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The Latest Updates From 200+ Leading Sports-Technology Vendors
VOLUME 15 ISSUE 1 PUBLISHED BY
ADVANCING THE CREATION, PRODUCTION, & DISTRIBUTION OF SPORTS CONTENT
NEXT CHAPTER COVID-19 PLUS SVG COVID-19 SPORTS PRODUCTION
OPERATIONS GUIDE VERSION 2.0
SVG EVENT RECAPS: SVG SUMMIT: CONNECT, Sports OTT Forum, TranSPORT, IP Production Forum, Esports Production Summit, SVG Teams Summit, Sports Graphics Forum, and More WHITE PAPERS: Grass Valley, Lawo, Riedel, Sony, and The Switch
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in this issue SPRING 2021 Volume 15 Issue 1
upfront 4 FROM THE CHAIRMAN Looking to the Future While Looking Out for Each Other 6 COVERING THE FIELD A Return to Normalcy Approaches
SVGeventrecap 8 SVG SUMMIT: CONNECT 9 SPORTS OTT FORUM TRANSPORT IP PRODUCTION FORUM REMOTE PRODUCTION WORKFLOWS
10 ESPORTS PRODUCTION SUMMIT
SPORTS PRODUCTION TOOLS FORUM SVG TEAMS SUMMIT SPORTS GRAPHICS FORUM
COVER STORY page 12
SPORTS PRODUCTION PAGE38
IN THE COVID-19 ERA
SVG COVID-19 SPORTS PRODUCTION OPERATIONS GUIDE — VERSION 2.0
white papers 80
GRASS VALLEY: ADDRESSING KEY CHALLENGES FOR LIVE PRODUCTION IN THE CLOUD
82 LAWO: CLOUD-BASED LIVE PRODUCTION — WHAT CAN WE EXPECT? 84
RIEDEL COMMUNICATIONS: BIO-SAFE COMMUNICATIONS INSIDE THE NBA BUBBLE
SONY / NEVION: CONTROL AND MONITORING IN DISTRIBUTED SPORTS PRODUCTION
THE SWITCH: HITTING THE GROUND RUNNING: THE JOURNEY FROM SATELLITE TO IP CONTENT DELIVERY
90 SVG SPONSOR UPDATE
The latest production technology and news from 200+ SVG sponsors
133 SVG SPONSOR DIRECTORY 138 2
Where We Go From Here
SPORTSTECHJOURNAL / SPRING 2021
FROM THE CHAIRMAN
LOOKING TO THE FUTURE WHILE LOOKING OUT FOR EACH OTHER By Mike Davies Sports Video Group, Advisory Board Chairman There is no better time than now to both take a look back and a look forward. I cannot competently capture a synopsis of the dynamics at work during the past year and those of the year to come. Last spring, we were an industry in a dramatic and fitful shift. On a daily basis, one experienced a full spectrum of professional and personal emotion — glimmering hope on one day followed by complete dejection the next. The Spring of 2020 witnessed an industry struggling to come back. By utilizing technology in peoples’ garages, apartments, and other unconventional venues, productions such as sports talk shows and esports were being produced. There was an eye to coming back in the most regular way we could; UFC’s Fight Island was being conceived, the PBR was bringing RVs to house entire crews in parking lots of empty venues, and NASCAR was planning a hopeful return in a town of 6,000 people — Darlington, SC. Since then, a ramp up in the speed of the gears of production has ensued; fits and starts to begin with in the Spring and the Summer, giving way to a breakneck pace as we crashed into a fall full of pent up sports potential. By the end of the year, our collective calendar was full once again with production of all kinds, much of it in unprecedented simultaneity. Throughout, the industry has relied on itself for support and information. Those who have the burden of speaking to me often know that I believe the Sports Video Group provides a profoundly important tent wherein our industry can gather. And now — perhaps more important than ever — this SVG Tent is a community wherein we can sit together to discuss and plot forward the order of the day. Emblematic of this community are the weekly Clean Freaks calls where networks, facilities providers, and thought leaders worldwide come together to discuss their experiences and opinions for the future during the pandemic. Therein, ideas are hatched, research debated, and new connections made. But, more importantly, we are able to just get together and talk. It has been a meaningful year for SVG with more than just a few promising beginnings. Examples of such beginnings are the popular virtual events, the SPIRIT diversity initiative, and our new burgeoning partnership with the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation (HBFF). These are accomplishments in which all of you — our community — as well as the excellent staff at SVG — our group of young writers and organizers — should feel a great deal of pride and ownership. As we look forward, much of the business of production is different than it once was, and we collectively continue to be fraught with the challenges of evolution. The fitful shift we experienced last year continues still. Technologies such as distributed production through IP have upended the way that we execute production, and will likely continue to do so. And with this or any disruption, there is significant challenge and nascent opportunity along the way. The future of our business continues to be written and revised with every day and every production. What I am most proud of is that we have kept caring for one another, perhaps even more so since this all began. The support, through the SVG Sports Broadcasting Fund, our new association with HBFF, and the continued dialog and camaraderie, has touched countless people as we retain the mantle as the industry that most looks after our own. With great hope, I look forward to seeing you all, either virtually or — better yet — in person, in the very near future. Be well and be safe. <
SPORTSTECHJOURNAL / SPRING 2021
Mike Davies, Fox Sports, SVP, Technical and Field Operations
Ken Aagaard, SVG Chairman Emeritus and HOF Chairman Andrea Berry, PRG, VP and General Manager, Broadcast and Television Eric Black, NBC Sports Digital, CTO Jason Cohen, CBS Sports and CBS Sports Network, VP, Remote Technical Operations Mike Connelly, Bally Sports, EVP Scott Gillies, VENN, CTO Steve Hellmuth, SVG Chairman Emeritus and NBA Entertainment, EVP, Media Operations and Technology Jeff Jacobs, Skyline Sports and Entertainment, Principal Patty Power, CBS Sports, EVP, Operations and Engineering Tom Sahara, SVG Chairman Emeritus Susan Stone, MLB Network, SVP, Engineering and Operations
>ADVISORY BOARD MEMBERS
Adam Acone, NFL Network, Director, Media Operations and Planning Glenn Adamo, Ivanhoe Media and Entertainment, President Peter Angell, Industry Consultant Tracey Arrowood-Shaw, Black Dragon Capital, Media Technology and Content Advisor Onnie Bose, NFL, VP of Broadcasting Chris Brown, Turner Sports, VP, Sports Production Technology Tab Butler, Industry Consultant Chris Calcinari, ESPN, SVP, Remote Production Operations, ESPN and ABC Sports Mary Ellen Carlyle, Dome Productions, SVP and GM Ken Clausen, HBO, Director of Production Joe Cohen, The Switch, President, Sports Michael Cohen, Bizzy Signals Entertainment, President/Executive Producer Don Colantonio, Industry Consultant Scott Davis, CBS Sports, VP of Broadcast Operations Jim DeFilippis, Industry Consultant Ed Delaney, Industry Consultant Jed Drake, Industry Consultant David Dukes, PGA Tour Entertainment, Senior Director, Technical Operations Jerry Gepner, CP Communications, COO Steve Gorsuch, Industry Consultant Ken Goss, NBC Sports, SVP of Remote Operations & Production Planning Mark Haden, NHL, Group VP, Broadcast Technology Ed Holmes, The Holmes Group, Principal Deb Honkus, NEP Broadcasting, Chairman of the Board George Hoover, Industry Consultant Darryl Jefferson, NBC Sports Group, VP, Postproduction and Digital Workflow Robert Jordan, CVE, 1337 Facilities, CEO John Kvatek, University of Central Florida Knights, Senior Associate AD/External Operations John Leland, PSL International, LLC, Principal Glen Levine, NEP, President, U.S. Louis Libin, Broad Comm, President Jodi Markley, Industry Consultant Bernadette McDonald, Major League Baseball, SVP, Broadcasting Grant Nodine, NHL, SVP, Technology Ken Norris, UCLA, Director of Video Operations Gary Olson, GHO Group, Managing Director Del Parks, Sinclair Broadcast Group, SVP and CTO Scott Rinehart, University of Notre Dame, Director, Broadcast Technology Larry Rogers, FirstInTV, President Mike Rokosa, NHRA, Technology Executive Scott Rothenberg, NEP, SVP, Technology and Asset Management Oscar Sanchez, CONCACAF, Director of Broadcast Operations Bruce Shapiro, Broadcast Consulting Jack Simmons, Industry Consultant Don Sperling, New York Giants Entertainment, VP and Executive Producer Jerry Steinberg, Industry Consultant Patrick Sullivan, Game Creek Video, President Jason Taubman, Game Creek Video, VP Design/New Technology Larry Tiscornia, Industry Consultant Jacob Ullman, Fox Sports, SVP, Production and Talent Development John Ward, Industry Consultant Ernie Watts, Industry Consultant Mike Webb, YES Network, VP, Broadcast Operations Jeff Willis, Industry Consultant Dave Zur, KSE Media Ventures, SVP, Operations & Engineering
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COVERING THE FIELD
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AJA • ALDEA SOLUTIONS • AMAGI • ARISTA NETWORKS • ARRI • ATEME • AUDIO-TECHNICA • AVIWEST • BELDEN • BITCENTRAL (FUEL BY BITCENTRAL) • BITFIRE NETWORKS • BLACKBIRD VIDEO • BOON AI • BRAINSTORM • BRAINSTORM ELECTRONICS • CISCO SYSTEMS • CLARK WIRE & CABLE • COBALT DIGITAL • CREATIVE DIMENSIONS • CROWN CASTLE • DAKTRONICS • DALE PRO AUDIO • DATACORE • DELAPLEX • DEVLIN DESIGN GROUP • DIGITAL NIRVANA • DIMETIS • DMC BROADCAST GROUP • EEG VIDEO • ELUVIO • ENCOMPASS DIGITAL MEDIA • FASTLY • FINGERWORKS TELESTRATORS • FLOWICS • FOR-A • FUJITSU • G&D NORTH AMERICA • GLOBECAST • GOOGLE CLOUD • GRABYO • HAIVISION • IMAGEN • INTELSAT • JB&A • JOSEPH ELECTRONICS • JVC PROFESSIONAL VIDEO • LEADER INSTRUMENTS • LEVELS BEYOND • LIMELIGHT NETWORKS • LIVE CGI • LTN GLOBAL COMMUNICATIONS • M2A MEDIA • MARSHALL ELECTRONICS • MASSTECH INNOVATIONS • MATROX • MAXON • MEDIA LINKS • MEDIAKIND • MOBILE TV GROUP • MPE • NCAM • NEMAL ELECTRONICS • NET INSIGHT • NEVION • NEXTOLOGIES • OBJECT MATRIX • OPENDRIVES • PARSEC • PIXELLOT • PRIMESTREAM • PRIMEVIEW • PRODUCTIONHUB • QUANTUM5X • RCN BUSINESS SERVICES • RT SOFTWARE • RTS INTERCOM SYSTEMS • SAFESITE • SANKEN MICROPHONES • SENCORE • SENNHEISER • SILVER SPOON ANIMATION • SMT • SOS GLOBAL EXPRESS • SPECTRA LOGIC • SPORTZCAST • STATS PERFORM • STREAMING GLOBAL • STREANN MEDIA • STUDIO NETWORK SOLUTIONS (SNS) • SUPPONOR • SYNAMEDIA • TAG V.S. • TATA COMMUNICATIONS • TELEMETRICS • TELSTRA • TERADEK • THE VIDEO CALL CENTER • TSL PRODUCTS • UNIQFEED • VARIANT SYSTEMS GROUP • VENUE EDGE • VERIZON MEDIA • VIDEON CENTRAL • VIDISPINE - AN ARVATO SYSTEMS BRAND • VIMOND MEDIA SOLUTIONS • VISLINK TECHNOLOGIES • VISTA WORLDLINK • VITAC • VITEC • WILDMOKA • WORLD WIDE TECHNOLOGY • WOWZA MEDIA SYSTEMS • WSC SPORTS • XCITE INTERACTIVE • XYTECH SYSTEMS
3G WIRELESS • ADVANCED SYSTEMS GROUP • AE LIVE • AERIAL VIDEO SYSTEMS • ALL MOBILE VIDEO • ALPHA VIDEO • ARCTEK SATELLITE PRODUCTIONS • AZZURRO GROUP • BECKTV • BROADCAST MANAGEMENT GROUP • BROADCAST SERVICES INTERNATIONAL (BSI) • BROADCAST SPORTS INTERNATIONAL (BSI) • C360 • CAT ENTERTAINMENT SERVICES • CHESA • CINESYS • CONFERENCE TECHNOLOGIES INC. • CP COMMUNICATIONS • CREATIVE MOBILE SOLUTIONS • CSP MOBILE PRODUCTIONS • DISGUISE • DIVERSIFIED • DNA STUDIOS • DOME PRODUCTIONS • ES BROADCAST • F&F PRODUCTIONS • FILMWERKS INTERNATIONAL • FLETCHER SPORTS • GAME CREEK VIDEO • GEARTECH USA • HIGH ROCK MOBILE TELEVISION • ILLUMINATION DYNAMICS • INTEGRATED MEDIA TECHNOLOGIES • INTOTO SYSTEMS • KAUFMAN BROADCAST • KEY CODE MEDIA • KMH AUDIO-VIDEO INTEGRATION • LH COMPUTER SERVICES • LIVE MEDIA GROUP • LYON VIDEO • MEYERPRO • PROGRAM PRODUCTIONS • PSSI GLOBAL SERVICES/STRATEGIC TV • REALITY CHECK SOLUTIONS • RF WIRELESS SYSTEMS • ROBOVISION • RUSH MEDIA COMPANY • SDTV • SKYCAM/CABLECAM • SMARTCART TECHNOLOGY • SOUTHWORKS • SPARX TECHNOLOGY • ST ENGINEERING IDIRECT • THUMBWAR • VIDOVATION • WORLDSTAGE
A RETURN TO NORMALCY APPROACHES By Karen Hogan Ketchum, Sports Video Group, Director of Production and Editor, SportsTech Journal
Welcome to the Spring 2021 edition of the SVG SportsTech Journal. What a year it has been. More than 12 months have passed since the sports-production industry shut down on that fateful day in March 2020, and, although some aspects of life seem to stay frustratingly the same (I, once again, am writing this letter from my Brooklyn apartment), others show us that a return to normalcy may not be that far off. When I wrote this letter for the Spring 2020 edition, the pandemic had just upended our industry, and our lives. Here at SVG, we questioned whether celebrating major productions like the Super Bowl or the College Football National Championship was the right call because, quite frankly, we didn’t know if such events would survive. Thankfully, the past year has shown us that our industry not only is capable of incredible technological innovation in a very short period of time but also comprises some of the most resilient, determined, and committed professionals out there. From creating bubbles for the NBA and NHL seasons to reimagining an MLB season with very limited travel, the sports-production industry did what it needed to do to safely return to action in 2020. Now, in 2021, we’re turning the page and envisioning our next chapter: one that prioritizes health and safety, yes, but more closely resembles pre-COVID times. Fittingly, this edition of the SportsTech Journal is anchored by a section titled “Next Chapter,” which details the technological efforts made by the networks broadcasting the NBA (page 14), NHL (page 16), and MLB (page 18), as well as those responsible for Super Bowl LV (page 20), Daytona 500 (page 26), The Players Championship (page 30), and the NCAA Men’s and Women’s Final Four (pages 34 and 36, respectively). Our SVG COVID-19 Sports Production Operations Guide has evolved as well. First published in April 2020, it was designed to provide guidance on producing sports in a pandemic. Today, thanks to the weekly efforts of SVG’s Clean Freaks initiative, the Guide is more comprehensive than ever. Turn to page 38 to read the group’s updated recommendations for Personnel Management (page 40), Compound Design (page 46), Compound Entry (page 50), Entering and Exiting the Truck (page 54), Third-Party Providers (page 58), Catering (page 62), Vests/Access Wear (page 66), Audio (page 68), and Cleaning and Disinfecting (page 74), plus a new section on Vaccination (page 78). Team SVG’s most daunting task last year proved to be the reimagining of the SVG Summit (page 8). Over four days in December, we delivered town-hall meetings, keynote conversations, roundtable discussions, technology tours, and initiative meetings. We also introduced the SVG Connect Attendee Directory: the all-new way to network with event attendees before, during, and after each event. We wish we could have met in person, but we hope that you enjoyed attending SVG SUMMIT: CONNECT as much as we enjoyed producing it. And we hope to see you in New York City this December! However, the SVG Summit is far from the only event on the SVG calendar. SVG mainstays made the transition to the virtual world: Sports OTT Forum (page 9), TranSPORT (page 9), IP Production Forum (page 9), Esports Production Summit (page 10), and Sports Graphics Forum (page 10). In fact, the virtual world enabled us to add a few events to the schedule: Remote Production Workflows Summit (page 9), Sports Production Tools Forum (page 10), and SVG Teams Summit (page 10). Stay tuned to www.sportsvideo.org/events for more new events — and returning favorites — in 2021! Rounding out the Spring 2021 SportsTech Journal, our White Paper section offers expert technology insights from Grass Valley (page 80), Lawo (page 82), Riedel Communications (page 84), Sony/Nevion (page 86), and The Switch (page 88). Given the monumental shifts that have occurred in our industry over the past 12 months, you won’t want to miss what these leaders have to say about the future of sports production. Lastly, although the NAB Show did not take place in Las Vegas this month, our sponsors continue to find ways to innovate. Turn to page 90 to read the latest product announcements and company news from more than 200 leading technology vendors. We’ve come a long way since Spring 2020, and, although normalcy hasn’t yet returned, it gets closer every day. We can’t wait to see you when that day comes. <
SPORTSTECHJOURNAL / SPRING 2021
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SPORTS VIDEO GROUP CONFERENCES IN REVIEW REVIEW
> SVG SUMMIT: CONNECT
Top left: The Conversation: Inside the NBA 2020, featuring Turner Sports' Chris Brown, ESPN's Eddie Okuno, NBA's Steve Hellmuth, and ESPN's Tim Corrigan
DECEMBER 14-17, 2020
The heart and soul of every SVG SUMMIT are the people who attend. Once a year, more than 1,500 of us get together to hangout, schmooze, learn, and share. The COVID-19 crisis has made this more difficult, but our industry’s sense of community has never been stronger. We are fighting through this together. In December, SVG launched SVG SUMMIT: CONNECT, which took advantage of technology platforms to give attendees a chance to catch up with old friends, make some new ones, and better understand workflows and technologies that can help your business adapt to today’s challenges. The four-day event featured town-hall meetings, keynote conversations, roundtable discussions, technology tours, and initiative meetings, and gave everyone who attended a chance to reflect on an historic year and end 2020 together on a high note.
Top right: The Conversation: Inside the MLB 2020, featuring MLB Network's Susan Stone, Daniel Blanchard, Jacob Soto, Jason Lobb, and Jason Hedgcock Bottom left: The National Network Town Hall, featuring CBS Sports' Jason Cohen, Turner Sports' Chris Brown, Fox Sports' Mike Davies, NBC Sports Group's Dave Mazza, and CBS Sports' Patty Power Bottom right: The Professional Leagues Town Hall, featuring USTA's Patti Fallick, SVG's Jason Dachman, NFL's Onnie Bose, MLB's Bernadette McDonald, and NBA's Paul Benedict
CHECK OUT VIDEO ON DEMAND FROM EVERY SVG VIRTUAL EVENT! 8
SPORTSTECHJOURNAL / SPRING 2021
> S PORTS OTT FORUM SEPTEMBER 2-3, 2020
The Sports OTT Forum was jammed with fascinating keynotes and critical technological conversations addressing the pressing challenges and the intriguing opportunities of sports in an OTT world. How will personalization, discovery, interactivity, and fan engagement technologies help sports leagues, networks, and digital-native media companies engage with, monetize, and ultimately grow and retain a subscriber pool? The two-day event offered up first-hand perspectives and insights from some of the smartest minds in the digital sports game.
> T RANSPORT
SEPTEMBER 23-24, 2020
SVG’s annual TranSPORT conference focused on the current state of live-sports contribution and distribution technology. TranSPORT addressed the industry’s most pressing issues including the latest developments in terrestrial and satellite backhaul, IP and bondedcellular contribution, the potential of 5G and other next-gen technologies, OTT and streaming protocols, 4K and HDR delivery, the rise of “at-home-production” workflows, and more. Technology leaders from both major sports broadcasters and broadcast vendors offered up the latest developments in this integral sector of the sports-media ecosystem.
> IP PRODUCTION FORUM OCTOBER 7-8, 2020
IP-based production systems have never been more important given the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. The ability to move camera and audio signals via IP has allowed productions to be cost-effective, flexible, and safer. This two-day online session explored the latest developments related to IP standards, IP-based workflows, and more.
> R EMOTE PRODUCTION WORKFLOWS SUMMIT OCTOBER 28-29, 2020
The SVG Remote Production Workflows Virtual Summit took a look at the current and future state of remote production. IP, virtualized systems, and the cloud are changing the nature of remote production and allowing for new ways to work and complete a production. The two-day event looked at a number of productions and offered insights into how they were produced differently and the challenges and opportunities presented. continued on following page >
SPORTSTECHJOURNAL / SPRING 2021
EVENTS RECAP continued > E SPORTS PRODUCTION SUMMIT NOVEMBER 17-18, 2020
With live sports largely on a hiatus in early 2020 due to the pandemic, esports events made the leap from fringe to front stage. The SVG Esports Production Virtual Summit went behind the scenes of these live productions and inside the groundbreaking virtualized and cloud-based technologies being used by esports leaders. Production teams from top esports producers, publishers, and platforms delved deep into next-gen workflows, and shared how they delivered content to their fans.
> S PORTS PRODUCTION TOOLS FORUM FEBRUARY 17-18, 2021
The constant technology innovation in the sports-production industry has led to a steady rollout of new products, capabilities, and ways of working. The SVG Sports Production Tools Forum was designed to give SVG members a chance to learn about important technology developments and key trends that are impacting how sports TV is produced.
> S VG TEAMS SUMMIT FEBRUARY 25, 2021
Since mid March, the COVID-19 pandemic has forced professional leagues and their respective clubs to rethink their content strategy and travel down new avenues of distribution. The inaugural SVG Teams Summit focused on how organizations are developing high-quality production hubs and what workflows are in play to create year-long material for passionate fans to chew on.
> S PORTS GRAPHICS FORUM MARCH 24-25, 2021
SVG’s seventh-annual Sports Graphics Forum covered the latest technological advances and creative achievements in the world of broadcast graphics. Day 1 featured sessions dedicated to Graphics Design, Tools, and Workflows, while Day 2 addressed Data Visualization, Augmented Reality, and Betting.
CHECK OUT VIDEO ON DEMAND FROM EVERY SVG VIRTUAL EVENT! 10
SPORTSTECHJOURNAL / SPRING 2021
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SPORTS PRODUCTION EVOLVES AND ADAPTS TO A RAPIDLY CHANGING PLAYING FIELD
hen the world of sports returned to action last spring, it was the first chapter in an amazing story of perseverance and commitment from an industry determined to produce content safely and at a high level. And, when new seasons began last fall, a new chapter was written in sports production: one that was more evolved, complex, and laid out new ways of working that may be with us for a long time. The following section details those efforts and the people and technologies that made a difference for sports fans across the nation.
SPORTSTECHJOURNAL / SPRING 2021
1. A majority of the NASCAR Productions team produced the Daytona 500 international feed from Charlotte, NC. 2. Gonzaga made a thrilling March Madness run this year. 3. Kerry Callahan is the first woman to sit in the producer’s chair for the NCAA Women’s Basketball Championship since ESPN began broadcasting it in 1995. 4. Dyersville, IA, will be at the center of
the baseball universe on Aug. 12 when Fox Sports broadcasts a game from the Field of Dreams site. 5. NBC Sports broadcast a pair of NHL games from a rink on a golf course on the edge of Lake Tahoe in Nevada. 6. The Inside the NBA team sits socially distanced at the 28-ft.-long desk in Techwood. 7. The front-bench area in the compound where Every Shot Live was produced.
