned from this live-event simulation, and we are excited to see where it takes us next.”

In addition to the recent Fox Sports test, HeliVideo Productions has done work for ABC, CBS, NBC, Discovery Channel, Animal Planet and HBO Sports.

Radio show gets TV airtime

Austin UniMás station KFTO-TV is now carrying a simulcast of a popular Spanish-language radio show.

“El Show de Raul Brindis” (“The Raul Brindis Show”) can be seen weekdays from 6 a.m. to 7 a.m. on KFTO, as well as three other UniMás stations in Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston and San Antonio.

The simulcast started April 6, the same day four stations affiliated with sister network Univision, including Austin’s KAKW-TV, began airing a statewide morning newscast from 4 a.m. to 6 a.m.

Brindis’ radio show does well in the ratings across much of the state, UniMás executives said. In Houston and the Rio Grande Valley, for instance, it ranks No. 1, regardless of language.

“Raul Brindis is a household name within the Hispanic community in Texas, and we are pleased to expand the show’s reach to give UniMás viewers the chance to experience one of their favorite radio personalities right on their TV screens,” said Univision Local Media president Kevin Cuddihy. “This is part of our commitment to offer the best content from across our platforms that we know is culturally relevant and will resonate with our audiences.”

New job for ex-KVUE anchor

Former KVUE-TV sports anchor Cory Hepola has landed a new gig in the Twin Cities.

Hepola, who left Austin to work as a featured anchor for the now-defunct Comcast SportsNet Houston, is taking over as morning news co-anchor at KARE-TV, the Minneapolis NBC affiliate.

Read my blog at tvradio.blog.austin360.com or follow @gdinges on Twitter to get the latest updates on local radio and TV stations.