8. ESPN’s St. Petersburg Beach studio at Super Bowl LV.
NEXT CHAPTER: NBA
ESPN, Turner Burst Out of Bubble N
early 2½ months after the conclusion of the NBA bubble, another 72-game effort tipped off with an NBA on TNT double feature: the Golden State Warriors against the Kevin Durant-led Brooklyn Nets and a Los Angeles-themed clash between the Clippers and Lakers. As the first broadcaster for the season, Turner Sports set the tone with the first of nine consecutive remote productions, leading into a tripleheader on Jan. 18. “Right now, we are not going to be onsite at all before Martin Luther King Jr. Day,” said Chris Brown, VP, operations and technology, Turner Sports, prior to the season. “Our hope is that we will be able to minimize our onsite footprint onsite even after Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The goal is to continue to put safety first and at the forefront of all the decisions that we make.” The decision may be a sign of the current times, but relying on fully remote productions for nine straight games — including five in the first week of the season — showed the confidence that Turner has in its system. The facility at Techwood buzzed with a crew slated to have a minimum of 35-50 staffers for any given game, but, in an era when COVID-19 is still a threat, multiple control rooms were in use to enforce social distancing. Since these control rooms weren’t originally designed with additional space, Brown and the operations team had to get creative with layout. “We’ve asked our team to come up with very unconventional methods of placements for people,” he explained. “The COVID guidelines are very
Transmission gear truckside for an ESPN NBA enhanced–world-feed show. strict with respect to how many people are allowed in control rooms, and they’re not necessarily able to support this type of an environment. In a non-COVID world, we would staff some with four or five people, but now we can put only one or two people in there.” To pull off this feat, the team relied on other groups at Techwood to transform the traditional spaces into a full-fledged setup that would normally be housed in an onsite production truck. This included production of a two-hour edition of NBA Tip-Off before the pair of games and Inside the NBA after the contest. The A team of Ernie Johnson, Charles Barkley,
SPORTSTECHJOURNAL / SPRING 2021
Shaquille O’Neal, and Kenny Smith were back at their 28-ft.-long desk. In March, Turner pulled off an impressive feat with the 2021 NBA AllStar Game. Typically a weekend-long celebration with events like All-Star Saturday Night and the skills competitions, a celebrity game, NBA Fan Fest, and — of course — the game, the 2021 edition was compressed into one day, March 7, and even moved from Indianapolis to State Farm Arena in Atlanta. ESPN’s production and operations teams were also back in action, tipping off their 2020-21 season and then delivering a star-studded fivegame slate on Christmas Day. ESPN began the season with roughly a 50-50 split between onsite and REMI (remote integration) productions — with plenty of room to stay nimble in the coming months. “If things dramatically change and we need to scale back on doing games in a traditional manner with a truck at site, then we will,” said Michael Shiffman, VP, Production, ESPN, prior to the season. “The optimism is, things go in the other direction. And, obviously with vaccines starting, who knows what the second half of the schedule will look like in terms of that split. One thing we do know is, with the benefit of our colleagues on other sports and our very talented health and safety team, we have the safety precautions in place to make sure people who will be traveling can do so in the safest way possible.” ESPN rolled up a truck and located announcers onsite for all games airing on ABC, ESPN-exclusive broadcasts, and some higher-profile games. The network relied on its GREMI-plus-four production model, in which graphics and scorebug operators and four EVS replay operators were located in a control room in ESPN’s Bristol, CT, or Charlotte, NC, facility. The announce position for broadcasters were situated roughly 30 ft. back and 15 ft. up — similar to where they were in the Orlando bubble — at center court. The announcers sat 6 ft. apart with plexiglass separating them and in front of them. ESPN and other broadcasters have collaborated with the league and teams to institute and enforce onsite health and safety protocols. These include separating crew and personnel by color-coded zones (those within 30 ft. of the field of play are in the red zone; most others are in the yellow zone). Although the NBA is not requiring testing for those in the yellow zone, ESPN is testing all crew members prior to traveling and working a game (including local crew). In some cases, the TV compound was located in the red zone, and so trucks have been relocated within the arena. “That’s the plan as we know it today. Having health and safety as a top priority, we believe this is the safest way to accomplish our goals right now,” said Patty Mattero, senior operations manager, ESPN. — Kristian Hernandez, Jason Dachman, and Ken Kerschbaumer
READ MORE NBA’s Paul Benedict: ‘It’s Nice To Be Back in NBA Buildings’ Turner Sports Shifts Into Overdrive for NBA AllStar Game Audio for NBA All-Star Event Reflects COVID Effect
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NEXT CHAPTER: NHL
Puck Drops on 2021 Season N
BC Sports Group embarked on its coverage of the 2021 NHL season with one of the most challenging NHL campaigns in history — a Wednesday Night Hockey triple-header. To safely produce roughly 100 regular-season games over the next four months, NBC is using a mix of full onsite productions and REMI operations that leverage RSN-produced clean feeds and are centralized at its Stamford, CT, broadcast center. “To make this season work, we’re going to use multiple systems on how we produce games,” said NBC Sports Executive Producer Sam Flood. “In some cases, the entire group will be onsite, traditional broadcast. Other games we will call from back here in the building [in Stamford]. Other games we will have a truck onsite, the talent here [in Stamford]. We’re going to be moving things around, a lot of different structures and systems. We learned during the football season that things change at a moment’s notice, and we have to be ready and we’ve got to adjust. We’ve tested out the systems and are ready to go.” To minimize travel and limit the number of people onsite, the league is limiting each game to one mobile unit and one production crew for regular-season games. That means that home-team RSNs are the lone broadcaster onsite for most regular-season games and NBC’s production and operations crew are the only onsite staff for exclusive national broadcasts. NBC plans to have its own truck and crew onsite for all exclusive national broadcasts but will be positioned to adapt if circumstances call for it. This onsite model resembles previous seasons but with enhanced safety protocols, reduced staff that is socially distanced, and a handful of operators in Stamford. Depending on the game, NBC can have up to three EVS operators plus graphics and scorebug ops in Stamford. The majority of NBC’s non-exclusive games are leveraging a clean feed provided by the home team’s RSN. NBC takes this host feed and has all production staff and operations located in Stamford. The NBC Sports production team also has one unilateral camera at its disposal and takes in five selected camera feeds from the RSN to help augment its telecast. Home RSNs are responsible for providing this clean feed to away-team RSNs for use in their markets. According to James Stuart, senior director, operations, NBC Sports Group, taking world feeds from the bubbles in Toronto and Edmonton last year gave his team the framework to be confident in taking host feeds from the RSN and producing games from Stamford. However, NBC’s busy winter season of events and short lead-time prior to the season (the league announced the schedule on Dec. 20) made cementing operations plans for the NHL that much tougher. “Getting our productions up and running has been an immense undertaking,” said Stuart. “Launching NHL while we are nearing the end of Sunday Night Football and in the midst of Premier League’s busiest part of the season is a testament to the engineering, operations, and production teams that are working pretty much around the clock to ensure success on all fronts.” With camera complements varying from arena to arena, NBC is moving some cameras lower to provide better angles for the broadcast. The average camera complement this year is the same as in years past: five hard cameras, two handhelds, and two robos. But, with no fans in the stands, NBC hopes to establish new robo locations as the season pro-
SPORTSTECHJOURNAL / SPRING 2021
More than 40 cameras were used as part of the Lake Tahoe production. gresses. It is also deploying more POV cameras due to restrictions on close contact with players and NHL staff. When announcers are onsite, lower commentary positions are now available, given the absence of fans. On the audio side, NBC’s complement of on-ice microphone remains the same as in previous seasons, but, with no fans in the stands, the production team hopes to capture the same natural sounds and on-ice emotion as they did in the bubble last year. In addition, a profanity delay will be controlled in Stamford for NBC broadcasts. Artificial crowd noise will be pumped into arenas from the local gamepresentation groups at each club and will be heard via the nat sound in NBC’s broadcasts. NBC also has a track that can also be added to the broadcast when needed. The broadcaster has no plans to integrate any virtual fans, virtual signage, or other AR elements into its NHL broadcasts at this time. After its initial debut during the Stanley Cup Playoffs this year, the league’s player- and puck-tracking system has been installed in all 31 arenas for this season. NBC is working with the NHL to have more stats available through the tracking system. In February, the NHL hosted NHL Outdoors, a doubleheader of games — the Vegas Golden Knights face the Colorado Avalanche at 3 p.m. ET on Saturday; the Philadelphia Flyers battle the Boston Bruins at 2 p.m. on Sunday — played on a rink erected on the banks of scenic Lake Tahoe. “It’s as close to a blank canvas as we’ve ever had for one of these outdoor games,” said Charlie Dammeyer, who directed both games for NBC Sports alongside his producer partner, Matt Marvin. “That’s the exciting part. I’m a big fan of being able to take people places that they can’t go.” — Jason Dachman and Brandon Costa
READ MORE ‘A Blank Canvas‘: NBC Sports Brings Live Drones, High-Speed Cameras To Paint Cinematic Broadcast of NHL Games at Lake Tahoe Sportsnet Looks To Limit Travel, Enhance Safety, Maintain Quality
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NEXT CHAPTER: MLB
Broadcasters Step Up to the Plate A
fter a year fraught with unknowns and disappointments, baseball returned to the spring season with MLB Opening Day on April 1. As ESPN, Fox Sports, and MLB Network’s coverage took the mound, the core production philosophies from last year were — unsurprisingly — again be on display with a focus on safety and finding new ways to enhance the production for viewers amid the ongoing pandemic. ESPN nationally televised a staggering 11 games during the first week of the season, with both REMI productions out of Bristol, CT, and shows with additional enhancements for primetime contests on Sunday Night Baseball. “We will probably have 20% of our games out of Charlotte, [NC],” said Phil Orlins, senior coordinating producer, ESPN, “but we will still use a production workflow that is primarily centralized in Bristol. This is a place where we probably needed to be eventually. Due to the past year, we arrived there quickly and will stay there.” These exclusive games will be shot with 10-11 cameras, including half in super-slow-motion, with additional robotics throughout the venue. The super-slo-mo deployments will add another element that is paramount in coverage of professional baseball: precise and accurate replays. ESPN has invested heavily in the future of the game, including integration of advanced analytics. This season, Statcast will return in its current form with the help of an MLB-sanctioned operator working in MLB Network’s office in Secaucus, NJ, and MLB VP, Broadcast Products and Services, Ryan Zander. K-Zone 3D also will be deployed. Fox Sports’ coverage of the 2021 MLB season will boast a couple of notable regular-season productions, new toys in the production arsenal, and even some 1080p HDR productions. Restrictions are still in place, noted Fox Sports SVP, Remote Production, Judy Boyd, to limit the number of people onsite. That means that games on FS1 will rely heavily on the home team’s production, which will serve as a world feed for both Fox Sports and the visiting team’s TV partner. “We will take the home feed and add graphics and announcers for our cable shows,” she explained. “When we have three games in primetime, we will [have] announcers Joe Buck and John Smoltz [onsite for one game] but do the other two from L.A. as a true Home Run Production. We’ll bring back seven to nine cameras and have the producer and director in a control room in LA.” According to Fox Sports VP, Field Operations and Engineering, Brad Cheney, two unilateral cameras will be added to the world feed. The biggest change from last year may be that the Fox Sports team is working alongside a new partner for some of the world feeds: the Bally Sports networks, which were formerly Fox Sports RSNs. “We’re really excited for our friends who are now at Bally’s,” he said. “It’s going to be what we call ‘world feed plus.’ We will take the home RS feed and enhance it with two cameras for every game. A couple of shows will also be done as Home Run Productions, which we started off with last year.” Local camera operators will be onsite to man the two cameras, and all the feeds will be brought together with the mobile vendor, who is onsite for the game. Cheney does say that some of the Fox national shows will be produced onsite, a welcome return for the industry.
SPORTSTECHJOURNAL / SPRING 2021
ESPN's talent continues to call the games from a studio in Bristol or their respective homes for the network's MLB coverage. For the homerun production (HRP) shows, a small transmission unit with proprietary HRP kits will take signals from the onsite unit producing the home show and will provide cameras, super-slo-mo replay on a couple of cameras, and replays from EVS. Also, EVS Extra Motion technology will be used during the HRP games, giving the production team the ability to take any feed and turn it into a super-slo-mo replay. MLB Network will once again produce its 26-game MLB Network Showcase package remotely, using Game Creek Video Riverhawk mobile unit, which is parked outside the Secaucus broadcast center. In addition, MLB Network will use Riverhawk for 21 productions of YouTube’s Game of the Week Live, MLB’s largest exclusive streaming package to date. “We’re really excited to be able to have our own show and control all the cameras and have everything in our arsenal this year since the YouTube games are exclusive,” said Susan Stone, SVP, engineering and operations, MLB Network. “With the YouTube games, we’re also looking to appeal to a different kind of audience and add a different kind of feel.” After producing 13 games for YouTube in 2019 and four September games during last season’s shortened campaign, MLB Network will handle production for YouTube’s entire exclusive 21-game package this year. For Showcase and YouTube games, an average of 12 cameras will be sent to Riverhawk, where the production crew will create the shows. According to MLB Network Senior Director, Remote Technical Operations, Jason Hedgcock, this year's YouTube productions will have more than 20 feeds backhauled to Secaucus, including cameras, Statcast and PitchCast data, and multiview/all-nine feeds for the announcers to call games off monitors from Studio K. “Last year was a triage: we just wanted to make sure we could get everything on-air,” said Hedgcock. “Now, we’ve had a few months to digest what worked and what didn’t... And we’ve had time on the engineering and operations side to make some adjustments and improvements. I think, this year, we’re going to push the digital and REMI models that we’ve created to see just how much we can innovate with them.” – Kristian Hernandez, Ken Kerschbaumer, and Jason Dachman
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NEXT CHAPTER: SUPER BOWL LV
CBS Sports Production Team Innovates in Tampa Bay T
he COVID pandemic has given new meaning to the phrase best-laid plans, but CBS Sports and its technology partners at the center of the production of Super Bowl LV are proof positive that one of the world’s biggest televised sports events can innovate, grow, and evolve. “Pre-pandemic, we had a very different plan to where we landed,” said Patty Power, EVP, operations and engineering, CBS Sports. A Super Bowl compound is always large, but social distancing has made it even larger. The CBS domestic compound housed 19 trucks and production trailers. According to Mike Francis, VP, remote engineering and planning, CBS Sports, the compound was essentially double the size of what was planned. “It’s definitely a big compound with a lot more facilities to link up,” he added. “And then we need to make sure that everything is available everywhere. When it spread out, we had a lot more to execute on that side of things.” NEP Supershooter SSCBS was the main show and game truck; Supershooter 4 was the tape release. “We have Game Creek Encore handling our studio shows,” Francis added. “Sprinkled in the compound for technology and social distancing, we have F&F GTX19, GTX20, Game Creek B1 for robotics, and all the support trucks that go along with them.” A large flypack deployment was also built by NEP Bexel for distribution, transmission, routing, and monitoring. And THUMBWAR was onsite for media management and remote editing. continued on page 24
READ MORE NFL Media Leans on Culver City HQ for WeekLong Extravaganza in Tampa NFL Films Ready To Deliver Big Game Around the Globe Despite Pandemic Challenges ESPN Brings REMI Philosophy to Big Game Van Wagner Deploys Remote Workflows, Teams Up With Buccaneers In-Venue Staff for Hybrid Show 20
SPORTSTECHJOURNAL / SPRING 2021
The Super Bowl LV compound had ample room for social distancing. The crux of the Super Bowl LV in-venue show was conducted from inside the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' main control room at Raymond James Stadium.
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NEXT CHAPTER SUPER BOWL Strong Onsite Set Presence Supports CBS Sports’ Studio, Pregame Programming
raditionally, the Super Bowl is one of the ultimate fan destinations in sports. For obvious reasons, this year’s Big Game had a quite different feel. With only 25,000 fans permitted to be in attendance for Super Bowl LV at Tampa’s Raymond James Stadium and few tourists traveling to the event’s host city, CBS Sports needed to reconsider its plans for the scale, scope, and positioning of its onsite studio sets designed to support programming for the network’s four-hour pregame celebration on Sunday afternoon. Super Bowl Today kicked off CBS Sports’ coverage of Super Bowl LV beginning at 2 p.m. ET on the big day. The primary pregame on-air crew of James Brown, Phil Simms, Bill Cowher, Nate Burleson, and Boomer Esiason broadcasted from a set positioned on the main concourse on the end of the stadium opposite its iconic pirate ship. Set-design company Jack Morton completely wrapped the set to prepare it for air. In addition to the set inside, CBS Sports had a large set positioned outside the stadium. There were also numerous standup positions from which various talents will file reports. “It’s an amazing setup in Tampa,” said CBS Sports Executive Producer/EVP, Production, Harold Bryant, who worked his eighth Super Bowl with the broadcaster. “We have gorgeous sets for our pregame crew, and we are going to capture this special Super Bowl. It has been an incredible experience. Many of the pieces [that have been produced for the pregame show] were done contact-less, and it still maintains its professional level. I tip my hat to our entire crew.” Among the preproduced pieces that CBS brass were most excited about are a piece narrated by Academy Award-winning actress Viola Davis on the story of Kenny Washington, the man who re-integrated the NFL (it was produced by Pete Radovich, Ellis Williams, Jelani Rooks, and Derek Ambrosi and written by Kayona Ebony Brown) and a celebration of the 30th anniversary of Whitney Houston’s iconic rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner” at Super Bowl XXV (produced by Shawn Robbins and Niya Walker). As for onsite facilities, the sets were more strategically positioned with much less incentive — given the game’s limited attendance of 25,000 — to have a presence out among the fans. CBS Sports’ pregame efforts were marked by a commitment to kid-centered programming. Inspired by the success of the CBS-produced NFL Wild Card game between the New Orleans
SPORTSTECHJOURNAL / SPRING 2021
The CBS Sports exterior set at Super Bowl LV at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa Bay. Saints and Chicago Bears on Nickelodeon on Sunday, Jan. 10, the child-focused cable network broadcasted Nickelodeon Super Duper Super Bowl Pregame Spectacular, an original half-hour pregame show hosted by Gabrielle Nevaeh Green and Lex Lumpkin. Both appeared on the Wild Card game broadcast. “Our broadcast of the NFL Wild Card game was undoubtedly one of the greatest moments in Nick’s history,” said Brian Robbins, president, ViacomCBS Kids & Family Entertainment, in an official release. “The enormous positive response shows how big an appetite there is for a kids- and family-oriented sports production like ours. Given all that enthusiasm, it feels really good to team up again with everyone at CBS Sports and the NFL with pregame coverage and digital highlights that bring fun and slime to the biggest football game of the year.” In addition, CBS’s pregame show, Super Bowl Today, featured a specially produced segment of Nickelodeon game show Unfiltered, with Green and Lumpkin trying to guess the virtually disguised identity of an NFL player. A “Nick-ified” highlights package also aired as part of CBS’s halftime coverage of the game. “The Nick-ified elements in our pregame and halftime programming,” added CBS Sports Chairman Sean McManus, “along with the second-screen digital and social highlights, will be the perfect complement to CBS Sports’ first-class broadcast of Super Bowl LV, allowing us to reach an even wider audience on Super Bowl Sunday across a variety of platforms as we continue to showcase the power of the ViacomCBS family.” – BC
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SUPER BOWL LV continued from page 20 All year long, CBS has taken advantage of the lack of fans to bring a new look to camera angles and coverage. That look hits new heights this Sunday with more than 120 cameras deployed. “I think we’ve done a really good job of embracing our environment and the conditions with fewer fans in the stadium and with an LED ribbon across the lower bowl,” said Jason Cohen, VP, remote technical operations, CBS Sports. “We’ve mounted cameras to give the viewer a different look and feel to the game.” A number of innovations were on display at the big game. Most notable, the Trolley Cam point-to-point cabled camera system complemented two Skycams and a Flycam. “It’s from JibTek,” Cohen explained. “Essentially what it’s doing is running the length of the field from one end of the sideline to the other, and it’s about 10 to 15 ft. above the second or third row of the stands. “The beauty of it is its speed,” he continued. “It can go up to 65 mph. I doubt that even Tyreek Hill is going to be able to outrun it. If we get the right play and someone takes off down the sideline, we can stay with him stride for stride. I think that’s going to be a pretty dynamic view.” If there has been one technology story in NFL coverage this year, it is the use of cameras capable of shallow–depth-of-field shooting on the field during warmups and after key plays. “Everyone has been talking about it and is excited about it,” said Cohen. “Obviously, we’re going to continue what we’ve been doing all along in the playoffs, which is to use the Sony Venice camera on a Steadicam.” The sideline Steadicam rigs were complemented by traditional HD cameras, three of which will have Canon’s CJ20ex5B handheld lens. Those lenses are noted for their 20X zoom and wide angle. Two Sony HDC-8300 8K camera systems with Canon 7×10.7 lenses captured zoom analysis. Francis also noted the Movie Bird, a 53-ft. telescoping jib, which was located high atop the south concourse. “It will be above the main concourse set and give us big sweeping shots of the interior bowl and will easily be able to point the other direction and see everything going on outside the south side entrance. It will be a unique perspective we haven’t been able to do before.” Cohen added that the camera on the Movie Bird is one of 12 outfitted with augmented capabilities. Both SMT and Ncam played a crucial part in the augmented-reality show open, which was designed with the help of Silver Spoon. “The specialty AR graphics generated in an Unreal Engine will be breathtaking this year,” he said, “as we take advantage of the Super Bowl theme, which is sea, sand, and siege.” Added Francis, “With the Sony Venice cameras and the Movie Bird crane, we’re bringing a little bit of Hollywood to the Super Bowl.”
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Tampa Bay Buccaneers Production Supervisor Stephen Lynch (holding mike) and Producer Danny Beeck (holding camera) work with quarterback Tom Brady. (Photo courtesy of Tampa Bay Buccaneers) CBS worked with the NFL and NFL Films on the use of crowd mix and balancing prerecorded audio with the onsite fans (approximately 25,000). Also, Francis said, COVID protocols have had an impact all year long (in nearly every sport) when it comes to things like interviews or ceremonies. Since last March, there have not been a lot of sports events with multiple vendors onsite, and Power noted that they have all been supportive partners. “We’ve had so many last-minute changes this year — not necessarily the Super Bowl but regular-season schedule changes — and they’ve rolled with it. We certainly rely on them, their focus, and their expertise.” — Ken Kerschbaumer
READ MORE Facing the Challenges of Bringing the Behemoth That Is NFL to European Markets Tampa Bay Buccaneers Digital Team ‘Raises the Flags’ Ahead of First-Ever Home Championship Game Kansas City Chiefs’ Digital Team Hurdles COVID-19 Obstacles in Team’s Return to the Big Game M3 Eclipse Truck Is Dedicated to Music for Halftime Show Intercom Systems Crowd RF Bands The SVG Podcast: Super Bowl LV Preview and Veteran Director Paul Hemming 24
SPORTSTECHJOURNAL / SPRING 2021
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NEXT CHAPTER: DAYTONA 500
Fox Sports Extends Use of ‘Megalodon,’ Improves Drones for NASCAR Season F
ox Sports’ live mirrorless camera, dubbed the ‘Megalodon,’ first captured the eyes of television viewers during Week 15 of the NFL regular season and returned for the NFL postseason. Now, for the first race of the new NASCAR season, the broadcaster deployed different variations of it for shots in close-up and far-to-reach areas. “We’re expanding upon the Megalodon that we used for NFL games,” said Kevin Callahan, VP, field operations and engineering, Fox Sports, prior to the Daytona 500. “In addition to having it on a Ronin-S handheld, we’re also experimenting with it on a DigiBoom [gimbal-stabilized rig] to give us different angles.” The Megalodon has become a tech craze, but it has been experimented with only on a football field with people. In Daytona, both man and machine were in front of the lens. The relatively simple setup, consisting of a Sony a7R IV mirrorless DSLR camera and Sony FE 24-70mm f/2.8 GM lens, was intended to provide a cinematic vibe new to a NASCAR telecast. Since cars are blazing down the track at more than 150 mph, capturing the desired shot is extremely difficult, if not impossible. In an effort to use these stellar live shots, the broadcaster is placing the operator in an area with still subject matter. “We’re looking to get different crew chiefs and teams in the pits,” Callahan explained. “We’ll try to get those shots that we haven’t really been able to get with a shallow depth of field.” The camera was swapped with the Ronin-S handheld, which viewers are normally used to seeing in the end zone of NFL telecasts, to grab tight shots of individuals when applicable and with the DigiBoom, which can be used to hang over the barrier wall for shots of the pit crew during tire changes and other activity. Prior to green flag, the Megalodon was located in the garages as drivers prep for the race. The camera complement for this event hit a grand total of 74. Every nook and cranny of the 2.5-mile track was covered by 16 Sony HDC4300’s (with more than one at 6X speed), 16 Sony HDC-P50’s, two Sony HDC-4800’s at 16X, and a Fletcher high-speed robo at the finish line. The Sony HDC-4800’s were outfitted with two Fujinon 8K lens to capture crystal-clear shots after the sun sets in Daytona. Prior to the race, Fox Sports covered the action-packed NASCAR Speedweeks leading up to the main event. Among the events was the first-ever Busch Clash, which ran on Daytona’s 63-year-old road course, permitting Callahan and the operations team to deploy a handful of cameras that haven’t been used in quite some time. “The road course gives you many opportunities for different camera placement, so we’re able to return to a position that we haven’t been able
SPORTSTECHJOURNAL / SPRING 2021
Beverly Hills Aerials Drone Pilot Michael Izquierdo (left) and Fox Sports Fiber Technician Brian Obert prepare the FPV racing drone and the heavy-lift drone to cover the Daytona 500. to use for a bunch of years,” he added. “Due to safety concerns, we’re putting a robotic camera in there that is going to be remotely operated by someone on the other side of the turn. The operator will still be outside of the [main] track in a safe area behind the barrier, so we should be getting some spectacular shots.” Having made its NASCAR debut at last year’s race, aerial drone coverage is being improved dramatically. Capable of 85 mph, the FPV racing drone, operated by Los Angeles-based production company Beverly Hills Aerials, covered the straightaway near the starting line and other areas around the track. Having experience at this specific location, the operator hovered the drone over the cluster of cars and detailed the progress of the race from above. To display synchronization with all broadcast cameras (excluding the Megalodon), Fox Sports installed a CyanView Cy-CI0 to this drone for appropriate camera shading. The heavy-lift drone carried extra cargo: a Sony HDC-P50 equipped with Canon’s new 20X5 lens. More traditionally, the Goodyear Blimp will also be on hand for shots near the clouds. A staple at the Daytona 500, subsequent races in NASCAR, and even other high-profile auto-racing events like the Indy 500, BSI once again deployed 32 robotic cameras (four cameras with each of eight drivers) to put the fan in the cockpit of the stock car. The most recognizable of these
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devices, Visor Cam, was placed on the outside of a driver’s helmet, including that of No. 23 Bubba Wallace. Along with the device, the customary dashboard camera and a pair of other cameras with pan-and-tilt capabilities on the vehicle’s interior mapped the driver’s position in the field. Besides in-car robos, BSI was responsible for major RF needs inside Daytona International Speedway. The stands weren’t be packed because of the pandemic (a limited number of fans were in attendance), but cellular congestion can still cause wireless cameras to go haywire. The Megalodon and three Sony HDC-4300’s in the pits were four RF cameras under the company’s care. For any production, Fox Sports has its Pico facility in Los Angeles at its disposal. This year, with the pandemic ongoing, members of production and operations teams worked from the Vault, a former tape library that now houses numerous remote workflows. Based on the EVS Live Production Anywhere infrastructure, the workflow has been improved since last year’s NASCAR schedule to allow replay and graphics to originate in Los Angeles.
Despite hefty reliance on remote workflows, the television compound buzzed with mobile production units and other forms of onsite help. Fresh off Super Bowl LV in Tampa, about 140 miles south, Game Creek Video parked its Cleatus A and B units (a familiar sight at the Daytona 500), Edit 1, and Robo 1 in the compound. Acting in an abundance of caution, the broadcaster social-distanced its onsite crew in each truck. Next to Fox Sports’ mobile units, SMT had an onsite truck to augment the annual broadcast with real-time data tracking and analysis. NASCAR Productions, which was at the forefront of the international feed, built off the remote-production model it deployed in 2020 and the small onsite team that worked from a shared-resources truck in the compound. – Kristian Hernandez
READ MORE Iconic Race Is Sonic Centerpiece of Fox Sports’ Speedweeks
NEXT CHAPTER DAYTONA 500 NASCAR Productions Relies on Charlotte for Remote Production of International Feed
here are die-hard racing fans who attend almost every Daytona 500, and then there’s Steve Stum. As NASCAR Productions VP, operations and technical production, he has been present for this special race at Daytona International Speedway since 1986. With most of the international feed being remotely produced in Charlotte, NC, that 34-year run came to an end this year. “Super Bowl LV was last weekend, and now we have our Super Bowl this weekend,” he said, speaking prior to the race. “Not being there is going to feel strange.” The remote-production route isn’t new to NASCAR Productions. Many resources were generated from an offsite location in 2020, and, with the ongoing pandemic, the logical decision was to shift even more workflows to headquarters in Charlotte. Built atop two 10G circuits of AT&T’s Global Video Services network, the hub in Charlotte will be connected to the race in Daytona. “All of the content will move around like a normal production,” Stum explained. “We’re setting up a couple of remote command centers: [Fox will] use our transmission room in Charlotte as a command center with comms, and we’ve set up another one away from the track. Some of the officials who we don’t want in an [onsite] bubble will watch the race and talk to the people up in the tower remotely.” The international feed is one of many jobs that NASCAR Productions facilitated on race day. This year’s effort handled nearly a dozen feeds and reached 200 countries (an increase of 15 from last year’s 185 countries and territories), as well as military personnel on the Armed Forces Network. Although a big chunk of NASCAR Productions’ efforts were 475 miles north of the track, members of the team were in Daytona. Besides three separate bubbles for onsite personnel and the Fox Sports team — the television compound and garages/pit road being two of them — NEP’s SRT mobile unit housed these staffers, enabling them to make contact with Stum and his crew in Charlotte. The truck also tapped into the shared resources of Fox
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Sports’ Game Creek Video trucks in the compound. “We’ve tried to minimize people moving back and forth between positions by assigning them to certain crews,” said Stum. “Some will be working in the garage and pit road and won’t be able to come into the TV compound; others will be up in the tower dealing with cameras, fiber, and electronics on the roof for race control. We’re trying not to cross-pollinate too much.” Since there was a mixture of offsite and onsite staffers, a reliable line of communication was necessary to keep them all on the same page. Working hand-in-hand with Fox Sports also was a little more difficult without crew members not allowed in neighboring mobile units. “We work well with [SVP, Technical and Field Operations] Mike Davies, [VP, Field Operations and Engineering] Kevin Callahan, and the crew of Fox Sports,” noted Stum. “Last year, I’d walk out of my truck, walk over to their truck, and we’d talk in person. Now it’s a phone call, a meeting on Zoom, or an email. We have a great relationship, so it goes a long way to making this work.” This year’s race was different from any other in NASCAR history. Although there weren’t the sold-out seats and the roar of the crowd that the Daytona 500 is known for, there was the chance for more fans returning in later stages of the 2021 season. Away from the track, NASCAR worked with medical experts for guidance as large-scale rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine continues. “We have a really good medical team that [NASCAR VP, Racing Operations] John Bobo has set up with some epidemiologists that are consultants on President Biden’s staff,” added Stum. “They’ve guided us when the virus is at its peak, when it has gone down, and now with the distribution of a vaccine.” On an operational side, NASCAR Productions is leaning toward bringing back its heavy onsite presence in the summer. Until then, fans around the country and the globe will still receive high-quality racing content and live action without seeing any difference. “We’ve continued to push through and get things done,” Stum said. “We’re just seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, and we’ll look to get there in a safe way.” – KH
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NEXT CHAPTER: THE PLAYERS CHAMPIONSHIP
PGA TOUR Entertainment Delivers 1,000 Hours of Live Coverage
ast year’s THE PLAYERS Championship from TPC Sawgrass didn’t make it beyond the first round as the COVID-19 pandemic caused NBC Sports, Golf Channel, PGA Tour Entertainment, and the rest of the golf world to abruptly end coverage. This year, the NBC Sports team and PGA Tour Entertainment were back at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL, and both were part of an historic effort: the biggest golf production ever. “This will be the most coverage of any golf tournament ever, and, with 154 players, we will have 52 groups,” said Mike Raimondo, senior director, media asset management and broadcast innovation, PGA TOUR, noting prior to the tournament that 120 cameras would be on the course to cover the groups. “We scrambled a little bit to make sure that we had everything covered and all the technical resources, but we didn’t cut back on any of that kind of stuff. We just had to tweak our hardware a little bit to make that work.” PGA TOUR Entertainment showed every shot live (approximately 750 hours). Layer in 240 hours of additional content, and NBC Sports and
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The front-bench area inside NEP Supershooter — located in the TPC Sawgrass compound — where Every Shot Live was produced.
Golf Channel had wall-to-wall coverage, a cornucopia of more than 1,000 hours of live coverage. “From a live perspective, we are back to normal as far as staffing, and we didn’t cut any corners,” said Greg Hopfe, VP/executive producer, PGA TOUR Entertainment. “We have spread people out more to make sure people are safe.” From a content perspective, said David Dukes, senior director, technical operations, PGA TOUR Entertainment, the viewer had plenty to choose from. “It’s full on, and we will obviously be able to do it for more than the one day we had last year.” The production of Every Shot Live (ESL) began in NEP Supershooter CBS B, C, and D units in the compound, but it extends thousands of miles away. As was done last year, each group was produced
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by a team of Hawk-Eye operators located at Hawk-Eye headquarters in Basingstoke, UK. According to Dukes, the Hawk-Eye interface allows the operator to simply hit a button to switch all the camera feeds from one hole to the next. Every hole had a minimum of three static cameras available to the production teams, in addition to the camera feeds that NBC and Golf Channel use for coverage. As was done last year, those offsite professionals will be looked at proxies of the high-resolution material that never left the TPC Sawgrass compound. Shotlink data was also incorporated with each feed, along with hole flyovers and trace. “On the transmission side, every single piece of Every Shot Live goes straight into AWS,” said Raimondo. “There are 52 streams into AWS Media Connect, and, from there, it gets distributed domestically and internationally. Last year, we just did 24 streams for 24 groups in the morning, and then the same streams would be used for the afternoon groups. But there were too many close calls.” AWS is also able to bring more efficiency to non-live workflows for highlights and speed rounds. “We send the streams through our AI engine,” Raimondo explained, “and WSC Sports automatically creates all of the highlights for us as it clips every shot and distributes them to our platform. That allows us to create a speed round for each golfer as soon as their round is over. By the end of Thursday, we will basically have 154 speed rounds, and our international partners have asked for those as well.” While PGA Tour Entertainment focused on ESL, Ken Goss, EVP, remote and studio operations, NBC Sports, and his team worked tirelessly to put safety first without compromising coverage. “We added trucks to keep everyone safe and socially distanced properly onsite,” Allison McAllister, NBC Sports VP, studio operations explained. “We also have people working in Stamford and in their homes as another safety measure. Crew were tested coming in for the show and will be tested before heading home. Everyone onsite is screened daily by Medcor. “Making sure everyone is constantly safe is our number-one priority,” she continued. NBC Sports has 62 cameras on the course, including 28 hard cameras (two shooting at 360 fps for super-slo-mo needs), 18 handhelds, one Inertia Unlimited X-Mo, seven RF minis, one RF Steadicam, an RF drone, and a fixed wing flying overhead. The Live From studio show had 11 cameras, including four Telemetrics on-set robotics operated from Stamford, three hard robos, and the Flycam, which was used on both the tournament and Live From shows. “We have Flycam on 17, [providing] a breathtaking shot of 17,” noted NBC Sports Senior Director, Remote Technical Operations Marc Caputo. “We also have a camera Tommy Roy added last year that has a high point of view and integrates graphics showing the different weather
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PGA TOUR Entertainment’s Every Shot Live was produced in the compound at TPC Sawgrass but most of the production was done in the UK. conditions from the tee box to where the ball lands.” All told, more than 120 cameras roamed the course for NBC Sports and PGA TOUR Entertainment. The latter has rolled out its ESL platform at the event for the second straight year. “We hired about 15 more additional cameramen to cover ESL,” said McAllister. “They are in position and ready to go when the first group tees off in the morning. The ESL group actively covers all groups in the field until play ends.” As for offsite efforts, some are particularly remote. According to McAllister, an editor is working on the show from Ireland (as they have done all season), and a Brainstorm operator is in Stamford, along with the videoboard production. Caputo added that Pinpoint wind and green enhancements are handled in Sky’s UK headquarters (Sky UK’s T-WIZ trailer is onsite at TPC Sawgrass), and ARL is operating from New Zealand’s South Island. TopTracer support is onsite but also in Sweden, and integration is handled in Stamford. All the signals flowing between TPC Sawgrass and Stamford required four J2K IP bidirectional hitless paths, with 16 channels of audio that are under a gig. Golf transmission via NBC’s NEWBERT flypack had a 600-Mbps IP circuit. “We also have a gig data circuit for file transfers,” said NBC Sports VP, Remote Technical Operations and Engineering Craig Bernstein. “As we do more and more production at home, we are figuring out how to do it more efficiently with better encoding.” The NBC Sports golf team has a busy summer ahead. It will produce host-broadcast coverage of golf at the Olympics, which will run July 23– Aug. 8. Also on the schedule are the U.S. Open at Torrey Pines in June, the Open Championship at Royal St. Georges in July, and the Ryder Cup in September. – Ken Kerschbaumer
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NEXT CHAPTER: NCAA MEN'S FINAL FOUR
CBS Sports, Turner Sports Remain Committed to ChampionshipCaliber Production F
or the joint broadcasters of CBS Sports and Turner Sports — who have partnered for more than a decade on this event in one of sports television’s most unique production collaborations — a unique execution that has included a bubble environment, 10 unique production crews, and a global pool of remote resources came to a head in early April when Baylor defeated Gonzaga for the National Championship. Despite all of the differences with this year, game coverage felt quite familiar to the high-powered effort that CBS and Turner put in on the Final Four year in and year out. There were nearly 50 cameras dedicated exclusively to the game broadcast, including the popular RailCam, a four-point SkyCam, multiple jibs, and 16 super slow motion cameras. There was also a strong commitment to robotic cameras this year, as there were as many as 27 robos in the total arsenal. These types of decisions reflect the desire for CBS Sports and Turner Sports to “definitely leaning into technology” this year in an effort to overcome the challenges presented by the pandemic, as described by CBS Sports’ Executive Producer/EVP, Production Harold Bryant noted before March Madness began last month. Efforts on the lens front also drove up the quality of the images being captured for the game broadcast. Canon glass — including some toys from its TS-E series — was used with the Canon C500 Mark II camera, allowing camera operators to pull in new and interesting looks. “Disruption breeds innovation and creativity, and this is no different,” Craig Barry, EVP/Chief Content Officer for Turner Sports said prior to the start of the Tournament. “Some of the technology is by design, and some is by necessity. We feel really confident that we have a great mix of technology and innovation. We’re trying to create as much access as possible — to the game, to the court – and get the fan as close as possible. With all the social distancing, we wanted to make sure that that priority stayed intact. And that’s where the technology comes in.” On the audio front, enhanced crowd audio was implemented to accompany the reactions coming in from the limited attendance inside the stadium. There was also a sizeable compound including 14 mobile production units powered by seven twin packs with 12 UPS units. Approximately 17,500 fans were allowed to attend this year’s Final Four and National Championship Game, which meant that, while the onsite festivities were dramatically dialed down when compared to previous years, there was still a desire to want to set the scene in Indy and to
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Production staffers at the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament spread out in the press level at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.
take viewers at home into the proverbial “bubble” as part of its broadcast. Shoulder programming was onsite in Indy with two sets covered by seven primary cameras. Those shows — and the main broadcast — were supplemented by eight robotic and POV cameras positioned in places where the networks cannot position physical camera operators for health and safety precautions. Those positions included team bus drop off points as well as the bowels of Lucas Oil Stadium when teams walk from the locker room to the floor. In the past, some of those handheld positions may have been manned but, this year, have gone robo. On the studio show side, the two broadcasters worked with Ross for augmented reality graphics on the studio set. Van Wagner Sports & Entertainment (VWSE) endured its own challenges during the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. The production crew was housed in a single, socially distant control room at Lucas Oil Stadium, home to the Final Four matchups and National Championship Game. Staffers also populated additional workstations in free space at the press level. Indianapolis Colts Senior Broadcast Engineer Chris Buckley and the rest of that organization’s internal staff were vital to the shows occurring in the NFL’s Colts usual home. “There have been a lot of challenges, but, at the end of the day, it’s still exciting that we’ve been able to play all of these games,” said Daniel Zerunyan, senior producer, VWSE Productions. “We’ve used a lot of remote workflows, but it’s as if everyone is here, and it has been a really good experience.” – Brandon Costa and Kristian Hernandez
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NEXT CHAPTER: NCAA WOMEN’S FINAL FOUR
RailCam, Aerial SupraCam Add Glitz to Star-Powered Weekend For someone who has worked on this event for a long time, it’s a dream come true. “I’ve worked on this tournament for years, and it has always been my dream job,” said ESPN Coordinating Producer Pat Lowry, a veteran of ESPN since 2002. “This year has felt extra special because it feels like more people are taking it in, appreciating it, and seeing the level of play from the incredible student athletes. The extra coverage has been fantastic; the games have been fantastic. For somebody who has worked on it for this long, to see it get its due has been awesome.” Onsite at the Alamodome, ESPN had more than 120 staffers, all five trucks of the network’s NEP EN1 mobile production unit, more than 20 cameras, an indoor aerial-camera system, a modified animations package, and a bevy of other extras to help bring added dimension to this championship event. One of the most notable silver linings in the bubble execution of this year’s tournament was that games were played at the Final Four venue from the first round. That meant that ESPN was able to set up more production enhancements earlier and use them on more games, rather than wait to deploy them only for the tournament’s final weekend. The most prominent example of that was the use of a RailCam, which was in position and shooting games on one of the Alamodome’s two courts since the Sweet 16. Getting the RailCam into the mix early has proved beneficial, allowing director Jimmy Platt (who also directs Monday Night Football for ESPN) more reps with the angle to build comfort with it. “The RailCam has been a great addition,” said Lowry, “We wanted Jimmy to have time to get in a good cadence with that camera in the complement. Anytime you add something like that, you don’t want to overdo it, but you want to take advantage of it.” Lowry also noted that the production team was pleased with both the camera’s height and its positioning to the court. Social distancing and the limited number of fans in attendance helped give ESPN greater flexibility in deploying the complex system. New for the Final Four and the Championship Game was an aerialcamera system supplied by Oklahoma-based SupraCam. ESPN has deployed the company’s aerial unit for the past two Final Fours. Other camera highlights included a pair of super-slo-mos at the slash positions, four Fletchers (above and below each rim), PTZs mounted in the hallways leading from the floor to the locker rooms, and eight Marshall cameras strategically placed around the building for various scenic shots. A major onsite absence this year was the studio show, which ESPN elected to keep back home in Bristol, CT. It’s a sacrifice that the team wasn’t happy to have to make, but it helped minimize the crew’s foot-
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The SupraCam aerial camera system was new to ESPN’s coverage of the NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament. (Photo courtesy Pat Lowry, ESPN) print onsite while allowing the group working on that end of the production to spread their wings and take advantage of the resources in Bristol. Coordinating Producer, Special Events, Kate Jackson and Director Josslyn Myers did just that, pulling out everything from virtual graphics to lighting the exterior of the ESPN campus and using drones to capture the sites of the iconic Bristol facility. Among all the technology and on-the-court hype, this year’s Women’s Final Four also witnessed a notable milestone at the front bench. Kerry Callahan sat alongside director Platt as producer, making her the first woman to take the producer’s chair since ESPN began broadcasting this event in 1995. “She was 100% the best person for the job,” said Lowry. “We could have picked almost anybody in the company to produce this event, and she was the right person. I worked with her a long time ago on the NBA when she was an associate producer, and she has worked her way up to this point in her career.” Like every other high-profile live sports production of the past 12 months, this year’s NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament was different from its predecessors. ESPN Manager, Remote Operations, Erin Orr played a key role in coordinating the sites, including accommodating the unique nature of the Alamodome, whose bowl the NCAA split to accommodate two courts in the early rounds. To handle it, the NEP EN1 truck onsite produced live games from one of the courts, and the other court’s games were produced via REMI, with EN1 sending 10 paths to Bristol for that game to be called and cut. – Brandon Costa
his year’s NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament had a certain “juice” to it. Whether you chalk it up to the star power, the controversial endings, the sheer impact of female athletes fearlessly raising their voices against inequality, or some combination of it all, there’s little denying that this year’s women’s side of March Madness caught the attention of the sports world.
OPERATIONS GUIDE TABLE OF CONTENTS PART 1 PERSONNEL MANAGEMENT page 40 PART 2 COMPOUND DESIGN page 46 PART 3 COMPOUND ENTRY page 50 PART 4 ENTERING & EXITING THE TRUCK page 54 PART 5 THIRD-PARTY PROVIDERS page 58 PART 6 CATERING page 62 PART 7 VESTS/ACCESS WEAR page 66 PART 8 AUDIO page 68 PART 9 CLEANING & DISINFECTING page 74 PART 10 VACCINATION page 78 38
This is version 2.0 of the guide and was published on February 1, 2021
elcome to the SVG COVID-19 Sports Production Operations Guide, v. 2.0. In early April 2020, SVG held a series of meetings with industry leaders to discuss the return of sports production during the coronavirus pandemic. This guide is a result of those conversations, and was updated in February 2021. It is designed to provide guidance for those who may have questions about how to approach some of the challenges that our industry is facing, given the requirements for safety protocols, social distancing, and more. Please note that this guide is simply a starting point for your own organization’s internal discussions, as we are well aware that the wide range of sport productions cannot be served by one document. NOTICE AND DISCLAIMER These documents have been developed by SVG’s Editorial Team based on interviews with leading sports-production professionals and are provided for informational and educational purposes only. They should not be read, used, or interpreted as industry standards or best practices. SVG does not warrant the accuracy or completeness of the information provided by interviewees and assumes no responsibility for errors, omissions, or updates or for injury or damage to persons or property arising out
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of or related to the use of information contained in this document. In no event shall SVG, its employees, and its contributors be liable for any loss of profit or any other commercial damage or injury to persons or property caused or alleged to have been caused directly or indirectly by this document or its use. All decisions regarding the subjects covered within must be made by each operator based on its individual research, resources, and corporate requirements.
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PART 1 PERSONNEL MANAGEMENT
1.1 What is the first step to be taken with respect to staff planning for a production? This section offers The goal is to minimize the number of people who need to be onsite. recommendations on • Contact the league/team/federation/organizer to discover any limits to the number of personminimizing staff, working nel allowed onsite. This also applies to off-venue studio locations, etc. in small groups, managing • Evaluate the size of the production (cameras, replay, support personnel). • Evaluate whether it is possible for people to work on the show from remote locations. runners, and more. • •
Outboarding personnel is a great way to increase safety by lowering onsite headcount. Keep in mind that there may also be additional people onsite to ensure that safety protocols are practiced. The added headcount will impact the size of the production team. Develop a plan in case key personnel get ill. That can range from having out-of-town personnel staged at a local hotel to having a list of available local professionals who can step in if needed. Another option is to know which production personnel onsite can take on different job duties in the event of an emergency.
1.2 Can you explain the concept of having a production team work within a bubble or a working group? First and foremost, it is understood that the vast majority of productions going forward will not be in bubbles. In those instances, please pay even more attention to guidelines and precautions as the risk of an issue is greater. In the past, working groups were often created to make transport easier, create a sense of unity, and make it easier for people to collaborate on a task. But, during the coronavirus pandemic, small groups working inside a “bubble” help confine any outbreak to as few people as possible. Each bubble is assigned its own dedicated work areas, rest areas, catering areas, toilets, transportation, and more. If a crew member falls ill or exhibits symptoms, small groups make it much easier for medical personnel to trace contacts, test individuals involved, and contain the outbreak and thus potentially save not only the production but also lives. 1.3 How many people should be in a bubble? Simply put, as few as possible. There are key considerations: overall size of crew and compound, number of trucks and production areas, ability to accommodate support facilities for multiple bubbles, size of the venue, broadcast center, studio, etc. The number of people in the bubble depends on the mathematical equation of square feet of production space divided by 6 sq. ft. per staffer (according to CDC social-distancing regulations). 1.4 Should the bubbles be defined by grouping people working in the same confined space or by job duty? The bubble should be defined by where they are working, NOT by job duty. For example, if the A1 and A2 are in different trucks, they are in different bubbles even though both are working audio. It isalso recommended that, if possible, crew members handling a similar function — such as replay or graphics — have some geographical diversity within the compound (or, better yet, via remote access), which limits the risk of an outbreak’s taking down an entire department. There will also be broader limitations on movement. For example, some may be limited to the venue/field of play, others to the compound, others to the studio. 1.5 How can you tell if someone is in a bubble? It is important that it is easy to determine what a person’s bubble visually and from a distance so that extra social distancing can be maintained for people in different bubbles. Recommendations include: • Color-coded wristbands as well as color-coded credentials, both of which must be worn at all times. The wristband must also be worn outside the compound in social situations, meetings at hotels, etc. 40
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PART 1 PERSONNEL MANAGEMENT continued •
Different-colored shirts/jackets/hats/vests. Though more expensive, this makes it much easier for someone to easily be identified.
1.6 How can you tell what areas of the compound and venue are considered one bubble vs. another? Each bubble’s facilities (work area, catering, toilets, break room) must be easily identified by color coding and signage. Other recommendations include: • Colored banners and flags • Zones marked on the ground with chalk, paint, etc. 1.7 Can a person in one bubble talk face-to-face with a person in another bubble? The first option should be via intercom, radio, phone, text, and email. It is recommended that social distancing be 6 ft. and facial masks be worn. Staffers working within the same group are advised to stick to CDC guidelines of 6 ft. minimum distance. And, again, facial masks must be worn at all times. 1.8 Can a person in one bubble enter the physical workspace of another bubble? No. 1.9 How can people in different bubbles communicate in the event of a work emergency? In the case of an emergency, consult the onsite production manager for best steps and procedures. 1.10 Does each bubble need a separate place for eating meals, separate toilets, and separate wash areas? Yes. Catering areas can be shared, but mealtimes should be staggered. 1.11 Does the bubble need to extend outside the compound and venue? For example, can bubbles come together at the hotel or share transportation to and from the venue? It is important that the bubble mentality follow crew members wherever they go. It is also recommended that, when off premises, crew members maintain quarantine guidelines and avoid public spaces, bars, restaurants, and other public places. 1.12 Do you recommend hiring personnel to do nothing but monitor compliance with guidelines and rules? Is one person enough, or are more needed? And is that number based on size of compound or number of people? Yes, it is recommended that additional staff be hired not only to monitor behavior but also to be an ultimate authority with respect to discipline and conflict resolution. These people should be free of other duties (such as engineering or production responsibilities) because the position is important and requires full-time availability and focus. 1.13 Should a nurse or doctor be in the compound along with a quarantine area in the case of emergency? Many broadcasters will provide additional medical personnel given the severity of the current crisis. If that is not possible, the venue’s medical staff is an option. But contact the venue personnel to ensure that the production team will be able to access in-venue medical facilities, because there may be strict limitations on movement. 1.14 What happens if someone gets sick? Do they immediately leave, or are they quarantined? What about others exposed to that person? Broadcasters, production teams, leagues, and venues are developing their own comprehensive guidelines for what to do if someone falls ill. Many rules will follow CDC guidelines, but others will be a variation. If an individual presents symptoms, they should immediately disinfect their area with provided disinfectant wipes. An onsite leader should accompany the individual to a private area, while maintaining physical distancing. A designated COVID compliance officer/representative from the company is then informed and proceeds to collect information on routes or sites visited in the last 24 hours. 42
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PART 1 PERSONNEL MANAGEMENT continued Individual is asked if they have come into close contact with anyone (definition is <6ft for 10 minutes or longer in a single encounter). Individuals who have been deemed to be in close contact with the potential exposure are also required to leave site.
Managing Runners 1.15 Runners are an important part of a production, and their role is often to be able to go anywhere and do anything. How will their duties change given social-distancing guidelines? Runners will be more important than ever, and the way they work will change drastically. Recommendations include: • Give them more-specific job duties so that their movement is more restricted. For example, a runner who goes to local stores and shops should not enter the compound. • Consider a higher level of PPE for those who may leave the compound or have more interaction and exposure to the outside world.
Holding Camera/Production Meetings
1.16 Can in-person production meetings be held? It is recommended that all production meetings be held via comms.
Weather Delays 1.17 What is the protocol for protecting staff during a weather delay? Each production will have a different set of rules pertaining to weather delays. If space is an issue, one recommendation is to ask production personnel to wait out the weather delay in their respective cars. <
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PART 2 COMPOUND DESIGN
This section is an overview 2.1 What is the minimum distance between production-truck units, production trailers, and other facilities? of compound design and If a compound is located outdoors in a parking lot, it is recommended that trucks be as far apart covers such topics as as functionally possible. Ideally, each truck or production trailer would have at least 8-10 ft. of spacing between facilities dedicated space in front of the entrance (outside of the stairs). Compounds located inside a venue or in a tight on-the-street location may have to be more tightly and how a compound configured but, if possible, have a minimum 8-10 feet between trailers so that people can move. needs to be designed 2.2 Should every corridor between vehicles be one way, or, if corridors are large enough, can differently during the two-way travel be accepted? current coronavirus crisis.
Ideally, there would be two lanes within each corridor separating trucks — one for each direction. However, if space is limited, this can be adjusted to reroute people through single-lane corridors in the compound. Clearly, in a large number of situations, that is simply not possible. In those instances, everyone just needs to be aware of social-distancing guidelines and PPE so that others entering or exiting the unit can do so easily. Everyone also needs to be aware of the belly-bay area and ensure that those who work there are able to work and maintain social distancing.
2.3 If creating a negative pressure inside a production vehicle (exhausting air), where is the safest place to exhaust? Should you create an area cordoned off or blow it under the truck in the wheel-well area? With the additional air exhaust in hot and humid conditions, the AC units will struggle to keep up with the cooling needs. In the past, the air has been precooled from the outside with external AC units blowing cool air into the mobile unit’s intakes. 2.4 Because washing hands is the number-one way to help prevent infection, where should communal hand-washing stations be located in the compound? Keeping handwashing stations about 10 ft. from the end of stairs is probably the best scenario. In the initial rollout, 6-ft.–distance markings on the ground would be helpful. Crew members must be aware of social distancing and not congregate at hand-wash stations. These stations will be in addition to individual sanitization stations in each room of the truck, enabling crew members to sanitize their individual workstations. 2.5 What are the best procedures for placement of port-o-Johns and restrooms? Individual working groups should be assigned a dedicated restroom with adequate space for queuing. It also may be worth contacting the venue to see if any restrooms in the venue can be dedicated for use by the TV-production crew that will work inside the venue. 2.6 Does there need to be an area created for storage of luggage/personal items to limit the personal effects stored within the production areas? Current guidelines for many productions require people to take their own transportation (rental car, personal car) to the venue. It is recommended that they store as many personal effects as possible (luggage, additional backpacks and cases, additional jackets) in the car to limit crowded storage in the compound/truck. Individuals who do not have their own vehicle onsite should build additional travel time into their schedule to return to their hotel to pick up their luggage after the show. 2.7 Is more time needed for setup and strike of the compound? The short answer is, yes, more time needs to be set aside for setup and rigging. Consider adding several additional hours for park/power-up of the compound, checking gear, and sanitization. Also account for more time during strike to allow all equipment and cables to be re-sanitized. This will make it much easier for the next production team to get to work without having to worry about first cleaning the cables.
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PART 2 COMPOUND DESIGN continued Be sure to read the instructions for the cleaning solution, because some of it must be sprayed and then allowed to dry prior to wiping. In general, working with masks and, potentially, gloves will likely slow down the work process. Social distancing will mean that many more functions need to be performed by just one person. 2.8 What about foul weather or severe weather? Do tents need to be provided to keep crew members at a good distance from each other? If so, should the tents be located in the compound? No central emergency shelter area is factored into the compound design. All personnel are encouraged to return to their personal vehicles. If they do not have personal vehicles, they should evacuate to the venue’s safe-shelter area or return to their hotel. 2.9 For productions deploying both an A unit and a B unit, could there be an overlap of personnel working in both? If the A and B units are in the same bubble, selected personnel (such as engineering staff who need to support equipment in both) can work in both units. But operators should need to access only the area where they work, relying on intercoms, radios, text, etc., for communicating with staffers in other units. If the units are in separate bubbles, personnel cannot work in both because it will risk exposing more crew members to virus in the event of an issue. This may require additional engineering staffing, so plans should ensure that bubbles have dedicated engineers available to solve issues, problems, and repairs. If additional engineering personnel (for example, a separate EIC overseeing each unit) are not available to service multiple bubbles, it is recommended that those crew members be given additional “bubble credentials” so that they can handle emergency repair and technical support. Another alternative is to create a separate area where the EIC can remotely access and oversee equipment within various mobile units without having to be physically inside the unit. 2.10 If equipment breaks in the stadium and needs to be replaced, is there a DMZ so that the tech inside can enter the compound? No. Crew members should be isolated in their own areas/bubbles. Individuals from the “outside bubble” can enter the compound, but they cannot enter any trucks or trailers. 2.11 Does a general DMZ space need to be created so that personnel from different groups can meet? How big should it be? No dedicated space should be created for meetings inside the compound. Large meetings should be held virtually via intercoms/radios/text/phone. If in-person meetings must be held, they can be held in open-air areas within the compound and must respect social distancing and PPE. 2.12 Can any crew positions be located outside of the truck, or do they all need to be in a dedicated space inside a trailer? The more crew positions located outside the main production trailers — or even out of the compound — the better; the goal is to keep the crew as small as possible. If additional space/trucks cannot be secured onsite and outside workstations/flypacks are absolutely required, they must be set up at socially distanced locations. 2.13 Does there need to be a dedicated medical-testing area in the compound? If possible and space permits, a dedicated medical-testing area should be located at the compound. The final decision sits with the league/broadcaster/venue. 2.14 What to do with smokers? Should there be a separate smoking area for each working group/ bubble? No smoking area will be provided in the compound. Smokers must plan accordingly. 2.15 Is there a staging area for crews about to start their shift? No. Everyone stays in their car until they enter the compound. If entry to the compound is staggered, it is recommended that personnel remain in their car until their entry time, to prevent gatherings near the compound entrance. <
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This section lays out recommendations concerning compound entry. Please note that every production will be different and that these recommendations are simply a starting point for developing a more comprehensive plan.
PART 3 COMPOUND ENTRY 3.1 Should there be a single point of entry to the production compound, or are multiple points of entry preferred? It is advised that there be a single point of entry to the entire production compound for all purposes. If crew size warrants, a staggered arrival schedule is recommended to prevent bottlenecks at entry. 3.2 How should social distancing be set up at crew call/compound entry? Staggered arrival times will help prevent crowding at the entrance. If crew members arrive and there appears to be a crowd or line at the compound entrance, they should exercise enhanced social distancing (more than 6 ft. is ideal), wear a mask, and wait for those ahead to enter the compound. If possible, identifiers on the ground (tape/chalk/paint markings) make it easy to maintain social distancing. Staggered start times also help ease congestion, and common sense should apply. Simply put, if crew members arrive and there is a crowd or line, they should maintain their distance, be patient, and approach when congestion has eased. 3.3 Should COVID-19 testing be conducted onsite at the entrance to the compound? No. At this time, COVID-19 testing is not fast enough, practical to implement, or accurate enough to make it part of the compound-entrance protocol. Instead, it is recommended that every single person who enters the TV compound (from crew members to third-party support) be required to have their temperature taken every time they enter the compound. The industry-accepted temperature of a person entering the production compound should not exceed 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit. That temperature-check result supersedes all proof of negative testing. 3.4 What is the protocol if a person entering the compound registers a higher temperature? A crew member who exceeds a temperature of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit must be removed from the show.
SPORTSTECHJOURNAL / SPRING 2021
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PART 3 COMPOUND ENTRY continued A third-party support person who registers a temperature in excess of that number will not be granted access to the compound. 3.5 Should initial entry into the compound be coordinated with the league/venue’s overall entry protocols for entering venue grounds? Yes, whenever possible. The compound entry process should be coordinated with overall entry to the facility (through the league and/or host). At entry, crew members should be given an identifier (colored wristband, colored credential, etc.) for a specific “bubble/work location” in which league/venue staff with that ID color will have free rein to roam. 3.6 Should entry/exit of compound be limited in any way? Yes, movement in and out of the compound should be limited. That movement may be directed by the working group, or access may be granted via crew credential. Crew members will be required to have their temperature checked every time they enter the production compound. For more on this question, see the Personnel Management section of this document. 3.7 How should credentialing be handled? Should credentials be delivered in the mail prior to the event (when possible)? Will there still be a designated place to obtain a credential onsite? Should credentialing be digitized (for example, credentials handled through an app and entry granted as with a mobile boarding pass)? If physical credentials need to be handed out, a designated location should be established either just outside or just inside the compound entrance. The credential staff area should feature plenty of space for credentialing personnel to do their jobs without violating social-distancing guidelines, feature personnel wearing masks, and provide a plexiglass barrier to protect the staff distributing credentials. It is recommended that the plexiglass barrier be 6 ft. tall, be as wide as the table, and have a cutout through which credentials can be safely passed. At this location, it is also recommended that crew members receive colored wristbands identifying their working group and a map showing the locations of key spots in the compound and where in the venue they have access. NOTE: Some organizations are beginning to use smartphone apps for credentialing. Although this is a heavy lift that may take some time to implement, it is encouraged that staff be credentialed this way if it is possible on the particular production. 3.8 What is the protocol for sanitizing articles of clothing, including shoes/backpacks, upon entry into the compound? Is there a limit to the size of the backpack? It is recommended that crew members entering the compound limit what they bring in to a normal-size backpack to minimize their physical presence within the compound. Larger duffel bags, suitcases, backpacks, etc. need to be stored in their owner’s car or back at the hotel. Cleaning of incoming backpacks, jackets, etc., is not required. If desired, it is recommended that UV wands be provided. 3.9 Are crew members required to sanitize hands immediately on entry to the compound at a designated station? Yes. Hand-cleaning stations should be used by all incoming personnel. 3.10 Is it possible to conduct metal-detector tests while maintaining all safety measures? Yes, but additional detectors may need to be installed to prevent people from having to congregate. 3.11 Is PPE gear distributed immediately upon entry? If so, how? Is it done prior (via mail/at hotel) to arrival at the compound? Ideally, PPE is distributed to crew members in “go bags” mailed to them at home and including all the PPE required. If that is not possible, PPE bags should be available onsite and at lodging locations. 3.12 Do third-party entities (catering, fuel, power personnel) come in through the primary entrance? Yes. They must have their temperature taken and be required to wear a mask. <
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This section deals with protocols for entering and exiting a truck, sanitization recommendations, signage, cleaning workstations, and more.
PART 4 ENTERING & EXITING THE TRUCK 4.1 What are some general guidelines for how to enter a production truck safely in the age of COVID-19? The most important thing is to make sure you are allowed to enter the production truck/production trailer. Many productions are creating “bubbles” that are comprised of working groups with their own dedicated facilities. If you are not sure you can enter, please assume you cannot and contact production management to find out if you can enter. If you are allowed to enter the unit, you are required to: • Make sure that your mask is on. • Once inside the truck, please clean your hands with sanitizer upon entering. • Please note that if you are wearing gloves, those need to be cleaned as well, as an unclean glove can carry the virus. 4.2 How is signage handled at the entrance of the truck? How can signage be as specific as possible? Signage should be placed at both the bottom of the stairs and also the door into the mobile unit. Signage should include reminders on safety policies, working groups that are allowed in that area, reminders about face covering and hand sanitizing, etc. 4.3 Are there antimicrobial substances that can be used on handles? The EPA has a list of recommended cleaning substances. To see the approved list, please CLICK HERE. One note: in general, spraying and quickly wiping does not kill the germs and virus but simply moves them from one point to another. Proper spray cleaning involves spraying, letting it sit for a number of minutes, and then wiping. 4.4 If a production unit only has one door, what is the recommendation for entering and exiting? If the trailer or unit only has one door, it is recommended that: • Those who are outside of the unit remain respectful in terms of distance from the stairwell so that those inside can easily exit.
SPORTSTECHJOURNAL / SPRING 2021
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PART 4 ENTERING & EXITING THE TRUCK continued •
Those who are inside of the unit, if possible, should be more than six feet away from the door so that someone entering the truck can enter without breaking social distancing rules (depending on the floorplan). When exiting the unit, please sanitize hands prior to touching handles or bars. Ideally, avoid touching handles or bars (use shoulder, elbow, etc.).
4.5 Should you only have one door for entry and another door for exit so people don’t need to pass on stairs? Or should specific groups enter/exit out of a specific door? The group determined that it was more beneficial to segregate the truck by function group/work areas (i.e. “control room”) and have groups use a designated set of stairs rather than need to sidle by others to get to an exit staircase. Also, stair placement can be impacted by compound layout, so it’s not always feasible to have two sets of stairs properly located for egress and entrance. 4.6 Do crew members need to clean their shoes prior to entering the truck? The recommendation of the group is no, that would be minimally effective. But if there are shoe cleaning pads/materials provided, they are there for a reason and it is recommended that — out of respect — cleaning should take place. 4.7 If shared headsets have a UVC clean box or electrostatic hand sanitizer (Zogics), should it be located inside of the truck, near the entrance? Given that there will be fewer people in the truck, it is recommended that an area close to the entry to the truck or tent be set aside for a UVC clean box as well as other cleaning supplies. Small UVC cabinets take only a couple of minutes to sanitize a headset, radio, or other unit, so please simply follow the instructions of the UVC unit. 4.8 Is there a need for someone to be stationed near the entrance to make sure no one goes in who should not (and also make sure each person has a mask, gloves, etc.)? Who provides this person, and is this person a professional or PA? While it is not recommended that someone is dedicated to each unit/trailer, there should be someone within viewing distance of the unit to monitor traffic and also deal with any issues. It is recommended that this person be a management representative (i.e. production or technical manager, when possible). It is up to each individual crew member to be vigilant and respectful of where they should and should not go. 4.9 Do there need to be different rules for office trailers vs. production trucks? The same entry/exit rules should apply to all facilities, if possible (i.e. some smaller production units may only have one door). Each facility has its own unique dynamics, but basic principles must apply across all trailers. 4.10 What are considered necessary work materials that are allowed to be brought inside the truck and can fit within your own personal workstation area? It is recommended that individuals be allowed to bring in their own personal briefcase or small backpack with their work tools enclosed (i.e. computer, timer, etc.). All personal cases must fit comfortably under the individual workstation. 4.11 What are best practices for exiting the truck after the workday and/or during strike? Upon strike, all crew are responsible for wiping down/disinfecting their own workstation, removing all external materials from their area, and returning equipment upon exiting the truck for the night. If there is a personal item you would like to leave in the truck overnight, you must clear it with the EIC/truck manager first. <
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PART 5 THIRD-PARTY PROVIDERS
This section is designed to 5.1 What type of companies involved in a sports production are considered a third-party? More than ever, all third-party providers should consider themselves part of the core team. This provide general guidance means a number of things: to third-party production • Adhering to the safety protocols laid out for the production entities that may arrive • Understanding compound entry/exit guidelines • Understanding that testing of a variety of types will be done onsite and need additional • Possibly signing various waivers with respect to self-monitoring, pre-event activities, and guidance for fitting into more. They may be required not only by the production but also by the venue, league, the overall safety plan, team, and more. steps they need to take to • In addition, subcontractors, if there are any, will also be expected to adhere to the same ensure they are able to policies and guidelines. operate at full capacity, 5.2 What steps should a third-party take prior to an event to ensure that they adhere to any travel and/or transport guidelines? and more.
The previous ways of traveling prior to an event are no longer the status quo. Providers contracted for a job should ensure that the client shares all of the relevant quarantine requirements, testing requirements, and screening requirements. The client will most likely be able to share comprehensive guidelines so that the third-party team can be fully prepared to work on the production and be an important part of the show. But it is critical that this information be provided as soon as possible, because the protocols sometimes need to begin days before the actual event. Also, comprehensive details on travel from home to the event should be provided.
5.3 What should a third-party vendor expect in the way of testing and/or changes to pre–COVID19 protocols, such as entering and exiting the compound and venue? Because each client will have different protocols and methods, third-party vendors should have a clear understanding of how the operations will take place and, at the least, should be prepared to undergo a temperature check and possibly an antibody test. In certain situations, third-party teams may need to be not only tested but also quarantined while awaiting test results and should expect to sign a release for sharing test results with management onsite. In general: • Ensure that travel arrangements allow for testing and waiting for results. Contact the client and make sure timing requirements are understood. • Subcontractors need to be made aware of timing and testing requirements. 5.4 By the time a third-party company arrives onsite, its personnel, facilities, and equipment often have been in transit. What kind of travel details should a third-party company provide so that the client has an understanding of possible exposure and risks? As many details as possible should be provided to the client, and travel events that could lead to accidental exposure should be tracked. Tandem drivers should keep track of things like rest stops, meals, etc. If team members have taken a commercial flight, the client might require additional days of quarantine, and, if it does, travel plans should be adjusted accordingly. Also, extra buffer days should be planned in case of delays due to travel, testing, etc. Third-party vendors may be given a staggered arrival time to maximize safety and ensure that arriving entities can be handled properly. If equipment is shipped with safety seals, it must arrive with the seals intact. If they aren’t, the equipment should be properly cleaned and sanitized. 5.5 Does a third-party provider need to provide extra crew/staff onsite in case someone falls ill? Every entity involved with the production is providing additional staff and crew in the event of crew-member illness. Third-party vendors should contact the client to see what requirements are with respect to backup crew and personnel. Those individuals are likely to be quarantined in a hotel in the event they are required. 58
SPORTSTECHJOURNAL / SPRING 2021
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PART 5 THIRD-PARTY PROVIDERS continued 5.6 If the third-party provider’s guidelines don’t match those of the client or the compoundmanagement team has a third guideline, which must be followed? To ensure that everyone is operating under the same guidelines, the client’s protocols and best practices supersede all other guidelines. Third-party guidelines that exceed the client’s (are more conservative, require greater distancing or more cleaning) should be adhered to, but client guidelines should be considered the minimum acceptable practices. Again, those protocols should be understood as early as possible so that third-party employees are not denied entry and/or are required to leave. 5.7 How can a third-party bring in a repair technician or have refueling take place if guidelines may, at first glance, prevent someone from entering the compound without comprehensive screening and testing? In an emergency situation, steps can be taken to allow support personnel to come in without being a risk to the production. First, they should expect to be subject to all testing and PPE protocols and should expect to be delayed in entering compound. Alert the production-management team to the possibility of new personnel’s entering the compound or venue and find out the steps to take for them to be in compliance. 5.8 If a third-party has multiple staffers, do they need to arrive in separate vehicles, or can they travel together? It is recommended that staffers arrive in their own rental vehicle or car, but production management can provide accepted transportation options. 5.9 When a third-party delivers equipment to a compound, what steps should be taken to ensure that the equipment is clean? All equipment is required to have an inspection sticker indicating the date it was cleaned by the supplier. If possible, suppliers should provide extra cleaning kits with each shipment specific to the equipment type. <
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This section is focused on catering. We respect that catering is a customized offering highly dependent on the budget of the show and the size of the crew and is also largely determined by union guidelines that might be specific to the production or geographic region. The guidelines outlined in this document are simply suggestions that have proved successful in some of the first productions executed since the COVID19 outbreak.
PART 6 CATERING 6.1 Should catering be offered? Yes. It is recommended that catering still be offered on all productions. The goal of this section is to offer general guidelines for delivering that catering in a safe and clean manner. 6.2 Does the length of the production day impact whether meals should or should not be served? If so, what’s the cutoff mark? It is recommended that the length of the production should not matter. The same offerings as those prior to COVID-19 should be provided on productions. Also, all union rules should be referenced and abided by. 6.3 Can a buffet still be used? It is advised that all buffet-style service should be abolished. Buffet-style setups are only encouraged when the caterer has sufficient staff and tools to accommodate touch-free food services. The food line must meet all COVID sanitary requirements, including appropriate sneeze guards around the food tables. An attendant must serve each person a meal in a to-go container. To maximize social distancing, the crew must stay 6 feet apart in the line, and in the dining room. Management should also stagger mealtimes by having two or three different sittings. It is a good idea to stage a hand sanitizer dispenser at the entrance and exit of the meal area. 6.4 How should meals be distributed? The industry is recommending that a location in the compound should be designated to enable crew members to eat in a safe and socially distant manner. High levels of traffic to this area should be reduced by specifying meal shifts for crew members. A food-serving professional should serve meals in a box placed at an assigned seat. Crew members are requested to keep their masks on until sitting at the seat. At that point, the mask can be pulled down or removed for eating. Crew members should be required to sanitize their hands prior to entering the designated eating area. It is recommended that a hand-sanitizing station be placed at the entrance to the area. And it is recommended that the designated eating area be cleaned following each eating shift. Boxed meals are encouraged during these COVID times. Work with the caterer and come up with the most efficient way to package the meals. They should label each box and be as specific as possible. It is helpful if all plasticware and condiments are included in the boxes. Once the boxed meals have arrived, separate them, place them on the tables, and label each group of boxes accordingly. Post the daily menu at the entrance and above the food tables. Crew members should decide their meal selection before making the line. 6.5 Where should meals be ordered from? Where food is ordered from is truly a case-by-case circumstance. The production may choose to order from a local restaurant or catering service or, if the venue allows for it, use the foodservice options within the venue. What should be universal is that any food-service professionals and food-delivery arrival should clear through guidelines outlined in the Compound Entry section of this document. If the venue does not provide in-house catering, then EZCaterer.com is recommended. When ordering from EZ Caterer, make sure to toggle on the “individually packaged” option. This will filter out any vendor that does not offer boxed meals. By now, most vendors on the website have experience in executing this efficiently. Once you have selected your restaurant and meals of choice, then they will provide you with regular updates and tracking for your order. Please instruct all food handlers to wear a mask at all times. Uber Eats also offers food delivery for groups under 25 people. Start a group order with a business profile on Uber Eats and have everyone easily join a shared cart via a link. Get visibility into joint tracking and individually packed items for painless meal coordination. The Uber Eats
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PART 6 CATERING continued Group Ordering function allows management to customize meal programs, set rules and policy controls, and simplify the corporate meal experience. Onsite food trucks are another way to execute fresh meals. Make sure the vendor understands the needs and the size of your group. Please give them a clear timeline and an appropriate space to park the food truck. Recommend they prep the meals in an open-aired space. They must follow the same CDC guidelines as any caterer. Always make sure their staff is wearing masks and gloves. 6.6 What are the requirements of the catering company? It is recommended that any catering option have food-service certification. Any food-service professionals entering the compound to handle and deliver food should wear masks at all times. 6.7 How are meal choices determined? This is determined on a case-by-case basis and depends on the size of the crew and the budget for the show. If possible, crew members may be offered a menu to choose from prior to arriving onsite or on the morning of each production day. Otherwise, a basic rotation of meal options will suffice. (Note: the needs of vegetarians, vegans, and those with specific food allergies should be respected.) 6.8 How should water be distributed? Will other drinks be offered? It is encouraged that sufficient hydration be provided for all crew members. Water should be distributed in single-serving options. The best option is single-use bottles spaced out on a table. A single cooler where crew members help themselves to drinks is discouraged. When appropriate, crew members may be encouraged to bring their own reusable water bottles. If they are asked to do so, a communal refrigerator and/or cooler is not recommended. It is acceptable to allow crew members to bring their own drinks (sports drinks, soda, etc.) with them. Management should provide reusable water bottles to the crew. Place five-gallon water dispensers throughout the compound, sets, and outside TV trucks. Hand sanitizer should be present at every water station. Please encourage crew members to travel with their preferred reusable water bottle. 6.9 Should coffee be offered? It is not currently recommended that coffee be provided. However, if your production chooses to offer coffee, it should be distributed in single-serving cups filled by a single professional dedicated to pouring the drinks. A communal coffee machine, pot, or carafe where crew members help themselves is highly discouraged. 6.10 How will craft services occur? It is advised that the craft-services table be abolished. If a craft-services table is necessary, every item offered should be in a single-serving package set out on the table. Items should not be placed in a bowl for crew members to dig through. In lieu of the craft-services table, many broadcasters are choosing to give each crew member a curated snack box prior to the start of the production. Crew members are discouraged from sharing or trading the items in it. 6.11 Are crew members allowed to bring their own food and drink to the site? Yes. However, it is discouraged that communal coolers and/or refrigerators be used in the compound. Crew members may be allowed to bring a small cooler to keep with them at their workstation. 6.12 Addendum for reference Fox Sports Operations Guidelines Checklist - Food Service / Outside Orders CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD <
SPORTSTECHJOURNAL / SPRING 2021
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PART 7 VESTS/ACCESS WEAR
7.1 How should vests/access wear be distributed? Where should crew member pick them up? This section is focused If possible and practical, vests/access wear required to be worn should be mailed to staffers’ homes on items required to be prior to the event. worn on a crew member’s If that is not possible or practical, it is recommended that a station be set up to distribute these person to gain access or items just inside the entrance to the TV compound. It is recommended that this station be as visible and obvious as possible to obviate crew members’ looking through multiple trailers to authenticate their presence find it. in restricted areas of the All vests/access wear should be distributed by someone wearing a facial mask. If they need to be live venue. This is not to handled and broken down by size, a face mask should be worn. Hands should be washed prior be confused with swag. to distribution of each item. 7.2 Do crew members keep the vest/access wear for the entirety of the production (especially in multi-day events)? Or do they need to return the items prior to leaving the compound at the end of every day? It is recommended that crew members retain their vest/access wear for the entirety of the production. For a multi-day production, it is not recommended that crew members turn these items in at day’s end unless there is genuine concern that the items may have been contaminated or come into contact with someone ill during the day. Crew members are encouraged to hold onto these items for the duration of the event. If it is deemed necessary to wash the vest/access wear each night, it is recommended that the production provide the crew member with multiple vests at check-in. In these circumstances, washing the vest/access wear would be the responsibility of the crew member. When vests/access wear are returned to the operations team at the conclusion of the event, collection should be done by an individual wearing PPE, and the items should be sent off for full cleaning/sanitization prior to their use on a future production. 7.3 When applicable, should crew members receive a vest/access wear to keep for a whole season? If so, should a crew member receive two (or more) items to ensure that they can wash their vest/hat each night? Yes, on both accounts. The ultimate goal is to have as few hands as possible on a vest/access wear. A crew member working on a multiple-week season should be responsible for the items, cleaning and keeping them in good condition. In these instances, multiple vests/access wear should be delivered or distributed to the crew member to allow the items to be rotated and kept clean. 7.4 Are the vests/access wear sanitized each night? Does the crew head ensure that the items are picked up by a local laundromat and returned the next morning? If so, who is responsible for coordinating this? It is not recommended that these items be collected every day and sent out for cleaning. Again, the goal is to ensure that chain-of-custody is as limited as possible. With only the crew member handling the vest/access wear, there is no need for nightly sanitization. 7.5 What should crew members do if they think their vest/access wear has been compromised? A crew member concerned that an item of clothing has been contaminated (for example, accidentally touched by someone else) should contact the production-management team for possible replacement and/or cleaning instructions. 7.6 Can a UV cleaner box clean the vests onsite? If it is necessary to sanitize vest/access wear items in the compound, a UV cleaner box can be used for this purpose. However, the items must be hung within the box so that the entire item can be exposed to the UV light. Folded vests placed in the box will not be sanitized properly. Otherwise, cleaning of these items can be handled through traditional laundry services offered at the hotel, the athletic venue, or a local laundromat. < 66
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PART 8 AUDIO
8.1 General Recommendations This section deals with • Crew must wear masks and gloves, including work gloves while handling equipment. handling and cleaning • DO NOT use any disinfectant sprays directly on the equipment; it could cause irreparable microphones and audio damage. equipment, such as radios, • Always use safe, approved disposable wipes on equipment. Wipes are usually 70% isopropyl alcohol (IPA); higher concentrations are no more effective. IPA is a great disinfectant: it kills and how to mike up talent bacteria, fungi, and viruses. It also dissolves oils and grease buildup and dries fast without safely. •
leaving residue. The important detail is to sanitize hands after touching an item that may have come into contact with contamination. Common items — cellphones, pens, notepads, glasses, keys — are often the source of contamination, being used often and usually without hand-sanitizing. Although these procedures may be helpful, the results are only as good as the measures that people follow faithfully.
8.2 What is the best way to mike talent when social distancing is a concern? Crew members must wear masks, sanitary gloves, and safety glasses or face shield when working with talent, and they should change gloves and wash their hands before and after working with each of the talent. If medical gloves are running low or not available (which may need to be considered if medical glove supplies are critically low and demand is high) then use medical gloves beyond the manufacturer-designated shelf life in a setting where there is a lower risk of transmission, if feasible (for example, non-surgical, non-sterile people with no known COVID-19 diagnosis). The user should visibly inspect the gloves prior to use and, if there are concerns (for example, discolored or visible tears or holes), discard the gloves. Extend the use of medical gloves by not changing the gloves between people with no known infectious diseases. Gloved hands should be cleaned between patients and at other times when hand hygiene would normally be performed during routine patient care. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers may degrade vinyl gloves. If a glove becomes damaged (for example, discolored, deteriorated, visible tears or holes), contaminated (for example, body fluids) or no longer provides a liquid barrier, replace it. Consider using non-medical gloves such as those used for food service, embalming, cleaning, or other industrial-grade gloves that most closely align with the ASTM standards for medical gloves as outlined in the FDA’s Medical Glove Guidance Manual. Be aware that counterfeit medical and non-medical gloves may be on the market, especially during this time of increased demand. Reusable masks, face shields, safety glasses, and containers should be disinfected and placed in a sealed, sanitary storage case until next use. Used gloves should be safely discarded at the end of the shoot, and hands should be washed before and after disinfecting equipment. 8.3 Can headsets and earpieces be shared? It is recommended that each crew member and talent have their own headset and earpiece. At the start of a shift, the new user should put on their own disposable covers and windscreens before use. Shared headsets may be used with sanitary earcup covers and windscreens. At the end of a shift, users should remove and throw away any used headset covers and windscreens and wipe down headsets with disinfectant wipes. Also, ear cushions and windscreens (microphone covers) or voice tubes should be replaced every time a new person uses the headset. Leatherette and foam ear cushions and reusable windscreens (microphone covers) or voice tubes should be replaced every six months or sooner if they become clogged with makeup or otherwise soiled. 68
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PART 8 AUDIO continued Headset plastics, consoles, and equipment should be cleaned regularly with approved wipes, especially when a headset is assigned to a new user. A secondary sanitization step using UV-C or heat may also be used to improve disinfection. And, again, after equipment has been disinfected, it should be placed in a sanitary sealed container to prevent contamination before its next use. 8.4 What are the best processes for deploying microphones? Microphones should be wiped with approved disinfectant wipes before and after use. Remove any windscreens (microphone covers) from the microphone boom to allow the surface to be wiped down completely. Disinfected microphones and headsets should be placed in sanitized storage containers to prevent contamination before their next use. Microphone and headset windscreens need to be changed regularly. 8.5 How should windscreens be safely deployed? It is recommended that new windscreens be used, but, when foam versions must be reused, they may be cleaned of visible debris, then washed with mild detergent and water or an approved disinfectant, such as 70% isopropyl alcohol. Note that the windscreens must be completely dry before being reinstalled on the microphone or stored in individual sanitary containers until next use. 8.6 How should lavalier microphones be handled? First, crew members must wash their hands before and after handling the mic. The A2s must wear gloves when they touch equipment that the talent will handle. Face shields are necessary for A2s since they may need to be up close to talent to make adjustments and provide assistance. Ideally, the talent will be able to place the lav mic themselves, but, with the different uses, lav mics, and pack configurations, it is likely that the talent will need some sort of help. Wireless and lavalier microphones must be disinfected before and after each use. If the microphone is to be used multiple times by the same person, it may be placed in a sealed container, such as a zip-lock bag, between uses. The microphone, cables, and wireless pack must be disinfected after final use and returned to its sanitary storage case. A foam windscreen must be either replaced with a new one or properly disinfected and dried before being returned to its sanitary storage case. 8.7 What are some recommendations for cleaning hard surfaces of equipment in the audio area? First, disposable gloves should be worn for cleaning and disinfecting surfaces. Reusable gloves should be dedicated to cleaning and disinfection of surfaces for COVID-19 and should not be used for other purposes. Follow manufacturer instructions for the cleaning and disinfection products used. Hands should be cleaned immediately after gloves are removed. If surfaces are dirty, they should be cleaned with a detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection. For disinfection, most common EPA-registered household disinfectants should be effective. Follow manufacturer instructions for all cleaning and disinfection products (concentration, application method, contact time, etc.) because they can all be deployed differently. Additionally, diluted household-bleach solutions (at least 1,000 ppm sodium hypochlorite or a concentration of 5%-6%) can be used if appropriate for the surface. Follow manufacturer instructions for application, ensuring contact time of at least one minute and allowing proper ventilation during and after application. Check to ensure that the product is not past its expiration date. Never mix household bleach with ammonia or any other cleanser. Unexpired household bleach will be effective against coronaviruses when properly diluted. Prepare a bleach solution by mixing 5 tablespoons (1/3 cup) bleach per gallon of room-temperature water or 4 teaspoons bleach per quart of room-temperature water. Bleach solutions will be effective for disinfection up to 24 hours.
SPORTSTECHJOURNAL / SPRING 2021
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PART 8 AUDIO continued 8.8 Any recommendations on cleaning soft (porous) surfaces? For soft (porous) surfaces — carpeted floor, rugs, drapes — remove visible contamination if present and clean with appropriate cleaners indicated for use on these surfaces. After cleaning, launder the items as appropriate in accordance with manufacturer instructions. If possible, items should be laundered in the warmest appropriate water for them and dried completely. Otherwise, products that are EPA-approved for use against the virus that causes COVID-19 are suitable for porous surfaces. 8.9 Electronics like cellphones, tablets, touchscreens, keyboards, etc. also need to be cleaned. Any recommendations? With electronics — cellphones, tablets, touchscreens, remote controls, keyboards — remove any visible contamination. Follow manufacturer instructions for all cleaning and disinfection products. Also consider use of wipeable covers for the electronics. If no manufacturer guidance is available, consider the use of 70%-alcohol–based wipes or sprays to disinfect touchscreens. Dry surfaces thoroughly to prevent pooling of liquids. All equipment should be wiped down with disinfectant wipes when taken from the storage case and disinfected again before being returned to it. To prevent cross-contamination, if the equipment must be moved or put back into the case between uses, it must be placed in a sealed container, such as a zip-lock bag, before being put into the case. After final use, the equipment must be properly disinfected before being returned to the storage case. Wipes must use 70% isopropyl alcohol or other approved disinfectant, and UV-C sanitization can also be used if the equipment is first wiped clean of dirt and oil residue. As always, crew members must wash their hands before and after disinfecting the equipment. 8.10 Any suggestions for cleaning a radio, such as removing heavy dust, soil, mud, grime, stains, etc.? Prepare a solution of a non-abrasive dish detergent and water, with no more than 0.5% detergent in the solution. Some manufacturers recommend using distilled water. Apply the solution to the surface of the radio with a soft, non-abrasive cloth. Note: do not apply any liquid directly to the surface of the radio; apply it to the cloth, then wipe the radio with the cloth. Next, use a stiff, non-metallic, and short-bristled brush to loosen and remove dirt from surface and crevices of the radio. Wipe the debris and moisture away with a dry, soft, lint-less, absorbent cloth. Be sure to remove all moisture from the radio, including any metallic contacts, connector ports, cracks, and crevices. Also, allow the radio to fully dry before attempting to install the battery/ batteries, charge, or use the device. 8.11 What steps are best for disinfecting a radio? Wipe down the radio using IPA in a 70%-80% concentration; below 70% will not be effective. Apply the isopropyl alcohol to a soft, non-abrasive cloth and wipe the surface of the radio. Do not apply the solution directly to the radio. Be sure to wipe into the cracks and crevices in the radio to effectively disinfect it. Some radio manufacturers allow the use of an antibacterial wipe, but excess liquid must be squeezed out of the wipe first so that it is merely damp, not wet, to avoid over-saturating the radio with fluid. Be sure to remove all moisture from the radio, including metallic contacts, connector ports, cracks, and crevices. Allow the radio to fully dry before attempting to install the battery/batteries or charge or use the device. <
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This section concerns recommendations for how to choose the correct cleaner/disinfectant, how to apply cleaning materials and ensure cleaning staff are protected, basics on air filtration, and more.
PART 9 CLEANING & DISINFECTING 9.1 What steps can be taken to ensure that disinfection is done properly? When disinfecting against SARS-CoV2 (the virus that causes COVID-19), use disinfectants that are on EPA’s List N: Disinfectants for Use Against SARS-CoV-2 and formulated with the active ingredients recommended by EPA’s Design for the Environment Logo for Antimicrobial Pesticide Products. (As of May 2020, the active-ingredient list includes hydrogen peroxide, citric acid, L-lactic acid, ethanol, isopropanol, peroxyacetic acid, and sodium bisulfate). If concentrated disinfectants are diluted to the proper solution using a portion-control device, put in place a testing protocol to ensure that the correct dilution rate is achieved. Inexpensive test strips (under 10¢ each) are available for many disinfectants. Cleaning-chemical products should meet EPA Safer Choice Standard; Green Seal standards GS-37, GS-40, GS-52/53; UL Ecologo 2792, 2795, 2777, 2798, 2791, 2796, 2759; or should be used only with devices that use water, ionized water, electrolyzed water, or aqueous ozone and have third-party–verified performance data equivalent to those standards. If the device is marketed for antimicrobial cleaning, performance data must demonstrate antimicrobial performance comparable to EPA Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics and Design for the Environment requirements, as appropriate for use patterns and marketing claims. 9.2 What type of hand soaps should be used? First, prioritize hand-washing with plain soap and water over hand sanitizers when possible. Hand soaps should meet one or more of the following standards: EPA Safer Choice, Green Seal GS-41, or UL Ecologo 2784. Or they should have no antimicrobial agents (other than as a preservative) except where required by health codes and other regulations (for example, food-service and healthcare requirements). When soap and water are not available, use hand sanitizers that contain at least 70% alcohol. 9.3 Is there a recommendation for paper towels, mops, buckets, etc.? Use paper towels, wiping/drying products, mops, buckets, and other tools that meet one or more of the following standards: EPA comprehensive procurement guidelines for janitor paper and plastic trash-can liners; Green Seal GS-01 for tissue paper, paper towels, and napkins; UL Ecologo 175 for toilet tissue and hand towels; or FSC certification for fiber procurement. Also, use cleaning equipment with ergonomicdesign features to reduce worker injuries from, for example, vibration, noise, and user fatigue. 9.4 Any recommended procedures on cleaning and disinfection? Procedures should meet the joint requirements of CDC and EPA on Reopening Guidance for Cleaning and Disinfecting Public Spaces, Workplaces, Businesses, Schools, and Homes. Procedures should also optimize cleaning-personnel resources and minimize unnecessary use of valuable cleaning products and equipment. Do not overuse or stockpile disinfectants or other supplies. When possible, adjust spaces to minimize frequently touched surfaces and regularly update cleaning personnel on building-occupant activities to ensure that cleaning aligns with the way the building is being used. Also identify “high-touch points” along with frequencies for cleaning and disinfecting the different objects so designated and have procedures for quantitative testing of surface cleanliness. 9.5 What do we do about protecting those who are cleaning? Provide personal protective equipment (PPE) — including eye protection, masks, gloves, and gowns — for all cleaning personnel as required by the products and processes being used. Also, consider the requirements of the buildings and its occupants relative to COVID-19. Use tools, equipment, and procedures that reduce worker ergonomic injuries (for example, to the back, shoulders, and knees). Also, train personnel about how to properly put on PPE, take it off, and dispose of it. Train personnel on the hazards of the cleaning chemicals used, in accordance with OSHA’s Hazard Communication standard (29 CFR 1910.1200), and comply with OSHA’s standards on Bloodborne Pathogens (29 CFR 1910.1030), including proper disposal of regulated waste and PPE (29 CFR 1910.132).
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PART 9 CLEANING & DISINFECTING continued Train on the basics of infection control and the science of cleaning, PPE, ergonomics protection for workers, hazards of disinfectant and other chemical products, disposal of cleaning chemicals, proper use and maintenance of chemical-dispensing equipment, and other products and equipment used in the cleaning process. 9.6 Quality and safe airflow is also a concern. Any recommendations for that issue? For a building environment, take steps to improve ventilation in the building: • Increase the percentage of outdoor air (for example, using economizer modes of HVAC operations) potentially to as high as 100% (first verify compatibility with HVAC-system capabilities for both temperature and humidity control as well as with outdoor/indoor-air–quality considerations). • Increase total airflow supply to occupied spaces, if possible. • Disable demand-control–ventilation (DCV) controls that reduce air supply based on temperature or occupancy. • Consider using natural ventilation (opening windows if that is possible and safe to do) to increase outdoor-air dilution of indoor air when environmental conditions and building requirements allow. • In general, take advantage of the ability to spread the production team and personnel over a wider geographic area to allow more social distancing. 9.7 What about air-filtration methods? Increase air filtration to as high as possible (MERV 13 or 14) without significantly diminishing design airflow. The fraction of particles removed from air passing through a filter is termed “filter efficiency” and is provided by the Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) under standard conditions. MERV ranges from 1 to 16; higher MERV = higher efficiency: • MERV ≥13 (or ISO equivalent) are efficient at capturing airborne viruses. • MERV 14 (or ISO equivalent) filters are preferred. • High-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters are more efficient than MERV 16 filters. Overall effectiveness of reducing particle concentrations depends on several factors: • Filter efficiency • Airflow rate through the filter • Size of the particles • Location of the filter in the HVAC system or room-air cleaner Increased filter efficiency generally results in increased pressure drop through the filter. Ensure that HVAC systems can handle filter upgrades without negative impacts to pressure differentials and/or air-flow rates prior to changing filters. Generally, particles with an aerodynamic diameter around 0.3 μm are most penetrating; efficiency increases above and below this particle size. Consider running the ventilation system even during unoccupied times to maximize dilution ventilation. Generate clean– to less-clean–air movement by re-evaluating the positioning of supply and exhaust-air diffusers and/or dampers and adjusting zone-supply and exhaust-flow rates to establish measurable pressure differentials. Have staff work in areas served by “clean” ventilation zones that do not include higher-risk areas, such as visitor reception or exercise facilities (if open). Also consider using portable HEPA fan/filtration systems to help ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI) as a supplement to help inactivate the virus. Be sure to implement changes and confirm that building systems are operating as expected. If using air-treatment measures, use devices with third-party testing to ensure that no harmful byproducts are produced. To minimize ozone generation, for example, the air-cleaning device should be listed and labeled in accordance with UL 2998, and ultraviolet-generating devices in supply air or spaces shall not transmit 185-nm wavelengths. This wavelength produces ozone in accordance with UL 2998, and ultraviolet-generating devices in supply air or spaces shall not transmit 185-nm wavelengths. This wavelength produces ozone. <
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PART 10 VACCINATION
This section concerns how 10.1 If I have gotten my vaccine, do I still need to adhere to COVID protection guidelines like wearing a mask, social distancing, and testing? to deal with a number Yes. While being vaccinated is a great step towards a post-COVID world, unfortunately even those of issues related to the who have been vaccinated are capable of transmitting the virus to others. vaccination of staff, safety It will take many months before enough people are vaccinated to inhibit the spread of COVID-19. Therefore, at this time, changes to testing requirements for individuals — even those who have protocols for someone who been fully vaccinated — should not change. is vaccinated, quarantine Wearing masks, social distancing, cleaning, temperature checks, and even testing are still a necesrecommendations for sary step to play your part. those vaccinated but 10.2 If I recently had the virus, should I skip testing? exposed to COVID-19, If you have recovered from your symptoms after testing positive for COVID-19, you may continue returning to work post to test positive for three months or more without being contagious to others. For this reason, you should be tested only if you develop new symptoms of possible COVID-19. Getting tested COVID-19, and more. again should be discussed with your healthcare provider, especially if you have been in close contact with another person who has tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 14 days. If you have symptoms and test positive for COVID-19, follow the guidance above for “I think or know I had COVID, and I had symptoms.” Your doctor may work with an infectious disease expert at your local health department to determine when you can be around others.
10.3 Can my employer demand that I be vaccinated? There are a number of issues surrounding whether or not an employer can demand that an employee or a freelancer hired must be vaccinated. Religious beliefs, medical exclusions, and other factors may play a role in determining whether someone can be forced to get the vaccine in order to work on an event. Rules may also be different for freelancers vs. full-time staffers. A simple recommendation is that if there are no religious or medical exclusions, then getting the vaccine is the best way to maintain eligibility to work an event. 10.4 If I have had the vaccine and do not feel well during a production, should I notify medical personnel? Yes. How much protection COVID-19 vaccination provides under real-life conditions is still unknown. Even with a vaccine, you may still be able to spread COVID-19 and it is important for everyone to monitor their wellbeing and taken all precautions. Remember, testing keeps you, your family, and friends safe! • There are usually no out-of-pocket costs to get tested at state testing sites. • Test results are usually returned in no more than two days. • Discuss your symptoms with your healthcare provider. 10.5 If I am exposed to someone who is suspected or confirmed COVID-19, should I still quarantine even after getting the vaccine? Vaccinated people who have been exposed to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 are not required to quarantine if they meet all of the following criteria, according to the CDC: • Are fully vaccinated and it has been two weeks or more since getting the second dose in a two-dose series, or two weeks or more since getting one dose of a single-dose vaccine • Are within 3 months of getting the last dose in the series • Have had no symptoms since the exposure People who do not meet all three of the above criteria should quarantine. Follow current quarantine guidance. Fully vaccinated people who do not need to quarantine should still watch for symptoms of COVID19 for 14 days following an exposure. If they experience symptoms, they should be evaluated for COVID-19, including coronavirus testing if indicated. In addition, vaccinated people should continue to follow current guidance to protect themselves and others, including travel recommendations. 78
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10.6 If I had COVID, how quickly can I return back to work? According to CDC guidelines, you can be with others after at least 10 days since symptoms first appeared and at least 24 hours with no fever without fever-reducing medication and other symptoms of COVID-19 are improving. PLEASE NOTE: Loss of taste and smell may persist for weeks or months after recovery and need not delay the end of isolation. If you had severe illness from COVID-19 (you were admitted to a hospital and needed oxygen), your healthcare provider may recommend that you stay in isolation for longer than 10 days after your symptoms first appeared (possibly up to 20 days), and you may need to finish your period of isolation at home. <
As new information comes to light in our ever-changing world, the SVG COVID19 Sports Production Operations Guide will continue to be updated to reflect the latest industry guidelines and requirements for safety protocols, social distancing, and more.
CLICK HERE TO STAY UP TO DATE ON INDUSTRY OPERATING GUIDELINES
WHITEPAPERS Addressing Key Challenges for Live Production in the Cloud By Mike Cronk, VP of Advanced Technology, Grass Valley
se of cloud elastic compute has become pervasive in so many industries: banking, publishing, retail, and transportation logistics, to name a few. Closer to home in our industry, use of elastic compute has revolutionized the way that media is distributed to consumers, making media distribution more efficient, more flexible, and more scalable than ever. Yet, certain areas of the media and entertainment value chain have not been able to embrace the advantages of elastic compute. In particular, with its demanding requirements for low-latency, high-signal counts and real-time signal processing, utilization of cloud compute for live production workflows has, until recently, been very rare. This is not due to lack of potential business incentive. With its spin up/spin down, pay-as-you-go models, elastic compute would seem to be well suited for uneven usage patterns of live sports coverage. However, there are reasons why such workflows are only now starting to materialize. There are significant challenges to overcome in order to make truly agile live production workflows a reality on elastic compute. Here we examine those challenges and approaches for overcoming them.
A key historical impediment to cloud-based production has been latency. By definition, cloud data centers are often geographically separated both from the sporting venue where an event is occurring and the locations where the operators are performing their production duties. Physics dictates the speed of light over fiber and Figure 1: Remote production with distributed operations via the cloud 80
it cannot be cheated. This is not the only source of latency though. Compression delays, processing delays, and delays that result from the application of protocols required to protect signal integrity when contributing video over networks with packet loss1 all add to total signal latency. This total latency can become significant for live production workflows. Some of these delays can be reduced through judicious choice of codec and other means, but they can’t be eliminated. This has been a significant impediment to realizing live production workflows on cloud compute. However, recently there have been a series of technical breakthroughs that have allowed systems to overcome the very real challenge of latency. At its highest level, the concept is very simple. Latency is a function of physics. We can’t cheat physics, but we can manage it. Using timestamps derived from GPS locked time sources, we can maintain alignment of sources as they traverse even the public internet with its multiple varying hops. We can align those signals — presenting them in multiviewers for operational staff — as a coherent set of signals time aligned to the exact frame. We can provide high-bandwidth efficient, yet low-latency monitoring of those multiviewers back to operators so that they have all of the video/audio information they need to make production decisions. Importantly, in addition to reducing media signal latency, we can minimize the propagation delay of critical control signals such that button pushes on control interfaces happen instantaneously, from the perspective of human perception. And finally, when a feedback loop back to the venue (say, for example, IFB audio or video to drive the stadium display) is required, we can deploy processing over COTS compute (or a nearby cloud data center), in proximity to the venue, to
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ARQ and FEC are examples of such protocols
minimize the signal latency due to physics, which is directly proportional to distance. Using these techniques throughout the bulk of 2020, a variety of production teams from five continents successfully produced live content throughout the year. Many of these shows spanned vast distances (oceans) separating the contribution sources and the production crews, with 100% of the production processing (video switching, graphics, clip playback, audio mixing) happening in the public cloud, and often with camera counts ranging from four to 24, which brings us to the next challenge.
> I/O SCALABILITY To effectively address the requirements of a live production, any solution must be able to support the number of simultaneous I/O signals a production requires. This, of course, varies widely, from small shows such as a four-camera radio show to Super Bowl class mega events with over 100 cameras. Historically, this has presented a challenge for production based on elastic compute: both in terms of sending and receiving signals to and from the cloud, and in terms of processing signals once they land in the cloud. With advanced coding techniques, such as HEVC and JPEG-XS, that can generate contribution quality 1080p59.94 video streams at bit rates as low as 20 to 40 Mbps (HEVC), and with 10 Gbps cloud connection services available in many locations, one can see on the horizon the ability to contribute signal counts that cover the full range of production requirements for any show. Moreover, because techniques to better manage latency exist (see above), for many productions one can tweak the GOP structure of an H.264 or HEVC codec to increase quality while managing the latency increase this entails. The ability to support sufficient processing in cloud-compute nodes is also a challenge. A production switcher must be able to process any of the signals on its inputs. Modern traditional switchers typically employ a large frame of dedicated FPGA hardware to create all of the effects needed for storytelling. A compute node in the cloud must not only do all of that processing in software, but it typically must receive and decode all its input signals, scale video and create multiviewer tiles, and often encode its output signals for contribution to master control or a distribution chain. This is an area of active and dramatic improvement. A year ago, early cloud production systems were supporting eight contribution sources. By the end of 2020, systems with 24 (1080p) contribution sources were routine. Now that same technology stack can support up to 48 1080p59.94 sources, and this trajectory will not stop. It will continue.
> FUNCTIONAL SUFFICIENCY Beyond the pure technical challenges associated with live production in the cloud, such as latency and I/O scalability, there is another equally important challenge to overcome. This challenge
Figure 2: Switcher panel controlling a live production app running as software in the cloud (picture courtesy of EA Sports) represents the intersection of production crews with the technology. We call this challenge: functional sufficiency. Functional sufficiency can be described in this way: Does the operational crew have at their disposal sufficient tools (user interfaces, monitoring, and control surfaces) to perform their job function as professionally and with the same level of production value as they do today? Can a TD, an A1, a replay operator, and a graphics operator contribute to a show using cloud-based production with the same level of professionalism as they can with their traditional tool set? As with I/O scalability, this is an area of rapid progress. In early 2020, video switching in the cloud was very limited. Today, the same line of switcher panels that are used in the majority of North American OB trucks (Grass Valley Kayenne, Karrera, and Korona) can be used to control not just traditional K-Frame hardware, but a virtual K-Frame app running as software in the cloud. Throughout 2020, and as discussed in more than one SVG event, cloud-based audio production tools were not anywhere close to their onpremise counterparts. Expect to see significant improvements in this functional area (and many others) in 2021. More importantly, expect to see tools emerge from more than one company as an ecosystem of interoperable tools begin to emerge.
> CONCLUSION The challenges associated with cloud-based live production are real and formidable. Nonetheless, they are addressable, and significant progress was made in 2020. The expectation (and the experience in the first few months of 2021) is that advancements will continue at a rapid pace — expanding both the achievable scale and production value of live production in the cloud. This is not to say that all production will go to the cloud. There are strong arguments for more traditional live production approaches in many cases. However, where the business case for elastic compute offers a strong ROI, cloud-based live production will become a viable alternative for a greater and greater cross section of events. < SPORTSTECHJOURNAL / SPRING 2021
Cloud-Based Live Production — What Can We Expect? By Axel Kern, Senior Product Manager, Lawo
loud-based technologies are gradually finding their way into our workflows. Will this influence how we produce? The answer is most likely “yes”. What is even more interesting, though, are the “when” and “how”. A global pandemic that questions everything we used to take for granted may not be the perfect time to look ahead and wonder what live production scenarios will be in the future, or how manufacturers may contribute to this vision. Yet, history shows that exceptional circumstances often inspire innovation. Distributed, networked production setups that kickstart collaborative production scenarios have proven tremendously useful for broadcasters and service providers to make it through the pandemic despite substantial restrictions regarding content creation. What once looked daring to some served a specific need from day one and laid the foundation for what is either available or announced today: remote production over a wide-area network, with a clear aim to work more efficiently and control cost. This direction has whetted operators’ and C-suite officers’ appetite for more. This white paper explores how the difference between local and remote, between WAN and LAN, between small and large can be made irrelevant in a way that satisfies all stakeholders.
> THE FUZZY CLOUD For most of us, the “cloud” is already everywhere: in our daily office work, homeschooling, meetings, and international collaboration projects. Who would have thought it would be so pervasive
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only a year ago? Working “in the cloud” has literally been a lifesaver, even though we also realized that some cloud-based services work better than others. Based on our mostly positive experiences, however, we are no longer wary of what the cloud may bring. Some services we use for production are already being virtualized and abstracted from their physical backbone, which is hosted on-premise, in a hub, or in the cloud ‘somewhere’. Soon, monitor walls will be populated with PiPs via intuitive UIs, grabbing sources that are available on the network but whose points of origin may be unknown.
> SEE YOU IN THE CLOUD! Players in the broadcast sector are ready to embrace this new vision; manufacturers are asked to rehost their products on COTS platforms or proprietary but software-defined hardware solutions rather than on dedicated devices. Some of the required solutions will need to be rebuilt for virtualization, as not all existing platforms can be ported to an all-new environment as is. When this migration is complete, and every device has been turned into a “cloud-enabled” service, the underlying processes can be outsourced to tech centers, at first on an organization’s own campus, but ultimately operated by third-party specialists, in places where real estate is more affordable. Somebody will look after those machines, maintain optimized environmental conditions, and provide transparent commercial plans. Broadcasters will be able to select which, and how many, of these services they need at any given point in time to deliver value-added productions. Additional resources will be available on demand, and releasing resources you no longer need will be easy. Pay-as-you-go at its very finest… This still sounds a bit like science fiction, right? It certainly is a bold prospect for high-profile live productions. Look closer, though, and you will realize that “the cloud” can have many shapes and guises — in any combination.
> CLOUD-CONNECTED In a virtualized environment, operators no longer know where the processing takes place — and most of them do not really care, as long as the result meets all quality, latency, and timing requirements. This is an important aspect for virtualized production scenarios: most operators have little difficulty accepting geo-agnostic setups, provided they work as reliably as the dedicated machines of yore. The overall production system can therefore be scattered over several locations for more flexibility. Figure 1: A cloud-based production scenario with signal generation, processing, playout, and control surfaces completely separated
As a result, operators, control surfaces, and user interfaces can be moved around, because the distance to the processing services becomes irrelevant. This does not mean, however, that any task can be performed just about anywhere. Audio mixing, for one, requires a sound-proofed environment, while a vision mixer needs to be close to the monitor wall and the producer. And cameras and microphones still need to be pointed at the players or athletes. As most of us will confirm, separating edge devices from the processing units and control activities over a wide-area network makes a lot of sense, both financially and from an agility perspective. This is not new, by the way: lots of operators have been applying this principle for a while. No wonder cloud and/or edge connections to the backend are on the rise: it was always going to be this way.
> BEND ME, SHAPE ME… What sounds promising on paper, though, is still a little more complex than we like to believe. FPGA-based signal converters can be tasked with conversion operations (from 1080i to 1080p, say), and their built-in web interface allows users to set a host of additional parameters. Such solutions are able to transmit their settings and status information to an interface, which communicates with an overarching control system. The latter then takes care of ensuring that the video and audio data received by the signal converter as RTP streams are processed and injected back into the network, while also acting as the main control interface for all tasks going on simultaneously. Assuming that a PaaS/IaaS provider offers adequate hosting solutions and sufficient bandwidth for transporting the required data between the operator and the process, nothing should stand in the way of moving the entire production process into the cloud. Look closer, though, and it becomes clear that migrating all signal processing tasks to external systems may be just a little too ambitious for now — for all sorts of technical reasons. So why not look at the “cloud” from a different angle? The drive to move everything “into the cloud” is essentially based on our desire to use the required resources more flexibly and the processes that provide them as effectively as possible. This can already be achieved by managing such resources — audio cores, video processors, etc. — from a central location and by treating them as “pools”, or private clouds, whose processing magic is available on demand, 24/7, from any location, over a secure WAN or campus link. Immediately, broadcasters would be able to produce more efficiently. A larger audio control room located elsewhere could be utilized for a short-notice production in studio XYZ, even if they weren’t initially scheduled for collaboration. Examples of “permanent remote setups” that were architected with exactly these considerations in mind abound. Using software-defined hardware not only makes such devices more versatile but also offers the advantage that you can contact a highly competent partner who
understands what the issue is and how to remedy it. However, none of the scenarios necessarily require a cloud service provider. Whatever your preferred scenario, there will be a transitional phase during which broadcasters will work with a public/private cloud (and perhaps even onsite) hybrid, because of the unavailability of specialist processes on one platform. What really matters today — and in the foreseeable future — is the ability to access the required resources as and when they are needed. Idle resources need to be logged by a central orchestrator and accessible to operators who require them. User-specific data — audio, video, and control — need to find their way to these resources automatically, without any user interaction. Breaking complex processes down into micro services promises to add even more flexibility regarding their location and availability. This still requires “someone” who knows that they exist and establishes a route between them and the operator (or routine) who requires them. Ideally, such a management system should treat public and private clouds as well as on-campus solutions as equals and present the processes they host to operators based on specific requirements, with as little manual configuration as possible. Think of it as the sequel to a control and orchestration system that welcomed IP-based solutions amid a pool of baseband devices and made the disparity manageable for production purposes. Only more powerful and offering a breath-taking immediacy on a much wider scale. And way more intuitive.
> WELCOME HOME Let us agree, for now, that “the cloud” for broadcast applications is a collection of services that coexist in a variety of spaces and can be securely and reliably accessed from any location. It may consist of proprietary devices until they reach EOL, centralized processing hubs (which are, in essence, private clouds) whose resources are shared as well as software and micro services running somewhere. Its most relevant aspect is that these services are registered as soon as they come online and allocated to operators, irrespective of where they are based and when they need them. This can be achieved with a solution that clears the fog, automates all pesky configuration tasks and ensures unrestricted access to whatever may be needed to produce pristine content in any format today’s audiences expect. Wouldn’t that be the silver lining we have been working towards? <
Figure 2: Any distributed or cloud-based setup must have its HOME base.
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Bio-Safe Communications Inside the NBA Bubble By Patti Gunnell, VP, Key Accounts, Riedel Communications > INTRODUCTION As the COVID-19 pandemic expanded in 2020, it drastically changed virtually every aspect of life — and professional sports weren’t immune. A case in point was the NBA, challenged to keep its 2019-20 basketball season alive and bringing in revenue while protecting players and personnel from the virus. The NBA’s solution was an enclosed ecosystem — aka the NBA Bubble — in the ESPN Wide World of Sports (WWoS) complex at Disney World in Orlando, FL. This strict isolation zone enabled a truncated season in which each of 22 teams played eight seeding games over two weeks to determine playoff standings. To meet the bubble’s complex communications requirements, the NBA relied on wireless intercom solutions from Riedel Communications. Working with the Riedel team, Firehouse Productions deployed an integrated solution that enabled officials, coaches, and producers to communicate clearly while maintaining a safe distance from each other. In this white paper, we will describe the NBA Bubble’s commu-
nications requirements in greater detail, together with a technical description of the communications setup.
THE CHALLENGE: SAFETY FIRST The centerpiece of the NBA bubble was a 200,000-square-foot broadcast compound encompassing three WWoS indoor venues: The Arena, HP Fieldhouse, and Visa Athletic Center. The Arena, home to the main national-telecast court and the Conference Finals and NBA Finals, featured 20-plus manned cameras, more than 60 robotic cameras, and scores of microphones. All were connected over the WWoS network consisting of more than 27,000 feet of fiber. All throughout the compound, everyone — players, officials, coaches, producers, and technical staff — had to follow strict health and safety guidelines. Personnel were divided into functional groups, with the majority of the production and operations staff in the “yellow zone” and limited to specific trucks and trailers to minimize cross-contamination among the crew. All crew members were required to wear face masks and maintain social distancing at all times, and all onsite staff were subject to daily temperature checks and regular COVID-19 testing. These restrictions meant that many conversations that would normally be held face to face would have to be conducted using wireless communications gear. The technical teams charged with building out the intercom network also had to comply with stringent safety protocols. Comms technicians across the three venues were divided into color-coded teams, which were required to stay separate. For example, one team member couldn’t simply hand a cable over to someone in another team; instead, the first tech would have to drop the wire for the other person to pick up. Every night, all comms hardware and headsets had to be sanitized and sealed in plastic bags until their next use.
> A COMPLEX TECHNICAL SOLUTION To meet these requirements, Firehouse Productions deployed a comms backbone consisting of nine Riedel Artist-64 digital matrix intercom frames, two Artist-32 frames, and one Artist-128 frame. All Artist systems were networked over fiber and connected the three courts to the broadcast compound’s six production trucks supporting both TV networks simultaneously.
Visa Control 84
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Bolero UV Locker
Deployed in a fiber ring configuration, the Artist nodes supported users communicating via Riedel Bolero wireless intercom throughout the vast WWoS complex. The setup provided almost 500 active communications ports to support 113 master panels; 57 Performer C3 intercom beltpacks; 116 Bolero beltpacks; and 186 analog 4-wire connections to six onsite OB trucks. Based on two fully redundant hub-and-spoke networks of Luminex 14R and 26i Gigicore Ethernet switches, the onsite universe of Bolero wireless beltpacks offered up to 128 multicast flows — giving the deployment room to grow as more beltpacks were added. With this configuration, the engineering team was able to address one unique challenge of basketball in a COVID-19 bubble: facilitating referees’ interaction with scorers during each game. Each scorer’s table was separated from the court by a full-length plexiglass barrier to prevent airborne viral transmission, blocking direct verbal communication between referees and scorers. For the solution, all court officials wore omnidirectional lavalier mics, which were fed into the Riedel Artist intercom system. When scorers needed to talk to referees, they used the intercom to speak through Fostex speakers positioned on the court side of the barrier. Luis Espinal, intercom curator for the Firehouse team, built custom logic functions into the Artist nodes that allowed each referee mic feed to be routed to specific broadcast trucks. The logic enabled the crew to keep private conversations isolated when necessary; for instance, when officials need to consult with the NBA replay team in Secaucus, NJ. Each official was equipped with a Bolero wireless intercom headset that could automatically mute mics and speakers for any private discussion. The complexities of the NBA production required a hybrid
comms infrastructure that mixed both wired and wireless intercoms. The Riedel Artist frames were deployed in a ring-type topology within and between venues, creating smaller islands of communication that prevented cross-contamination from users carrying equipment from venue to venue.
> LOOKING AHEAD While NBA games may never again be played in a bubble, the COVID-19 pandemic may have forever changed the rules for pro basketball. The NBA’s 2021 season is focused on games played primarily at home venues, with similar health and safety protocols for players, officials, and crew. Rigorous testing is mandatory, as well as vaccination once vaccines become available. For teams traveling beyond their home venues, the league has enacted rules restricting conduct outside their hotels, and in-arena spectators have been severely restricted. Regardless of what the post-pandemic future holds, seamless, reliable, and clear communications systems will be just as critical as ever for NBA games. It’s a safe bet that all contact sports will continue to rely on advanced intercom technologies to facilitate safe interactions and enforce social distancing — at least in the near future. <
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Control and Monitoring in Distributed Sports Production By Olivier Suard, VP Marketing, Nevion – A Sony Group Company > INTRODUCTION Sports broadcasting is one of the most innovative parts in the industry in terms of production values and adoption of leading-edge technology. For example, it has been pioneering IP remote production to produce high-quality live events with less equipment and fewer people onsite, thereby reducing costs. This also enables production staff to produce more than one event or show on the same day without having to travel, while using for their remote productions the same equipment and systems they would for their in-house shows. Although, remote production is just one aspect of an even bigger trend happening in the industry. With IP technology now being used in production facilities (LANs) and between facilities (WANs), every production facility, every piece of equipment, and every production professional can be involved in the production of live content — almost regardless of their geographical location. Add to this the storage and processing capabilities offered by the cloud, and genuinely distributed production can now become a reality.
> MANAGEMENT IS KEY Creating the technical infrastructure to deliver the benefits of distributed production for sport coverage is not trivial. The focus is often on the physical media transport (video, audio, ancillary data, intercom), and associated considerations around standards (e.g. SMPTE ST 2110), optimum encoding (e.g. JPEG XS) and protection (e.g. SMPTE ST 2022-7) amongst others. However, the management layer is often overlooked, or at least underestimated. And yet, that layer is critical, not least because setting up and configuring equipment is potentially tricky (especially in an IP environment where very many IP and multicast addresses are involved for example), as well as time-consuming. These issues stand in the way of achieving some of the main objectives of remote production, i.e. reducing the number of people onsite, and being quick and nimble.
> MANAGEMENT IS WIDE-RANGING Management covers a deceptively large range of requirements, relating amongst others to setting up and configuring equipment; controlling and monitoring that equipment; and orchestrating and securing media flows across the media network.
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For example, broadcast control includes, amongst others, tally/UMD management, alias management, endpoint parameterization, and scheduling. Media network management includes SDN (software defined networking) control, network configuration, PTP configuration, IP address management, device discovery and configuration (NMOS), and more. Monitoring also covers aspects such as alarm management, status information, network monitoring, PTP monitoring, analysis and trending, troubleshooting, logging/accounting, and so on. All of these are complex enough in a contained environment — such as an OB truck — but they become even more challenging in a distributed environment like remote production.
> MULTI-SEGMENT MANAGEMENT In its simplest form, remote production involves two locations — the location where the event takes place and the central facilities — connected by a wide area network (WAN). So, from a control and monitoring perspective, such a production involves three distinct “segments” that need to be managed both individually and together. More complex productions — for example where multiple games are taking place simultaneously in different locations — could obviously involve many more segments as well as other technologies such as mobile 5G and Cloud — adding greatly to the management complexity. In considering the management layer for a particular remote production, it’s important to ascertain in the first instance where the various production staff will be located. In a remote production, most of the equipment will be located in the central facility, as sharing resources is one of the benefits sought. However, when it comes to production staff, while it may be desirable to have them also in the central facility, it may also not be possible for logistical reasons — for example, where the producer needs to liaise in person with the event organizers. This obviously creates quite a challenge in terms of workflows and therefore media flow orchestration, as the equipment and the people controlling it will be separated geographically by many miles and technically by a WAN. The next consideration is that each of the segments mentioned above will have its own specificities, which will influence how it can be managed. The WAN connection, for example, will typically be based on IP technology — since the telcos providing that network connectivity migrated to IP at the turn of the century. But the level of the control over the network available to the broadcaster or production company will vary greatly. In some cases, it will be possible to control the path of the signals through the network (SDN) to ensure true path diversity (SMPTE ST 2022-7). In most situations, though, the network connection will be offered “as-is” by the telco with no option to control flows inside the WAN. The event site and the central facilities themselves may be based on IP or SDI technology, or indeed a mixture of both. This means that the management needs to be flexible enough to manage production seamlessly across technologies — adding further complexity to the challenge. A further issue is that the setup in the location could be permanent, semi- permanent, or temporary. Clearly, the less permanent the arrangement, the more dynamic the management needs to be and, as mentioned before, the simpler and automated the setting up and configuration must
be — as it will probably be carried out by non-specialists onsite. This is where, for example, advanced IP address management can play a key role, by dramatically simplifying handling of the thousands of multicast addresses required for the multitude of simultaneous audio, video, and data streams. And of course, total reliability is paramount, as it’s expensive to sort issues out remotely.
> MANAGEMENT OPTIONS With the right facilities management and broadcast control products, it is possible to extend the management capabilities from local to remote locations. So, for example, Sony’s Live System Manager (LSM) can perform XPT control, device monitoring, and tally distribution remotely, across an IP WAN. When it comes to managing the actual flows of signals, various options are available. The simplest option in some ways is to have a static set-up — meaning that the central facilities and the remote locations are effectively “married”. Simplicity comes at cost though: changing or expanding the set up — for example, reducing or adding signals — is time-consuming and costly. NMOS IS-04/IS-05 is likely to be required, to enable the joint-requests to be carried out. The next option is to add an orchestration and SDN control capability, such as Nevion’s VideoIPath, to enable the dynamic set-up of streams across the WAN. This makes it easier to add or remove streams. It also enables multiple locations to be connected dynamically through the same gateways. The local networks (onsite and in the central facilities) remain statically configured. Building on this, it is possible to bring in one overall management system, controlling the network end-to-end (the local networks onsite and centrally, and the WAN connectivity). This allows all streams to be connected dynamically, providing full redundancy not only for the video and audio signals, but also for data. This solution is perfect for remote production but has limitations in the context of a distributed production (e.g. where multiple studios are connected across the WAN): as the management is centralized, the individual locations cannot easily operate independently. This leads to a final model, which involves a federated management, i.e. separate instances of the management system in each location, col-
laborating together to manage the flows end-to-end. Not only does this gives more flexibility in managing the locations both independently and together, but also provides additional resilience by distributing the management responsibility.
> CONCLUSION Remote and distributed production brings undoubted benefits to broadcasters in terms of cost savings and nimbleness. While much of the focus in creating the infrastructure to support these is on the media transport issues, management is probably the most crucial and complex aspect. If done wrong, it can create costly complexities that will reduce or even negate the benefits of the remote or distributed production. With the right approach, the right systems, and the right expertise, media network management can create an environment in which remote locations can be considered simply as extensions of the central facilities, ensuring that not only the expected benefits are realized, but also that the production values are unmatched. <
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Hitting the Ground Running: The Journey from Satellite to IP Content Delivery By Robert Szabó-Rowe, SVP of Engineering and Product Management, The Switch
he commercial communication satellite celebrates its 60th birthday next year, and while it is far from entering retirement, its use is rapidly evolving — as is its place in the TV ecosystem. Underlying trends have increasingly reduced the role of satellite in the delivery of live video. Although demand for and creation of live content have increased, the value of each piece of programming has fallen, pushing broadcasters to trim budgets — making costly “live-via-satellite” links for many sports events harder to justify. Additionally, the on-demand content revolution has led to the emergence of multiplatform, over-the-top streaming, which has eroded the dominance of linear broadcasters, forcing many to increase their overall distribution capacity using Internet Protocol (IP)-centric methods. The trends impacting satellite’s role in the television landscape have led broadcasters to look to their future and the role that IP will play in evolving their operations. Capital investments, operational costs, and the potential that IP offers for futureproofing their businesses when compared with satellite are all key factors.
> IP AND THE HYBRID MODEL IP is not a one-size-fits-all approach, but offers many options for content contribution and distribution — from streaming over the top (OTT) of the public internet and dedicated leased lines, to hybrid setups that mix and match different transports to balance cost per Mb, capacity, latency, and availability.
Many broadcasters see IP as a necessity, as it can offer many advantages such as a lower price per circuit and the flexibility to rapidly scale up and down. IP also has inherent redundancy and the raw bandwidth to support 4K HDR broadcasts. But other options such as dynamic synchronous transfer mode (DTM) technology offer their own advantages. DTM provides a highly scalable transport and switching layer between IP and fiber for next-generation networks and can deliver a direct point-to-point connection for UHD native video — at lower latency and with better predictability than the open internet. And satellite still has an opportunity to shine in areas such as live content distribution across a wide geographic footprint, where it provides a simpler and more cost-effective approach For broadcasters, the issue is not simply a matter of IP versus satellite but involves weighing up the relative strengths and weaknesses of each delivery method, looking at how to best utilize different approaches — including hybrid solutions — to solve specific challenges, balance budgets, and better serve viewers.
> INHERENT ISSUES WITH SATELLITE The geosynchronous satellite traditionally used to carry TV signals requires significant capital investment and has an operational lifespan of only about 15 years. Even though the average per-Gb cost of satellite bandwidth has dropped significantly over the last decade, this limited operational window places a cap on how low prices can fall. Spectrum availability is another issue. The arrival of 5G networks has led many nations to sell off parts of the C-band spectrum used by satellite TV (around the 3-4Ghz band), with cellular communication providers leading a spectrum “land grab” that is pricing out broadcasters. Satellite can also be more inherently complex for broadcasters than straight IP-based delivery, adding additional steps and costs to the production process. IP-centric workflows using satellite require steps to encode, transmit, and then decode content. Plus, booking satellite circuits is a pre-planned process involving a rigid schedule. While buying “always-on” satellite capacity may be an option for larger CNN-type organizations, smaller, more costsensitive operations face inherent technical and CAPEX barriers. Organizations using satellites infrequently are instead turning to IP-based alternatives that better fit their business models. However, satellite is evolving and the next generation of low earth orbit (LEO) satellite constellations are launching at a rapid rate. These offer low latency and use IP transport, making them potentially more efficient for broadcasters with end-to-end IP workflows.
> HOW IS IP BETTER? The shift to IP is built upon the vast amount of fiber-optic cable laid over the last decade, and when paired with 5G technology, the combined infrastructure capacity far exceeds the equivalent 88
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satellite footprint. In practice, IP can ensure that a video stream — from a football stadium to a production center on the other side of the continent, for instance — will deliver a consistent circuit and low latency for a significantly lower cost than the equivalent satellite feed. Furthermore, building workflows based entirely on IP-based video feeds creates new opportunities for broadcasters and streaming services to meet the expectations of multidevice consumers. IP workflows make dynamic content creation much easier to manage, while unlocking the potential of remote and cloud-based production to support more flexible and efficient content creation for multiple platforms. Satellites, on the other hand, are not always reliable. Heavy snow or rain can affect transmitters, causing signal degradation. What’s more, the unpredictable nature of live event coverage can be a factor. A delay in a press conference or game kick-off can mean that the allocated circuit may not be available when needed — so often excess, potentially wasted, capacity needs to be booked. Modern IP-based media networks use a capacity-on-demand model, with booking accomplished in just minutes. The one caveat is that, for the bandwidth required for multiple simultaneous UHD streams, a local point of presence — typically fiber — is needed to allow signaling to get into the IP network. However, with the growth of 5G as a localized “wireless” intermediary network, this endpoint requirement will become less necessary.
This roll-out resulted in a significant improvement in signal quality delivered to the affiliates and a corresponding reduction in monthly costs to the client for the distribution network. As a senior NESN executive explained after the launch: “Reliability is vital to these affiliates and our fans, so delivering a seamless transition from satellite to this next-generation platform was crucial. We are now in a position to utilize the best capabilities of fiber and internet to ensure the highest possible signal quality for live broadcasts and we have now laid the important groundwork to deliver our broadcasts in 4K HDR.” Sports broadcasters and other high-value live content providers are increasingly looking for agility and proficiency — IP delivers this. In a highly competitive TV marketplace, delivering broadcast feeds in the highest quality — with no compromise on latency and the utmost flexibility — is central to meeting audiences’ growing expectations.
> SAT TO IP REPLACEMENT IN THE REAL WORLD
> GROUNDED IN THE FUTURE
A great example of a broadcaster moving from satellite to IP distribution is provided by New England Sports Network (NESN), the broadcast home of the MLB’s Boston Red Sox, the NHL’s Boston Bruins, and the WNBA’s Connecticut Sun. NESN delivers multiple Designated Market Area-targeted channels to homes in New England, and via NESN National, throughout the U.S. NESN worked with The Switch to replace its existing satellite distribution network with next-generation hybrid private fiber and internet distribution. The Switch’s terrestrial distribution platform enables next-generation video compression, encryption, receiver management and control, and a redundant transmission network. Direct private fiber was built into NESN affiliates in areas the broadcaster identified as its most important markets, with additional affiliates fed directly through the internet, utilizing SRT technology. Signals are now routed from the video encoders and multiplexers hosted at NESN’s Watertown, MA, headquarters and origination facility to The Switch’s Network Operations Center (NOC) in New York City via fully diverse, redundant 10Gbps fiber links. At the New York NOC, individual Multiple Program Transport Streams (MPTS) are tailored for every receiver in the network, based upon which channels of the NESN line-up the affiliate will receive. Signals are delivered via The Switch-managed IP network to the various affiliates. The utilization of The Switch’s IP network for NESN’s terrestrial distribution model allows for full-time monitoring by NOC personnel and audible alarming of any service degradation or interruption to the paths.
Satellite-based communication for TV will not vanish overnight. But the shift to IP will accelerate as global telecoms giants purchase more satellite spectrum for 5G and more broadcasters look for the scalability, redundancy, and other pluses IP-based delivery and workflows offer. Sunk cost around analog, SDI, and satellite equipment means that the evolution towards a more IP-centric approach will not necessarily be fast. Nonetheless, in the world of live sports, the development of IP-centric workflows and delivery solutions will only continue to broaden broadcasters’ options, which now include: • Use of a dedicated DTM network to provide the capacity and low latency needed for the live broadcast of highprofile games; • Utilizing hybrid solutions that mix public internet with private DTM networks to serve regional sports networks and broadcast affiliates; • Continuing use of satellite for continent-wide or international distribution to affiliates, for which it is still often the simplest solution. With high-profile live events such as the Olympics and the World Cup on the horizon and sports leagues seeking to increase fan engagement, broadcasters and other rightsholders are looking for ways to spend less but still do more. For many, it makes more sense than ever to shift from satellite — with its rigid, fixed-window limitations — to an IP-centric hybrid approach, which offers a quick-to-deploy, “on-demand” service and billing approach. <
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raditionally, the Spring edition of the SVG SportsTech Journal includes an in-depth NAB Preview in addition to the Sponsor Update section. Due to the pandemic, trade shows are currently on hold. However, as you can see on the following pages, our sponsors continue to find ways to innovate. Read on for the latest product announcements and company news from more than 200 SVG sponsors. Interested in learning more? Turn to page 133 for contact information.
nnovation, Reliability, Customer Service, and Incredibly Talented People. These are the pillars 3g has built as its foundation to lead the way forward in RF video, audio, and specialty camera solutions for the broadcast industry. By combining these qualities with a relentless desire to push the boundaries of technology, 3g creates the partnering relationships that foster collaboration with our customers to find new solutions and efficiencies that deliver higher quality and results. We are and will continue to define the next generation of RF and specialtycamera broadcast technology.
dder Technology, a global leader in connectivity solutions and high-performance IP KVM, has introduced a range of new features to its multi-award winning ADDERLink INFINITY 4000 series (ALIF4000) including support for HDR10 video standards. The latest updates, available to all new and existing customers, have been developed to meet the growing demand for high resolution content creation. According to Statista (2018), forecasts suggest that the shipments of HDR TV units will have grown by over 450% between 2016 and 2021, and this rapid adoption of UHD screens and monitors is reflected by the rise in consumption of high-definition content. Media and entertainment professionals, such as color correctors and VFX artists, depend on KVM technology to access their highly flexible workflows that deliver bolder colors, brighter lights, and deeper shadows. The latest ALIF4000 updates ensure content can be viewed in the correct color space throughout the entire creative process. In addition to HDR10 support, Adder is simplifying us-
ability with the introduction of touch control to the ALIF4000 platform. For those starting their 5K IP KVM journey, the latest updates mean they can build a small, unmanaged matrix of up to 16 endpoints. As their system evolves, and greater control is required, a management system and additional endpoints can be seamlessly integrated at a time that suits them.
>ADVANCED SYSTEMS GROUP (ASG)
dvanced Systems Group (ASG), a leading media technology and engineering firm, is helping video professionals embrace cloud-based production with the ASG Virtual Production Control Room (VPCR). It’s a real-time, virtual production solution for use in private or public cloud environments that can be scaled to accommodate any type of broadcast event, including live sports, esports tournaments, concerts, enterprise corporate announcements, and even scripted or reality TV series. Production team members can use desktop-based software or standard physical control panels to create live content from remote locations (REMI). With NDI technology, the ASG VPCR supports almost unlimited IP contribution sources that can be routed and switched in real time with near-zero latency from anywhere in the network. Based in the San Francisco Bay Area with offices in major markets across the country, ASG has provided engineering, systems, integration, support, and training to the multimedia creative and corporate video markets for more than 23 years.
ike everyone else, due to the global pandemic, the last 12 months has been an extremely challenging yet also extremely busy period for us as a company. In July, we were excited to finalize our rebrand from AE Graphics to AE Live. Our range of services has increased significantly over the course of almost 30 years and we felt it was the right time to create an identity that better encapsulated this. As well as the provision of on-screen graphics, the other services that we offer — such as virtual studio delivery, data as a managed service, and digital and remote solutions, to name just a few — are now more accurately represented by our new brand image. In December, we also announced the acquisition of APAC-based Ignite. This move has broadened our existing footprint in the APAC region, increasing both our operational and creative resources.
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>AERIAL VIDEO SYSTEMS (AVS)
VS, now an NEP Broadcast Services Company, is the leader in high-bitrate wireless 4K, HD, and aerial production with over 120 Vislink HD and 4K RF systems, including the new HCAM. AVS offers two 4K GSS and four Cineflex gyro-stabilized camera systems for vehicles, boats, helicopters, or its three Partenavia fixed-wing aircraft for aerial coverage. AVS has 12 Sony P-50 cameras and was the first to integrate these into RF Steadicam systems with video return and prompter. This is the preferred package for major sporting events including Sunday, Monday, and Thursday Night Football; the Super Bowl; NBA All-Stars; and virtually every live award and entertainment show, including The Academy Awards, The Emmys, The Grammys, Golden Globes, The Voice, American Idol, Dancing with the Stars, Shark Tank, America’s Got Talent, and The Masked Singer. AVS is a part of NEP’s Specialty Capture division alongside BSI and the Fletcher Group.
onitor 4K/UltraHD over 12G-SDI and HDMI 2.0 remotely or from any location with AJA’s new T-TAP Pro. The compact, silent and portable Thunderbolt 3-connected device simplifies 4K/UltraHD and 2K/HD/SD monitoring and output over 12G-SDI and HDMI 2.0 on compatible Mac or PC computers. Ideal for a range of production and post scenarios, T-TAP Pro provides high-quality video monitoring, including auto HDR playback and up to 12-bit RGB deep color support for high frame rate and large raster workflows from a Thunderbolt 3 host system. Additionally, new Desktop Software v16 adds 4K closed captioning and 8K support for KONA 5 with FCP and Avid Media Composer; IP enhancements, including LLDP and NMOS 3 for IP products; HDR over SDI on T-TAP Pro and select AJA KONA and Io devices; and more. The included AJA Control Panel software features a redesigned HDR tab with simultaneous SDI and HDR auto capture and playback.
ldea Solutions is a leading provider of high-quality video services and solutions for the television and media industries. The company provides end-to-end worldwide transmission and content distribution services and operates an extensive fiber-based network, with points-of-service covering 35 cities and 25 countries throughout the Americas and Eu-
rope. Aldea brings forth over 20 years of experience and innovation and is best known for its deep-rooted experience delivering high quality, ultra-low latency, and reliable video services for the transmission of live sports, news, and other media services and events. Aldea is currently preparing for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and the UEFA EURO 2020 Championships, which were both postponed to 2021. Despite the challenges brought forth by COVID-19, Aldea was able to sustain its 24x7 operations while ensuring the health and safety of its employees. The company continues to deploy cloud-based solutions to ensure customers receive the most relevant service in today’s environment.
etize live linear channels across Pay TV, OTA, Free Ad Supported TV (FAST), and SVOD platforms. Amagi also offers 24x7 cloud managed services, bringing simplicity, advanced automation, and transparency to the entire broadcast operations for TV networks. The company has deep technical integration with leading platforms such as The Roku Channel, Xumo, Samsung TV Plus, Pluto TV, VIZIO, Redbox, Sling, and others. Amagi delivers 400+ channels with deployments in over 40 countries. Its customers include beIN Sports, VENN, Pac-12 Networks, The Tennis Channel, IMG, Horse and Country TV, and fuboTV.
>ALL MOBILE VIDEO
s one of the country’s premier providers of end-to-end Video and Audio solutions, we offer a full spectrum of production services: Mobile Production Units, Sound Stages, Post-Production, Streaming Services, Equipment Sales & Rentals, and Centralized Master Control. The All Mobile Video team commits to serving clients and building relationships, catering to the individual needs of each production with unparalleled attention to detail. From Video and Audio Engineers, Camera Operators, Editors, Graphics Specialists, Sound Designers, to Production Support — AMV boasts an experience level to rival anyone in the broadcast industry with a solid team of smart, strategically driven and highly trained thinkers.
>ALPHA VIDEO & AUDIO
he Sports Group continues to specialize in helping clients find ways to use technology to engage fans, enhance teams, and expand revenue. Cutting edge, affordable solutions that allow our clients to connect with fans wherever they can safely be is more important than ever. We are remote production experts, having helped multiple media publishers, teams, and leagues pivot some of their postproduction and live production systems to remote and virtual models during 2020. We are currently working on several new hybrid projects that combine the best of on-premise, production facilities with cloud-based, remote production facilities. We finished new production facilities for several American Athletic Conference schools, including Central Florida, Temple, and Wichita State as a part of the rollout of the AAC’s new digital network on ESPN. We continue to work with a variety of NCAA and professional sports clients on upgrading the AV technology at their existing team facilities.
magi is a global SaaS leader in broadcast and streaming TV technology enabling sports networks to launch, distribute, and mon-
>AMAZON WEB SERVICES (AWS) or almost 15 years, Amazon Web Services has been the world’s most comprehensive and broadly adopted cloud platform. AWS has been continually expanding its services to support virtually any cloud workload, and it now has more than 200 fully featured services for compute, storage, databases, networking, analytics, machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), mobile, security, hybrid, virtual and augmented reality (VR and AR), media, and application development, deployment, and management from 77 Availability Zones (AZs) within 24 geographic regions, with announced plans for 18 more Availability Zones and six more AWS Regions in Australia, India, Indonesia, Japan, Spain, and Switzerland. Millions of customers — including the fastest-growing startups, largest enterprises, and leading government agencies — trust AWS to power their infrastructure, become more agile, and lower costs.
>ARCTEK SATELLITE PRODUCTIONS
RCTEK Satellite Productions will introduce a new asset Summer of 2021. This C-band Sprinter will be packing a ton of capability hitting all your REMI needs. It will join their Purple (C-band) and Magenta (Ku-band) trucks with the ability to transmit a 10-path HD mux in 1080p and 4K. In 12 months, ARCTEK has facilitated over 400 mux feeds including services to RSNs covering the NHL. In addition to college sports, pro bull riding, and Olympic sports, ARCTEK transmitted a season of Sunday Night Football and provided pre/post-game production for BTN’s college football playoff coverage. ARCTEK Satellite Productions is the company you want to call when you need reliability. ARCTEK is proud of its talented team who raise the bar high and are ready to roll nationwide with five well-equipped Sprinter satellite trucks (three Ku-band and two C-band). When you think satellite, think ARCTEK. Nothing is more reliable than satellite.
rista Networks pioneered software-driven, cognitive cloud networking for large-scale datacenter and campus environments. Arista’s award-winning platforms redefine and deliver availability, agility, automation, analytics, and security. Arista has shipped more than 20 million cloud networking ports worldwide with CloudVision and EOS, an advanced network operating system. Committed to open standards across private, public and hybrid cloud solutions, Arista products are supported worldwide directly and through partners.
RRI is a global company within the motion picture media industry, employing around 1,400 staff worldwide. The ARRI Group consists of the business units Camera Systems, Lighting, Media, and Rental, all dedicated to connecting art and future technologies for moving images. ARRI is a leading designer and manufacturer of camera and lighting systems for the film and broadcast industry, with a worldwide distribution and service network. It is also an integrated media service provider in the fields of film post- and coproduction, international sales, as well as equipment rental, and supplying camera, lighting, and grip packages to professional productions.
etting your content to your audience is becoming increasingly diverse and complex. Reliability matters and time is precious. AT&T Global Video Solutions makes your job easier helping make your production cycles faster, by delivering a more efficient workflow with redundancy, data integration, 5G advancements, flexible options, and world-class customer service. AT&T’s network enables new technologies, such as AI-based real-time overlays for critical broadcast clients that enable creation of cutting-edge advertising and content synergies so crucial to today’s multiverse of viewing habits. The company’s renowned high-speed fiberoptic network delivers major broadcasts like the Olympics with low-latency hitless video and data, creating an optimal viewing experience.
TEME enables content owners, broadcasters, and service providers to captivate their audiences — powering billions of viewers to watch the content of their choice. The recent recipient of multiple awards — including this year’s ASBU Broadcast Media Pro Satellite Solutions Provider of the Year award, as well as the unique-in-the-industry achievement of three Technology & Engineering Emmy awards — ATEME provides solutions that transform video delivery to help acquire new customers, reduce
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SPONSORUPDATE churn, and unleash new monetization potential. Whether you deliver content over satellite, cable, IP, terrestrial, or OTT, ATEME continuously improves the audience experience while reducing bandwidth and infrastructure requirements, delivering year-on-year operational cost savings using ATEME’s efficient and cloud-native videodelivery software solutions. This translates into a lower total cost of ownership, a lower subscriber acquisition cost, and even reduced environmental impact.
elebrating more than 50 years of audio excellence worldwide, Audio-Technica is a leading innovator in transducer technology, renowned for the design and manufacture of wired and wireless microphones, headphones, mixers, and electronics for the audio industry. The Broadcast and Production product line offers products for high-end broadcast applications. The recently expanded BPHS series of headsets are designed especially for news and sports broadcasting with highly intelligible and commanding vocal reproduction, along with a comfortable fit and excellent sound isolation. The BP40 broadcast vocal microphone offers a rich, natural, condenser-like sound from a largediaphragm dynamic design. Our comprehensive selection of mono and stereo ‘shotgun’ microphones are engineered for high-end broadcast and production use.
VIWEST is a leading provider of live and recorded video contribution systems over bonded unmanaged IP networks such as cellular, WiFi, Satellite, or public internet. Powered by a proprietary and patented intelligent IP bonding technology, AVIWEST’s products offer the best live video quality, latency, power consumption, weight, and size compromises for any portable and on-the-move, in-vehicle or fixed location contribution applications. AVIWEST’s solutions and cloud services are provided along with professional worldwide support and local services through international sales offices and distribution networks.
The Show must go on”. Throughout the pandemic, Azzurro worked with major networks to keep talent on the air from the safety of their homes. Azzurro developed a portable studio, the UTX. Each kit is shipped to the talent’s doorstep and is designed for easy self-installation.
Included is a high-end Panasonic PTZ camera, monitor for network return/ prompter, lighting, mic, and IFB kit. Contained to a small footprint, this offers a non-intrusive solution. Control of the system is managed remotely via Azzurro software, while monitored by Azzurro’s 24x7 Operations Center. Azzurro recently supported NFL Network with Super Bowl LV coverage. While Azzurro TX systems provided transmission from Tampa, Azzurro TeamCam’s and UTX systems became an integral part of the weeklong coverage. Dozens of anchors and full-time analysts contributed from their home studios. Azzurro continues to support both sports and news networks, developing 4K broadcast systems with added capabilities.
eckTV knows how exciting Game Day is for teams and fans alike. A leading systems integrator in the broadcast media and sports industries, BeckTV has worked with numerous professional and collegiate sports organizations throughout its 30 years in business. This includes the UFC, Phoenix Suns, Houston Astros, Baltimore Ravens, San Francisco 49ers, and Indianapolis Colts, as well as numerous NCAA athletic programs across the country. With decades of combined industry experience and engineering expertise, BeckTV helps sports production teams create, integrate, and deliver high-quality game coverage to fans watching in-person or at home. Whether it’s designing a new broadcast control room at Notre Dame or installing an 8K camera replay system in a new NFL stadium, BeckTV has its clients covered on Game Day… and every day. The company has locations in Denver, Austin, New York, and Washington, DC.
elden cabling and connectivity supports the technology that will help make safe re-entry for fans possible. To create touchless, safe, and immersive experiences, sports and entertainment venues are relying on Belden for end-toend infrastructure solutions that bring connectivity, interaction, and emerging technology to life. Fans can look forward to an innovated experience with mobile ordering, real-time density mapping, mobile betting and precise wayfinding all within an in-stadium app. Immersive technologies with augmented/mixed realities will enhance the game-day experience like never before. We’re proud to be part of the world’s biggest, most well-known venues, from
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SoFi Stadium and the new Climate Pledge Arena to Major League Soccer’s boom with Austin FC and the Columbus Crew venues. We’re so excited to contribute to the return of safe sports and entertainment events — and making them better than ever. Don’t wait! The time to upgrade your infrastructure is now.
exel, an NEP Broadcast Services Company, is celebrating 40 years of being a leader in outsourced innovative broadcast solutions for producers of sports, entertainment, and live events. This year, we introduced expanded solutions to meet the demands of a changing production landscape. New innovations include remote operation and contribution kits, and cloud and off-prem production services. Our traditional broadcast services include production equipment rentals and engineered solutions for 4K and specialty cameras and lenses, RF audio and intercom, production workflow, custom flypacks, frequency coordination, and fiber-optic solutions. We pride ourselves on delivering operational excellence and a commitment to quality when designing, building and installing full-service broadcast infrastructures.
he NBA recently chose the BirdDog P100 Full NDI PTZ camera as their live-to-air ref camera for the 2020-21 season and have also selected P100 for use at the 2021 NBA All-Star weekend. The first introduction to the P100 was at the 2019-20 Orlando NBA Bubble and WNBA “Wubble” where Zoom chose the P100 camera to help provide media access to coaches and players before and after practices, shootarounds, games, and for awards press conferences. The numbers generated from the NBA Bubble were impressive; further highlighting the reliability of the P100 workhorse camera. Over 3,700 Zoom meetings and webinars, over 2,100 hours of recordings, and an impressive 3 million+ press minutes streamed. BirdDog P100 is a full pan-tilt-zoom camera with impressive optics for its price tag. A true one cable camera featuring PoE and Full NDI, Tally, and PTZ control all over a single Ethernet cable, P100 also has HDMI, SDI, and even USB webcam connections for baseband and alternative workflows. “We’re really proud of P100 and our partnership with the NBA,” said Dan Miall, BirdDog CEO. “The NBA are going live to air direct from the camera, which is a true testament to its incredible picture quality.”
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UEL by Bitcentral continues to enhance its cloud-based streaming and monetization platform with features applicable to the sport industry. FUEL has incorporated additional configuration capabilities with its dynamic channels to provide more flexibility to resurface relevant archive content via dynamic or metadata-based streaming channels. There have been recent enhancements in the capability to integrate sponsorship messaging within automated transitions of a linear stream. FUEL has also rolled out additional improvements to the live interrupt of on-demand content in a single channel (highlights channel with integrated live games and/or press conferences). In addition, FUEL recently deployed the capability to insert advertising cue points into a stream for downstream SSAI ad insertion and the ability to configure stream quality and variants per channel. Working with partners and key platforms, FUEL is aggressively extending its distribution end-points to more CTV/OTT and FAST channels opportunities.
bandwidth to use, Blackbird powers significant productivity and efficiency benefits for any enterprise organization working with video. An ultra-green technology, Blackbird supports the sustainability goals of the media production industry. Blackbird had a very strong year in the sports industry winning a broad range of new clients including the NHL, Arsenal FC, Whisper, Riot Games, and VENN.
ily integrated into preexisting customer apps and downstream workflows through the Boon AI SDK. Media technologists are using Boon AI to displace manual tasks and automatically detect target objects or text within image and video footage, identify partner logos, convert speech to text, or moderate content for distribution. Boon AI is owned by Zorroa Corp.
lackmagic Design recently announced several creative video products, including ATEM Mini Pro and ATEM Mini Pro ISO live production switchers and ATEM Streaming Bridge converter. ATEM Mini Pro includes four standards converted HDMI inputs, USB webcam out, HDMI out, Fairlight audio mixer with EQ and dynamics, DVE for picture in picture, transition effects, green screen chroma key, 20 stills media pool for titles, and more. It also features direct recording to USB flash disks in H.264 and direct streaming via Ethernet to YouTube Live and more. There’s also a multiview with four cameras, media, preview, and program, plus status of recording, streaming, and audio. ATEM Mini Pro ISO builds on the product line further, adding recording of up to five separate H.264 video streams in real time. This includes a clean feed of all inputs plus the live program. ATEM Mini Pro ISO also records all audio files, media pool graphics and a DaVinci Resolve project file, so a live production can be opened and edited with a single click. ATEM Streaming Bridge receives an H.264 stream from ATEM Mini Pro or ATEM Mini Pro ISO and converts it back to SDI and HDMI video. Broadcasters can use it to connect high-quality video links directly from any ATEM Mini Pro or ATEM Mini Pro ISO, providing access to talent worldwide. ATEM Mini Pro’s video stream is higher quality than conferencing software, providing broadcast quality and is clean of any streaming software vendor logo burn-in.
he past year has seen BitFire Networks emerge as the one-stop solution for a seamless distributed production. Using BitFire’s custom-developed transport protocol, a variety of sports, news, and media broadcasting industry leaders were able to rely on BitFire to mitigate the multiple production challenges created in 2020. With production solutions ranging from fully managed IP video transmission, and athome talent contribution kits to full remote production support, BitFire is the only turnkey solution that can satisfy almost any production challenge. Production highlights from the past year included working with MLBN and NHLN to produce the 2020 NHL Draft, a truly global event integrating 75 remote locations and synchronizing 90 total concurrent video and audio transport feeds. 2020 also saw BitFire make its debut into sports betting via our integration with CBS Sports HQ and William Hill-Las Vegas, the larg- >BOON AI oon AI is a machine learning integration platest sports betting business in the U.S. form that enables media enrichment automations and intelligent content search without dedi>BLACKBIRD lackbird is the world’s fastest, most powerful cated teams, high costs, or months of R&D. Built professional cloud video editing and pub- by developers and architects from media tech and lishing platform. Enabling remote editing, Black- broadcast industries, Boon AI ingests, transcodes, bird provides rapid access to video content for and batch processes media assets at scale and the easy creation of clips, highlights and longer provides a GUI for users to run the analysis using form content to multiple devices and platforms. computer vision APIs from GCP, AWS, and Azure. A fully featured editor accessed through any Unlike rigid point solutions, Boon AI enables ML browser, easy to learn and needing only limited results generated through our platform to be eas-
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>BOSE ose is driven by its founding principles, investing in long-term research with one fundamental goal: to develop new technologies with real customer benefits. Bose innovations have spanned decades and industries, creating and transforming categories in audio and beyond. Bose products for the home, in the car, on the go and in public spaces have become iconic, changing the way people listen to music.
rainstorm’s virtual production technology has been the tool of choice for a growing number of organizations to reach target audiences at a time when human connection has never been so essential. Broadcasting and live events were seriously impacted in 2020 due to social distancing requirements and travel restrictions, and virtual technology has proven to be a core essential for broadcasters and content providers enabling their mission with remote shooting or virtual events. In America, Europe, and Asia, not only news and sports embraced virtual technology to enhance storytelling, but also live events like music awards, esports, or congresses have gone virtual to ensure their very existence. Headed by InfinitySet and Aston, Brainstorm’s virtual technology proved essential for a growing number of broadcasters and content providers to reach target audiences at a time when human connection has never been so essential, reaffirming the fact that virtual technology is here to stay.
n this new era of media over IP, the latest development from Brainstorm Electronics is the DXD Universal Clock line. It combines PTP clocking for Dante, Ravenna, AES67, SMPTE 2110, and GPS plus Audio and Video legacy sync formats. It has the capability of being a PTP Grandmaster locked to its internal crystal, to GPS or to a legacy reference and of being a PTP slave. Flexible, reliable, and easy to use, the unique DXD line keeps traditional equipment relying on Black Burst or Word Clock perfectly synchronized with
SPONSORUPDATE an IP network. Brainstorm Electronics is a world leader in pro Audio/Video sync solutions. From time code to low-jitter word clock and video sync, and now PTP and GPS, Brainstorm products have been used and trusted for over 30 years by engineers worldwide in post, broadcast, and live environments.
>BROADCAST MANAGEMENT GROUP
roadcast Management Group’s Sports Packaging Division is producing 10 AHL Henderson Silver Knights hockey games and 10 post game shows. The BMG REMI solution integrates the best technical and creative talent from around the world to produce live events more efficiently. BMG operates the first and only REMI Broadcast HUB and REMI-specific mobile units, allowing the most efficient remote workflow. For this hockey series, the line producer never leaves his home in Phoenix. Full access to the Broadcast Hub and the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas is provided remotely. The line producer has a full custom multi-view and an RTS RVON intercom panel to seamlessly connect him to the production team. One of BMG’s XPression operators is controlling the system located at the Broadcast Hub, from his home in Chicago. The CG has a datalink back to the scoreboard at the Orleans Arena for full scoring telemetry.
>BROADCAST SERVICES INTERNATIONAL (BSI)
roadcast Services International is a recognized leader in domestic and international broadcast markets, providing full turnkey production solutions including technical consulting, equipment rentals, RF wireless solutions, commentary systems, and host broadcast packages. Recently, BSI sent a team to Augusta, GA, for the 84th edition of The Masters, which was produced under a modified COVID-19 protocol with a repeat production planned for April 2021. Looking forward, BSI has secured an exclusive rights contract for e-Racing and will be complimenting this by providing technical services for triathlons in Canada and Bermuda. With an Olympic season that will stem across consecutive years, BSI has secured contracts to provide consultation and manpower services for Tokyo and Beijing along with an integration contract for technical broadcast facilities for BBC Sport. Through BSI’s recent acquisition of Commentary Systems International (CSI) will continue to provide commentary services to NBA Entertainment, WWE, Masters Golf, and the PGA Tour.
>BROADCAST SPORTS INTERNATIONAL (BSI)
roadcast Sports International, an NEP Specialty Capture Group Company, started 2021 with several major events. BSI was involved in the College Football Playoff National Championship, Presidential Inauguration, Winter X Games, Daytona 500, and numerous golf shows in Hawaii, Pebble Beach, and across the country. This momentum has continued with BSI’s selection as the in-car/RF service provider to the Superstar Racing Experience Series. The SRX series will feature 12 cars, each of which will include BSI’s Dual Stream Transmitter and two cameras. BSI will bring the action to you live for six straight weeks, beginning on June 12. This year, BSI will continue our involvement with major golf events, including The Masters. Likewise, we will provide support for The Triple Crown, and in-car and trackside coverage of NASCAR, INDYCAR, and NHRA. We are grateful to our employees for working through the recent challenges and look forward to a brighter 2021 season.
>C360 TECHNOLOGIES INC.
360 is an immersive media company with “eyes” on the playing field and battlefield. Our patented technology drives new OTT (over-the-top) streaming revenue opportunities for sports rightsholders while giving subscribers the ability to create their own, ultimate-fan viewing experience no matter where they’re watching from. Our technology has also been engineered to deliver mission-critical immersive solutions for the US Armed Forces.
>CALREC AUDIO / DIGICO
lobal events have encouraged broadcasters to look at remote working and virtualization to protect their business and Calrec has been helping sports broadcasters work remotely in a variety of ways. Whether it’s across IP or proprietary networks, DSP doesn’t need to be in the same place as the operator — it can be controlled remotely by a physical surface or a webUI. While monitoring is challenging in a home environment, mixing shouldn’t be and we’ve helped keep sports broadcasters on-air both on dedicated hardware and via Calrec’s Assist web GUI, which provides comprehensive functionality over fader levels, mics, EQ, dynamics, routing, and more. We’ve also been working with mobile companies to remote DSP cores in other locations — this means a control surface can connect remotely to a core in another location, and even mirror its surface. This is extremely ro-
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bust, providing triple redundancy with a remote console surface link to the core, DSP control via Calrec Assist, plus the physical control surface of the local console. Flexible network topologies and reliable, portable hardware that take advantage of higher speed IP links have contributed to how we have all kept customers on air this year.
ince its introduction in September 2020, the CJ20ex5B portable 4K UHD lens has been in high demand in the sports world. With a focal range of 5-100mm (expandable to 200mm with the built-in 2X extender), the CJ20 enables handheld shooters to capture wide-angle shots that set the scene for the action, and then zoom in extra tight for intense close-ups. This lens is the latest addition to Canon’s robust lineup of 4K UHD lenses, and is the seventh portable lens in the premium UHDxs line. One of the most visible uses of this groundbreaking lens was on a drone during this NASCAR season. The drone, operated by Beverly Hills Aerials, is able to reach speeds of 85mph while gathering gorgeous overhead shots of the race. The light weight (under 5 pounds) of the CJ20 lens was a key factor in the decision to use it on the drone, where every ounce counts. The lens also made an impact this past football and basketball seasons, where the focal range was a big hit with sideline operators looking to start wide on the play and then hone in as the action unfolds. The lens had a strong presence at the finals in both sports, showing once again the trust that major broadcasters put in Canon when the whole world is watching.
>CAT ENTERTAINMENT SERVICES
AT Entertainment Services is a worldwide provider of rental power and temperature control, supporting the event and entertainment industries. From planning and engineering to equipment and award-winning technical support, we make it our business to know yours.
HESA has launched CHESA Cloud Services, which includes workflow from ingest to delivery. Clients can centralize their Media Operations infrastructure according to their needs, delivering the performance of current market leaders at a fraction of the price — without sacrificing security, stability, or flexibility.
ineSys is a Broadcast and Media Systems Integrator providing solutions, development, and support for digital content creators across
Celebrating 40 Years of Broadcast Excellence
Outsourced broadcast solutions and production equipment rentals Remote Operation and Contribution Kits Cloud and Off-Prem Production Services Custom Flypacks and Control Room Builds 4K, Robotic, and Specialty Cameras and Lenses Workflow Solutions and Replay Servers Graphics and Virtual Production RF Audio and Intercom
Technical Support Available 24/7 1.800.225.6185 | email@example.com | bexel.com
SPONSORUPDATE North America. With extensive IT experience and a foundation in media, CineSys serves a range of industries from postproduction companies to broadcast and sports organizations. Recently, CineSys has helped businesses large and small push their workflows to the cloud by leveraging existing infrastructures and providing highly secure remote environments. CineSys also developed the Work From Home CineStudio Kit, while helping a major sports broadcaster record high-quality broadcasts from home. If you’re looking to migrate your sports archives, need secure remote access, or more efficient storage for the increasing amounts of data, call CineSys. They also have development and Media Asset Management teams that can help improve your workflow and keep your files organized and easily accessible. Get in touch to discuss how CineSys can help strengthen your collaborative workflow.
isco is a technology leader in the sports, broadcasting, and entertainment industries. With installations in more that 350 venues in 35 countries around the world, Cisco solutions are enabling a more connected experience for hundreds of millions of fans. Cisco has created one-stop shopping that allows broadcasters, properties and IT organizations to leverage the entire stack of solutions from connecting to remote talent, across video, cloud, networking, security, data and analytics, collaboration, and more to create an environment that is centrally and dynamically controlled. For broadcasters, Cisco IP Fabric for Media enables content providers and broadcasters to migrate from legacy SDI to a flexible and scalable IP-based infrastructure to meet the evolving demand for rich media experiences. Ultimately, Cisco technology delivers the speed, reliability, and security that the sports, broadcast, and entertainment industry has come to rely on in today’s ever-evolving digital world. Accelerating ideas to audiences.
>CLARK WIRE & CABLE
lark Wire and Cable provides stadium AV integration products to professional sports, including the Rams/Los Angeles Charger’s SoFi Stadium, which boasts a 2.2-million-pound Samsung 4K HDR video board.
>CLEAR-COM, AN HME COMPANY
lear-Com, an HME company, is a trusted global provider of professional real-time
communication solutions and services since 1968. We innovate market-proven technologies that connect teams together through wired and wireless systems. Clear-Com products facilitate the seamless coordination of any activity all while maintaining a level of reliability, security, and simplicity. ClearCom was the first to market portable wired and wireless intercom systems for live performances. Since then, our history of technological advancements and innovations has delivered significant improvements in the way people collaborate in any professional setting where real-time communication is required. For the markets we serve — broadcast, live performance, live events, sports, industrial, military, aerospace, and government — our communication products have consistently met the communication requirements of varying size and complexity. In today’s global situation more people are working remotely than ever before. Flexible, IP-based full-duplex (talk and listen at the same time) intercom systems can be a mission-critical tool in keeping team members communicating to the right people, at the right time, while maintaining social distance. Systems can be configured for both partyline and point-to-point communication, integrate seamlessly with two-way radios, and include the Agent-IC mobile app option for remote team members.
he Cobalt Multi-Path 9905-MPx 3G/HD/ SD Quad-Path Up/Down/Cross Converter/ Frame Sync/Embed/De-Embed Audio Processor is a next-generation advanced scaler/frame synchronizer for the openGear platform. The 9905-MPx provides four independent signal paths of UDX/frame sync/audio embedding and de-embedding on a single open-Gear card. Using our HPF-9000 20-slot frame, this provides up to 24 channels (6 cards) of processing in a single frame. The 9905-MPx represents a new level of openGear packaging density! The 9905-MPx openGear card is already being used extensively by Production Truck companies for prestige sporting events, as well as by other companies in static facility locations. Cobalt Digital engineering reliability and ingenuity makes the 9905-MPx ideal for today’s broadcast sports environment. The 9905-MPx card can enable fiber input as required. This cost-efficient card can provide the flexibility and operational capabilities as required in today’s demanding broadcast industry.
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>CONFERENCE TECHNOLOGIES INC. (CTI)
ince 1988, Conference Technologies, Inc. (CTI) has provided comprehensive technology services including design, engineering, training, and support for professional audio-video, broadcast, and control systems. Through a proven process, CTI designs, integrates, and maintains complete sports production and streaming systems for reliable, interactive experiences. CTI’s quality approach has been consistent — deliver the very best audio-visual and broadcast solutions. The media technology team at CTI is dedicated to service, quality, and customer satisfaction locally, nationally, and worldwide, and understands the specialized needs of clients in arenas and venues for connected sports and entertainment experiences.
P Communications recently joined forces with Greenlight Television to assist their at-home production and live stream of U.S.based muscle car racing championship, the Trans Am Series, for fans worldwide. Greenlight leveraged IP and bonded cellular systems from CP Communications to reduce local costs and limit infrastructure while keeping a small crew safe and healthy. Leveraging 12 Mobile Viewpoint Agile Airlink encoders for six incar systems, four fixed camera positions, a roaming pit and podium camera and a drone, the small CP Communications crew onsite captured the fast-paced action live in HD. All content was delivered to Greenlight’s remote production studio on the Isle of Man, with CP Communications providing real-time production support from its distributed network operations center (NOC). Greenlight used a Unity intercom system to communicate with on-location crew and engineers at CP Communications’ Canadian NOC, where the Airlink servers were controlled using MVP’s LinkMatrix management portal.
reative Dimensions has been in the business of creating WOW for our clients over 34 years, a rare commodity these days! Our collaborative of innovative designers, seasoned project managers, expert craftsmen, installers, and graphic technicians are experts in all facets of the industries we serve. Whether it’s your first studio or you are a wily veteran, Creative Dimensions uses its Emmy Award-winning skillset to deliver broadcast sets/desks, environ-
SPONSORUPDATE mental graphics, site activations, and trade show exhibits. We strive to be your perfect partner, providing as much or as little support as you require while exemplifying integrity, skill, precision, and on-time delivery. Creative Dimensions is proud to unveil the newest products in its VERSA Broadcast Solutions line: the VERSA Pro, third generation desk with a sharp angular look; VERSA Mic Flags; and Modular VERSA CAST-Professional Podcast Kits.
>CREATIVE MOBILE SOLUTIONS
reative Mobile Solutions provides tapeless workflow solutions for live events and studio-based shows. We stay on the cutting edge of tapeless workflow and use our expertise daily in live production environments. Our goals are increasing efficiency and saving your production time and money. We provide services for television, film, commercial, and other video productions. The experts on our team have worked with TV shows like Survivor and The Apprentice; films including Iron Man and Sex and the City: The Movie; award shows like the Oscars, the Golden Globes, and the MTV VMAs; and major sporting events such as ESPN’s ESPY Awards, the Grand Prix de Trois-Rivières, the US Open (Golf Channel and ESPN), ESPN College Football Gameday, the NBA Finals, and the Super Bowl.
rown Castle owns, operates, and leases more than 40,000 cell towers and approximately 80,000 route miles of fiber supporting small cells and fiber solutions across every major U.S. market. This nationwide portfolio of communications infrastructure connects cities and communities to essential data, technology, and wireless service — bringing information, ideas, and innovations to the people and businesses that need them. With our comprehensive suite of infrastructure and over 25 years of experience, we can handle all your connectivity needs, so your focus remains where you need it to be — on the maintenance and upkeep of your properties. As your single source provider, we work closely with you to assess your needs and develop a plan that works for you long term. We can develop turnkey solutions that deliver better indoor service in hard-to-serve, high-traffic areas and allow you to offer new and innovative connectivity options to your tenants, visitors, and guests.
n business for over 25 years, CSP Mobile Productions is one of the fastest growing mobile
HD and digital television production companies in the U.S. The company provides clients with the highest quality mobile television facilities, the most professional and service-oriented staff, and the best equipment at reasonable prices. With one of the industry’s newest fleets, CSP’s mobile units are cutting-edge, powerful, and efficient, and they can be on location for any level of need in the majority of North America. In a competitive business where you are only as good as your last job, CSP has earned its reputation for being on time, on budget, and on target.
ive Book GFX has grown in popularity among production staffs as the most powerful and easy to use broadcast graphics solution available. Highlights of the product include being a completely integrated, turnkey solution. Ready to produce and stream your event today! System allows for score bug, branding, stats, and graphic inserts from one interface. High quality motion graphics elevates your broadcast or live stream to the next level. System control with a remote operator is supported — restart your productions while keeping staff safe. This spring, we’ll offer a new generation of Live Book, which includes our Data Studio Baseball solution. Data Studio Baseball is an automated stats interface to deliver player, team, and game stats directly from MLB, eliminating the need for an operator dedicated only to stats in their control room. In this new offering, we’ll also include a Baseball Graphics Template Package to kick start your content library.
>DALE PRO AUDIO
ro Audio in the time of COVID-19. The broadcast audio landscape faced numerous challenges in the last year, and here at Dale Pro Audio, we worked to keep broadcasters working safely and productively. First and foremost, we provided technology solutions that enabled broadcasters to continue working from remote locations. Dante-enabled commentary devices allowed remote talent to contribute their audio in near-real-time; our selection of audio interfaces and accessories allowed crowd playback audio for the recent sports seasons. To keep things safe, where there are headsets and microphones, replacement windscreens and earpads are needed, and we delivered big on those as well. The world may look a bit different these days, but our commitment to customer service remains the same.
SPORTSTECHJOURNAL / SPRING 2021
ataCore Software delivers the industry’s most flexible, intelligent, and powerful software-defined storage solutions for block, file, and object storage, helping more than 10,000 customers worldwide modernize how they store, protect, and access data. With a comprehensive product suite, intellectual property portfolio, and unrivaled experience in storage virtualization and advanced data services, DataCore is The Authority on SoftwareDefined Storage.
igital Nirvana is known as the global developer of knowledge management techniques that empower organizations to create, share, and mine insights from electronic media. The company’s comprehensive portfolio of solutions includes media monitoring and analysis; generation; and management of closed captions, subtitles, transcripts, and metadata. As cloud-based AI and ML solutions continue to transform and accelerate virtually every aspect of content creation and distribution, Digital Nirvana’s AI-based solutions drive custom production workflows. Customers in many industries worldwide rely on Digital Nirvana to improve operational efficiencies, ensure compliance, reduce costs, and expand revenue streams.
imetis is a carrier grade software development company that serves the media and service provider industry. The mission is to create solutions that simplify, optimize, and secure the communication and management of video, audio, and data infrastructures along the media value creation chain. Providing solutions for over 20 years to many leading carriers, broadcasters, and media service providers, Dimetis has built up a professional and trusting partnership with its loyal customer base to deliver solutions and services for a wide range of networking management platforms from video contribution to broadcast distribution.
020 saw disguise provide vital lifelines to partners and customers in the shift toward remote production on a global scale. In addition to free online training and free access to its Designer software license, disguise also accelerated the release of its Extended Reality (xR) workflow, which quickly became one of the most notable immersive real-time produc-
SPONSORUPDATE tion techniques available on the market. The growing demand for xR has last year alone seen over 200 xR-based projects powered by disguise and in excess of 100 xR stages built around the world in 30+ countries, with numbers growing into this year as customers continue to deliver fully immersive experiences across broadcast, film and episodic TV, corporate events, and live music. One such notable project includes Eurosport’s ‘Cube 2.0’ — an immersive broadcast studio hosted on disguise partner White Light’s xR-powered SmartStage and seen on the coverage of the US Open and French Open 2020.
flying off the shelves to most major broadcasters home studio to get perfect lip sync all the time.
NA Studios recently celebrated the groundbreaking of their new broadcast facility in Houston, TX. The state-of-the-art construction provides for larger live studios, two stories of offices, and REMI control rooms. When completed, DNA will have the ability to produce up to 12 live events a day. The broadcast facility will have fiber level Internet connectivity from four separate providers as well as onsite backup generators. Utilizing 30 years of broadcasting experience, DNA provides clients with broadcast level programming and services. DNA also continues to operate four mobile TV trucks, two flypacks, and a trailer for all client budgets. From 53’ expand truck to an airline approved setup, DNA can get your production on the air with complete packaging services. DNA’s studio clients added this year include CNN, FoxNews, and Fox Business Channel as well as a many new corporate clients.
an impressive cloud-based infrastructure. Dome truly understands the need and the necessary tools that will empower broadcasters to allow for greater workflow stability and resource sharing in a more sustainable solution.
echnology surrounds and engages, permeating the consciousness with sights and sounds. It’s facts, data. Pitch speed. 3-pointers shot and made. Yards needed in a game of inches. But it’s much more. It’s a link. A connection between you and your fans — exciting and energizing them — even if they’re not in the stands. All facets of how the world interacts today revolves around screens. They are a powerful communication medium critical to fulfilling a brand promise, a fan experience, and operator engagement. When done right, communicating via digital screens empowers human connection. By removing the distance. Delivering a message. Celebrating fandom. Even saving lives. There is a lot at stake. People just expect the technology to work. It’s that simple. Yet the requirements for facilities, operations, marketing, and IT are bigger and more complex than ever. Diversified understands your need to demonstrate the value of next-gen technology to key stakeholders.
olby’s remarkable audiovisual technologies heighten and deepen your experiences, helping you feel more. It’s the heavy downpour in a moody scene. The stunningly vivid sunset in the show’s season finale. The song you feel deep in your chest. The footsteps lurking behind you on the video game battlefield. The voice of a colleague on a call who lives across the globe but sounds like they’re right next to you. We breathe life into these experiences through our innovative audiovisual technologies. This is the Dolby Difference.
ditShare’s cloud-based EFSv seamless proxy editing solution redefines the economics of editing in the cloud while significantly improving the overall user experience. The open EFSv solution supports industry-standard non-linear editing solutions (NLE) including Adobe Premiere Pro, Avid Media Composer, DaVinci Resolve, and Grass Valley Edius. EFSv puts high-resolution files into cost-effective object storage. These files are read through the EFSv native file system and to the user, look as if they are a standard file system mount. Simultaneously, EFSv puts the lightweight proxy files on the high-performance block storage for low-latency access and rendering. Both highresolution and proxy versions are accessible to the NLE, streamlining the overall editing and conforming workflow. Enhanced integration with Premiere Pro and DaVinci Resolve, through EditShare APIs, automates the import of high-resolution and proxy versions. Premiere Pro and DaVinci Resolve keep track of both file versions with options to easily toggle from proxy to high resolution and back. The intelligent and seamless movement between storage tiers minimizes the use of expensive block storage by using lightweight proxy files while the high-resolution files are stored on the less expensive object storage. The innovative approach improves the editing experience while cutting cloud costs by up to 75%.
>DMC BROADCAST GROUP
MC Broadcast Group has developed a new product line for remote production and is now used by two major broadcasters to get remote operators, directors, producers and talent, studio feeds, and multiviewer feeds via WebRTC in 300ms. The platform is used to support three NBC productions and News. The DENZ product line works on bare metal, VM, and Cloud, and these three platforms combined with our microservices will match your workflow. We don’t tell you how to do it, we have the versatility to match your existing requirements. DENZ now has a fully scalable and affordable IPTV system for both internal and external customers. The web-based channel selection is built to represent your workflow and security requirements. Hitomi’s remote studio Lipsync tool GLASS is
ome continues its innovative look into the future, and was extremely proud to launch our first IP mobile. It joins our fleet of five 4K mobiles and eight 1080p mobiles, and perfectly complements our @homeproduction virtual studio and production control room in Toronto, and Showcase, our unique studio trailer. As programmers re-think their production workflows in this unique and unprecedented time, and with safety in mind, Dome answered the challenge and developed a virtual technical workflow for sports, esports, and entertainment. An impressive execution of integrating signals from all over North America and beyond from remote teams of commentators, producers, and directors, all delivered to Dome’s leading edge, off-site production control room, which creates
SPORTSTECHJOURNAL / SPRING 2021
EG Video, the leader in closed captioning technology, is introducing a range of new features and solutions for organizations in broadcasting, government, non-profit, education, and more. The Lexi Automatic Captioning service is now in its second generation. Features of Lexi 2.0 include higher accuracy, scheduling capabilities, expanded control, and additional workflow enhancements. A new hardware version of the HD492 iCap Encoder that supports captioning in UHD with 12G-SDI will enable users, particularly those in the AV space, to deliver 4K video on a single SDI cable. Finally, the Alta line of captioning solutions is seeing multiple advancements. One of the new features allows customers to run Alta directly on the public cloud, offering a simple setup with a bring-your-
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SPONSORUPDATE own-license model. Alta now also offers fully hosted rental license packages for short-term captioning needs.
luvio uses the philosophies of decentralized design and content-centric networking, and we harness breakthroughs in machine learning, blockchain security, advanced cryptography, and low cost compute to achieve efficiency and simplicity. Several of us have spent our careers dealing with the challenges of current architectures and see now an opportunity to change the Internet for the better, for good, and an economic imperative given the imbalances in the content distribution chain working against Content Publishers, Sponsors, and Viewers.
Once play resumed, we continued to deliver the long-awaited games to NBA fans around the world. Eurovision Services uses IP technology to link the NBA’s own network with the Eurovision Global Network, providing back-up of the live games and entertainment programming we deliver to more than 200 countries and territories. Eurovision Services is looking forward to delivering specialized content to NBC Sports from major global events in 2021, starting with the FIS Alpine Championships in Cortina, Italy, for their Olympic Channel.
S Broadcast specializes in service provision to the broadcast, TV production, and film production industries.
vertz Technologies designs, manufactures, and markets video and audio infrastructure solutions for the television, telecommunications, and new-media industries. Evertz provides complete end-to-end cloud solutions to content creators, broadcasters, specialty channels, and television service providers to support their increasingly complex multi-channel digital, ultra-high definition (UHD), and nextgeneration high-bandwidth low-latency IP network environments. Evertz’ solutions enable its customers to generate additional revenue while reducing costs through the more efficient signal routing, distribution, remote production, monitoring, and management of content as well as the automation and orchestration of more streamlined and agile workflow processes onpremise and in the “Cloud”.
>EUROVISION SERVICES SA
>ENCOMPASS DIGITAL MEDIA
ncompass is a global technology services company focused on supporting television networks, broadcasters (TV and radio), sports leagues, and OTT service providers with the delivery of their linear/nonlinear video content and radio across television, digital, and radio platforms. Services include: channel playout, global distribution, OTT/TVE streaming, live events, disaster recovery, and radio.
urovision Services (ES) world-class customer service allows our clients around the world to focus on what matters: creating amazing experiences for their fans, even in the heart of a global pandemic. 2020 was a challenging year for all of us, but Eurovision Services provided the PGA’s broadcast partners around the world with replays of tournaments from the same weekend in 2019 during the stoppage of play. Once play resumed, we provided the PGA TOUR with the global distribution of their live events for a 13th straight season, as the TOUR made up all but two events on their schedule. During the pandemic, we continued to provide the NBA with the global distribution of their 24/7 NBA-TV channel, keeping the league in front of their fans worldwide during the stoppage of play. While the pandemic caused a pause in the 2020 season, we continued to provide the league with other services outside the U.S., delivering live shots of newly drafted players from locations in Greece, France, Spain, and Israel.
VS has recently launched XtraMotion, a new software application that allows production teams to generate super slow-motion replays from any camera angle. Based on sophisticated machine learning algorithms developed by EVS team of experts, the on-demand service can be used on any production format — from 1080i to 1080p as well as UHD-4K with HDR — and on any original framerate, transforming a 60fps video into a very smooth 180fps video as well as a native 180fps into a 540fps video. It integrates tightly into the EVS live production ecosystem, allowing replay operators to seamlessly clip any content from anywhere on the network, render it to super slow-motion and play it back in seconds. The XtraMotion super slow-motion process can also be applied to post and archived content as a way to further enhance the narrative of a production. Available as a Cloud Service, it does not require any additional hardware on site and the decision to use the service for a particular production can be taken in instants.
SPORTSTECHJOURNAL / SPRING 2021
&F Productions introduced GTX-20 to the broadcast industry in its own backyard during Super Bowl LV, hosted in Tampa, FL. The newly designed double expandable mobile unit it is a true powerhouse when combining GTX20 A&B. 4K capable, it hosts and IP router and is capable of deploying up to 35 cameras and is wired for 20 12-channel EVS’s.
n 2021, Fastly joined multi-vendor tech stacks to help stream the Super Bowl for several digital media customers, providing both resiliency and optimized delivery, and providing a unique perspective of online behavior during the game. As Fastly celebrates its 10-year company anniversary, we’re excited for the next 10 years on the field, with the outlook of continuing to bring some of the world’s biggest sports events to live global audiences. As we continue to build innovative compute, security, and delivery solutions for our customers, the intelligent Fastly platform will serve as the foundation for advanced analytics, emerging low-latency technologies, and edge compute capabilities that bring real-time processing and decision-making closer to the user.
ilmwerks was extremely active as 2020 winded down. The PGA Tour and numerous golf tournaments with NBC, Golf Channel, and CBS rescheduled their events for the fall. Concurrently, election season with Fox News, CNN, MSNBC, NBC, Al Jazeera, and ABC kept the power, structures, scenic, HVAC, and lighting departments on a tight schedule with various debates and election night shows all over the country. This continued through the first quarter of 2021 with the presidential inauguration in Washington, DC. Simultaneously, the Super Bowl was making history in Tampa, FL, where Filmwerks built structures for CBS Sports, CBS Sports Network, and NFL Network at five different locations. NFL Network utilized Filmwerks’ UPS systems for their stadium broadcast needs. As 2021 proves to already be more active in the broadcast world than it was this time last year, Filmwerks is ready for the upswing that is expected as the spring approaches.
ingerWorks is pleased to announce FW 6 is available as an upgrade to all current users and features an integrated social media interface that allows analysts to quickly and easily curate
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SPONSORUPDATE Twitter and Instagram content including a direct interface with Tagboard. Broadcasters have complete control over live, social media content, and can browse and cue content to be used throughout the broadcast. FW 6 provides an easier to navigate user interface with enhanced drag and drop functionality along with more detailed tools and drawing options. A new Presenter mode with enhanced clip ingest and control feature including frame accurate slow motion. This replaces the popular ReVu version that has been extensively used in esports for the past four years as well as studio productions that utilize on-camera, large screen interfaces. A low bandwidth remote solution has been added in response to new COVID-19 restrictions for personnel at live events
in live production. Production equipment that provides both 12G and SMPTE 2110 capability will be well suited to handle the format flexibility and bandwidth required to carry multiple 4K signals from many locations from acquisition to delivery. FOR-A gear manages the full spectrum of IP, including every standard from NDI to Dante AV to SMPTE 2110. Live streaming technology that’s well poised for this year and beyond must be able to handle many formats, provide unprecedented bandwidth, and require little to no training. Turning to events, FOR-A has been assisting with the Japanese television broadcasters’ workflow in 8K for the past two years and will be doing so with the broadcast of the 2021 Tokyo Summer Games.
letcher Sports creates some of the most innovative and memorable images for the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, plus many other sports broadcasts. Fletcher also provides specialty cameras to a variety of Entertainment shows, concerts, and Special Events for broadcast or inhouse production. Fletcher also serves the international sports broadcasting market.
lowics is a cloud-based platform powering remote and in-studio production of live graphics and interactive content for linear and digital broadcasters. Flowics enables customers to run multi-platform audience participation experiences for social media, broadcast, live streaming, websites, apps, or venues, and supports SDI, NDI, and cloud-based workflows. Through the Flowics Middleware, social media content, and audience participation can be integrated with on-premise CGs as well. The latest release of Flowics Graphics (cloud-based HTML5 overlays) now supports Data Connectors, to integrate live data from external sources, including RSS, Atom, JSON, or XML feeds in addition to Google Sheets. Thanks to a recent partnership with StatsPerform, Flowics now integrates OPTA feeds, enabling clients to easily create and operate live graphics with sports data without any custom development. Customers like TUDN, Telemundo Deportes, beIN Sports, and EA Sports have recently implemented Flowics for their productions.
he design of FOR-A’s latest technology reflects the view that there will be a continued hybrid mix of 12G-SDI and IP workflows
ujifilm/FUJINON is at the forefront in the development of 8K, 4K, and Cine optical technology with advanced High Dynamic Range (HDR) capabilities. This year Fujifilm’s Optical Devices Division is introducing a series of Fujinon 8K zooms while continuing to offer a full range of 4K UHD, HD, and cinema zoom lenses. Fujinon’s UA series of 2/3” 4K lenses now totals 15 models — highlighted by the new 125x and 107AF. Fujifilm’s augmentation to the UA Series includes cutting-edge, advancement in auto-focus in the 107AF as well as ARIA (in conjunction with Sony) and Remote Back Focus in many of the 15 lenses in the family.
ujitsu is a global leader in video compression solutions. Our real-time IP series video products are available directly from Fujitsu in North America for high-quality video transmission applications. This distribution channel provides world-class service and support for broadcast media production companies. Fujitsu’s IP series video transmission product line, with Fujitsu QoS, include real-time H.265/ HEVC and H.264/AVC encoders/decoders optimized for reliable, low-latency transmission over public and private IP networks. Designed for high-quality video applications, Fujitsu IP series products are ideal for Remote Integration Model (REMI) workflow including sports, news gathering, and entertainment media production. Fujitsu’s IP series products are relied on by some of the largest content providers in the world, delivering the very low latency and superior reliability required for high-quality, realtime video transmission. With today’s demand for real-time 4K video transmission, production
SPORTSTECHJOURNAL / SPRING 2021
companies cannot settle for anything less than outstanding video fidelity provided by Fujitsu QoS Technology.
>G&D NORTH AMERICA
&D is one of the worldwide leaders in the KVM market and have opened a brandnew, fully interactive control room that allows interested parties the opportunity to see KVM products and solutions in a real-life control room environment. ContolCenter-Xperience is equipped with the latest control room tech including a ControlCenter-IP KVM Matrix system, three 240 Hz monitors, and devices presenting the full range of video signals: from VGA or DVI up to DP1.2. In addition, USB-C devices can be connected. In this demo control room, a wide variety of mission critical actions can be demonstrated such as failure scenarios, security options, and redundancy systems. ControlCenter-Xperience is accessible in person as well as virtually via webcam. As if that weren’t enough, G&D unveiled its new RemoteAccess-GATE, which allows its users to access their KVM systems from anywhere in the world remotely. The KVM business has been forever changed.
>GAME CREEK VIDEO
ame Creek Video sets the industry standard for facilitating successful live broadcasts and recordings. As a family-run, privately owned company, Game Creek works with the world’s largest television networks, production companies, and news organizations to provide them with comprehensive mobile production solutions. We combine an advanced, state-ofthe-art fleet of mobile production units with an accomplished, reliable team of experts to ensure that the largest events in the world are televised flawlessly.
eartech Technologies is poised to be your technology partner. In the age of social distancing, Geartech and our solutions are more relevant than ever. With a stable of loyal customers throughout North America, we are ready to help you. Sporting outlets are looking for ways to engage their audiences with remote content quickly and with low cost. Geartech is positioned to provide quick turn services for remote production, IP contribution/transmission and subscriber and IPTV distribution and security. Our glass-to-glass approach includes a broad set of solutions including: Net Insight, Verimatrix, Imagine, Skyworth, and eero. Geartech provides
Real-time, quick-turnaround solutions • • • • • • • •
Capture feeds such as HLS, NDI, HEVC, UHD, SRT Live format transcoding from IP streams Enrich your content with Artificial Intelligence Review and approve platform Advanced MAM Multicam 4K and UHD workflows Extension panels for Adobe® Creative Cloud On-premise or in the cloud
Explore our technology at Primestream.com
SPONSORUPDATE direct sales, engineering, planning, vendor management, and support. We have a stable of highquality partner manufacturers and solution providers with leading edge solutions for complex challenges. Geartech Technologies has offices in Montreal, New York, Toronto, Calgary, Nevada, and Boston.
rom a Globecast perspective, 2020 can be characterized by two main things: the increasing move to remote production and remote working more generally, and the ongoing move to cloud playout; in fact, cloud use in general. In terms of remote production techniques, we’ve seen it applied to top tier events, but its benefits are well within reach of the more niche sports. Alongside complying with social distancing, there’s the cost savings, fast deployment times, and lower carbon footprint, making it often an obvious choice, especially across the sports market. The move to cloud playout is ongoing with Globecast leading the market (more news in 2021). What has become clear is that it takes a supreme level of technical skill and playout understanding to allow customers to truly embrace the benefits. And then there’s the wider possibilities that Infrastructure as Code promises, including across the sports market…
oogle Cloud accelerates organizations’ ability to digitally transform their business with the best infrastructure, platform, industry solutions, and expertise. We deliver enterprisegrade cloud solutions that leverage Google’s cutting-edge technology to help companies operate more efficiently and adapt to changing needs, giving customers a foundation for the future. Customers in more than 200 countries and territories turn to Google Cloud as their trusted partner to solve their most critical business problems.
s the shift to remote, cloud-production accelerates, Grabyo has taken a step forward towards delivering broadcast-quality live productions in the cloud, by adding a customizable, multiviewer accessible via a web-browser. Multiviewers are an essential part of live production workflows, enabling directors and producers to view multiple feeds and sources in a single screen. This development is the first in a series of planned upgrades to Grabyo’s cloud-native live production platform, Grabyo Producer. The addition of the multiviewer features —
combined with Grabyo’s powerful low-latency, frame-accurate switching capabilities, playlisting tools, graphics authoring, and multi-platform distribution — means production teams can use Grabyo for a broad range of live broadcasts in the cloud. The adoption of cloud-native broadcast tools removes onsite constraints for production teams, allowing teams to work remotely and collaborate in real-time. Cloud production enables hi-fidelity broadcasting to all major digital platforms, as well as TV.
s the frontrunner in the industry’s charge towards a software-defined future, Grass Valley shines a spotlight on the future of live production with cloud-based applications and cloud computing, as well as single-stream IP workflows. A prime example of this innovation is GV AMPP (Agile Media Processing Platform). The GV AMPP platform is cloud native and cloud agnostic. This flexibility and power bring about a significant paradigm shift, allowing shows to be produced on any engine from any location. It also enables new operational models as shows are securely produced with cameras on location and production personnel working remotely around the globe. In a recent event, a customer had cameras in various locations across Europe that fed back to an instance of AMPP, located in an AWS data center on the east coast of the United States, while the TD was switching the live show from California. GV AMPP is the core technology powering GV Media Universe, a comprehensive ecosystem of cloud-based tools and services that revolutionizes the way live media is produced. The open ecosystem of connected devices, services, media content, and applications give creatives familiar interfaces to comprehensive cloud-enabled solutions. As sports fans continue to demand stunning quality content that brings them closer to the action, Grass Valley meets the challenges — from enabling a complete end-to-end HDR production chain for live productions to delivering robust remote production workflows that add efficiency, reduce travel, emissions and power concerns, and enable the production of more brilliant content than ever.
ravity Media is a brand-new company with a 30-year pedigree, formed by the coming together of four established broadcast and production houses: Gearhouse Broadcast, HyperActive Broadcast, Input Media, and Chief Entertainment. Gravity Media’s broadcast packages are
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both modular and integrated, meaning Gravity Media can flex its offering to match your requirements. Come to Gravity Media for a single service, or a complete end-to-end solution.
aivision continues to be a leading provider of mission-critical, real-time video streaming and networking solutions. Our connected cloud and intelligent edge technologies enable global organizations to engage audiences, enhance collaboration, and support decision making. We provide high-quality, low-latency, secure, and reliable live video at a global scale. Haivision continued to innovate over the course of last year with the launch of the Makito X4 video decoder, complementing the Makito X4 video encoder for an end-to-end 4K solution, and with cloud media routing through Haivision Hub, as the need for secure and reliable remote production workflows increased. In addition, the SRT Alliance, founded in support of Haivision’s award-winning open source SRT low latency video streaming protocol, continued to grow and now features over 450 members among its ranks.
>HIGH ROCK MOBILE TELEVISION
igh Rock 1, the newest Super Stallion Dual Stage Expansion Class mobile production vehicle built by Gerling and Associates, is our company’s solution for bringing your event from the confines of its venue to the world. Regardless of the nature of the event, whether it be sporting, news, corporate, or musical, High Rock 1 can deliver, combining its small onsite footprint with the most advanced and powerful technology to make every project an ease. With technical integration provided by Bennett Systems, High Rock 1 is equipped with a Grass Valley Kayenne Switcher, SONY HDC17000Ls and HDC4300 Super Slo-Motion Production Cameras, EVS XT3 Servers, Calrec Artemis Audio Console, and much more.
e’re proud to announce the availability of new, consolidated parts for the Aspera brand. For customer-installed software, we’ve consolidated all Aspera offerings (at the various bandwidth tiers) under the Aspera Enteprise umbrella. This new, consolidated offering provides access to all Aspera technology in a single, flexible part. Customers get full access to Aspera sync, FASPStream, proxy, and all the user-facing browser-based applications. For Aspera on Cloud SaaS, we’ve revised the offer-
SPONSORUPDATE ing with new parts that provides much more functionality for each of Standard, Advanced, and Enterprise. With the new parts, all customers get access to the AoC Activity app, unlimited users. Advanced and Enterprise also include an increased amount of cloud provider egress costs as well.
s mobile production companies combine multiple trucks to create one large production studio, the need for a KVM system to share sources between A/B units becomes more critical. The motivation for this is to allow more efficient sharing of hardware resources across units for several functional teams — each responsible for specific operations including replay, editing, and graphics. Setup and configurations become easier as workstations can become agnostic allowing Technical Engineers to assign workspace more efficiently. As a close partner to some of the best names in mobile production, IHSE provides display management systems that allow multiple sources to be accessed from a single keyboard and mouse no matter which mobile unit the source resides. IHSE offers hybrid matrix systems using copper twisted pair ports for short runs and fiber ports for long run extension — all in the same frame. Along with the display, keyboard, and mouse connections, these KVM matrix systems support optional data connections for RS-422 and VGA normally found in EVS server systems. For 2021, IHSE is introducing the mid-level Draco tera Flex KVM matrix systems for port sizes 16 to 160.
llumination Dynamics (ID) services Live Broadcast, Film, Television, Theatrical, and Special Events providing Automated and Film Lighting equipment, Transportation, Redundant Power systems, Technical services, and Crew. Our main locations are in Los Angeles and Charlotte with additional ARRI Rental facilities available to us for support. ID operates nationwide as well as providing lighting services internationally. ID’s Live Broadcast division is core to the company’s success providing reliable redundant generator power, UPS Systems, lighting design, equipment, and crew to multiple events. ID’s staff strives to provide a premium service for our customers and we recognize their loyalty has driven our success. 2020 and the COVID-19 pandemic was a logistical challenge for the entire entertainment industry, especially remote shows. Nevertheless, ID successfully serviced
a vast array of events such as PGA Golf, NFL, College Football, MLB, Super-cross, Extreme Sports, and many more.
ith most international borders closed, the 36th America’s Cup, the pinnacle of yacht racing, aims to make its coverage open and accessible to all. The oldest international sporting trophy has signed a record line up of international broadcasters, yet none are physically able to attend the event in Auckland, New Zealand. Imagen’s digital asset management platform therefore performs a crucial role in storing and distributing the coverage of the event to fans, broadcasters, media, competing teams, and sponsors, anywhere, anytime. Being able to upload and securely share and distribute the right content is key to ensuring seamless access to fast-paced action in the open waters.
magine Communications’ state-of-the-art technology has been center stage at the most iconic sports and live events for decades. Today, media companies across the industry are using Imagine solutions to make broadcast history, from deploying pioneering SMPTE ST 2110-based distributed workflows in sports venues at top-ranked U.S. universities to creating unique live production architectures from preconfigured IP modules for the world’s largest sports events. Imagine’s field-proven, standards-based solutions help outside broadcast trucks, venues, and production facilities protect their existing SDI investments and transition to IP at whatever pace works with their business. Delivering all the benefits of IP connectivity and software flexibility — but with the same operational look and feel as an SDI system — Imagine sports and live solutions enable customers to get up to speed quickly with next-generation technology. Recent introductions include a UHD/HDRcapable, ultra-low latency production multiviewer within Imagine’s award-winning Selenio Network Processer (SNP). The SNP-MV can be mixed and matched with the already available Synchronizer and Conversion personalities, transforming the SNP from a single-function product into a flexible ecosystem of essential tools. Upcoming SNP releases add internal audio processing (upmix/downmix) and JPEG XS encoding and decoding, providing productionquality, low-latency interconnection to support remote- and split-production workflows.
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>INTEGRATED MEDIA TECHNOLOGIES
ntegrated Media Technologies (IMT) is a leading technology solutions and managed services provider with offices in Los Angeles, Boston, and Dallas. IMT services the Telecommunications, Media & Entertainment, Corporate IT, Legal, Financial Services Healthcare, Education, and Defense sectors with a broad range of technology solutions and services designed to drive new value and efficiencies from technology. IMT’s operations are segmented into three principal businesses: Consulting and Systems Integration, Video Collaboration, and Software.
s the foundational architects of satellite technology, Intelsat operates the largest, most advanced satellite fleet and connectivity infrastructure in the world. We apply our unparalleled expertise and global scale to reliably and seamlessly connect people, devices, and networks in even the most challenging and remote locations. Transformation happens when businesses, governments, and communities build a ubiquitous connected future through Intelsat’s next-generation global network and simplified managed services. At Intelsat, we turn possibilities into reality. Imagine Here, with us.
ll of Intoto’s services are influenced by our agile development approach. We believe in continuous demonstration and client feedback. This gives us the ability to course-correct until the deliverable is exactly right for our client. Intoto adopts a whole-system perspective, considering both technical and business needs. Our interdisciplinary approach is applied through all phases of the design and deployment process, integrating sub-specialties into a single team deliverable. Our goal for every project is to deliver not only a well-engineered product, but to ensure that our client has the capacity to continuously manage and sustain the system — designing, testing, and implementing change as necessary to support the business at it develops.
>IRON MOUNTAIN ENTERTAINMENT SERVICES
ron Mountain Entertainment Services (IMES), the media and entertainment division of Iron Mountain Incorporated, is the go-to physical and digital media archiving service for the media and entertainment industries. IMES’ clients range from sports teams and leagues to
SPONSORUPDATE brand archives, footage, individual collections, and estates. A global leader in media preservation, restoration, and archive management, IMES offers industry-leading archive, storage, chain-of-custody processes, and physical and digital content preservation solutions. We ensure the complete protection of some of the world’s most treasured assets and iconic moments in sports history.
ight now, video is the best way to get your message out to your audience, your team, and your staff. JB&A Distribution is your expert partner in video, broadcast, production, and pro AV. JB&A has the right tools and partners to get your organization’s video streaming from conferences to remote staff meetings, and team announcements to virtual events. JB&A Solutions allow you to switch, store, stream, manage multiple cameras, add graphic overlays, virtual sets, and mix in effects — and can enhance platforms like Zoom, WebEx, GoToMeeting, Teams, Lifesize, Google Hangouts, Poly, etc. — elevating them to a more dynamic viewing experience. If you’re ready to take your event online or you just want to talk to someone who knows how to, contact your JB&A Team for a demo and a streaming consultation. JB&A is online — just like you — and its team is here to help you get your message out there.
oseph Electronics (JE) is an authorized stocking distributor for more than 100 premier broadcast and pro AV brands with stocking locations in both Illinois and California. JE also designs, manufactures, and supplies innovative custom fiber solutions — such as the Caddie Series, DFT Series, and 4K fiber transport gear — for broadcasters and system integrators alike. Equipped with a state-of-the-art fiber lab staffed with fully certified professionals, JE can fabricate, terminate, or repair any connector, assembly, panel, breakout, or interface in use today. JE has served the broadcast industry for more than 70 years and has representatives in California, New York, Georgia, and London.
>JVC PROFESSIONAL VIDEO
VC’s GY-HC500SPC sports production camera produces professional quality sports coverage, complete with high-resolution lower third graphics and network quality game clock and score overlay on broadcast-quality video, recorded and streamed directly from the camera. The incorporated SRT capabilities provide
more options for coordinating live production workflows over the internet. The latest firmware adds updated SRT features including Forward Error Correction (FEC) for data loss correction before buffering, and Stream Identifier, which makes it possible for multiple cameras to stream directly to one device. The camera is also capable of streaming directly to popular social media platforms, such as Facebook Live and now YouTube Live. This camera is already being deployed for a wide range of sports broadcasts around the country, including Pennsylvaniabased radio station WMBS, which uses the GYHC500SPC to simulcast broadcasts of local high school football, baseball, and basketball games directly to Facebook Live.
aufman Broadcast has provided some of the Midwest region’s best, most reliable satellite and fiber transmission, live studio, production, postproduction, and consulting services for the past 30 years.
>KEY CODE MEDIA
ey Code Media is the preferred resource for audiovisual equipment, installation, and aftermarket support. We approach complex projects with a high-touch customer service focus, ensuring equipment is delivered, installed, and adopted by a customer successfully. Our solutions include: AV (Conference Rooms, Lecture Halls, Classrooms, Video Walls, Collaborative Offices, City Council Chambers); Broadcast (Comm Systems, Flypacks, OB Truck, and Control Rooms); and Production Equipment (Audio Suites, Video Edit Suites, and Networking).
>KMH AUDIO-VIDEO INTEGRATION
MH Audio-Video Integration removes the complexity for any sports organization installing or upgrading an AV system. Offering a full range of system integration, design, and consulting services, the KMH team installs products, configures systems, and designs efficient production workflows to help customers use technology effectively for long-term growth. KMH also helps customers adapt their communications and production operations, deploying video-chat technologies, media distribution systems, and IP encoding platforms to help productions teams work remotely, efficiently communicate, and disseminate content. One recent KMH project is a multi-phase upgrade for the Pittsburgh Steelers, redesigning the team’s production and studio spaces and installing a file-
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based media asset management system. Other highlights include installing an IPTV system for the New York Red Bulls and ongoing technology upgrades for the New York Giants. KMH recently expanded its own operations, adding a Brooklyn, NY, location featuring an NDI/SMPTE 2110 streaming media lab.
lobe Life Field, the Texas Rangers’ new stadium in Arlington, opened on July 24 after three years’ planning and construction with its inaugural broadcast, using the league’s first fullIP control room, complete with HDR capability, based on leading-edge video routing, processing, and broadcast control systems supplied by German IP-video and audio specialists Lawo and integrated by their partners, Diversified Systems of Dallas, TX. The video routing system uses Lawo’s V_matrix platform, a scalable software-defined hardware system designed around ST2110-10/20/30/40, ST2022-6/-7, ST2042 (VC-2), and AES67. Native IP cores with very high signal density, V_matrix frames host multiple C100 processing blades that run “virtual module” applications to provide video and audio processing, video conversion and streaming, and more. State-of-the-art vm_dmv multiviewer, Lawo’s distributed 4K system can display SDI (4K, 3G, HD, SD) and IP (ST2022-6, ST2110) signals for both sources and heads, supporting high-density mosaic layouts of up to 64 PiPs per 3G head and 128 PiPs per UHD head. Flexible and scalable, more heads can be added at will by loading another vm_dmv instance on a C100 blade. Multiviewer screens are built with Lawo “theWALL” software, an intuitive drag-and-drop wall builder app, designed for quickly changing monitor wall layouts on-the-fly. Built with HTML5 for OS-independence, theWALL can be deployed on any modern touchscreen device. Unified control is provided by Lawo VSM IP broadcast control software. A manufacturer-agnostic control system, VSM provides the ability to control products from multiple third-party manufacturers along with sophisticated redundancy features to ensure continuous missioncritical operation.
eader Electronics Corporation has earned a worldwide reputation for designing and manufacturing highly reliable, practical, and powerful test and measurement instruments. Leader products are specified for broadcast, production, postproduction, research, product development
C A P TU R E CAPTURE C R A F T C R AF T C R E ATE C R E AT E Gravity Media is a brand-new company with a 30-year pedigree. Formed by the coming together of four established broadcast and production houses, we have a bold new look and purpose as we seek to lead the global live broadcast facilities and production services markets. Our 500 people serve clients all over the world, from bases in the UK, Australia, USA, France, Germany and Qatar. From sport and media to news and entertainment, our projects are varied but have one thing in common: flawless execution underpinned by client service excellence. World-class content that inspires and excites. Contact us today to see how we can help with your next production. +1 818 955-9449
SPONSORUPDATE and service applications. Manufacturing quality is built in every step of the way. The Leader product range includes award-winning 3G/HD/ SD SDI waveform monitors and rasterizers, all with customizable layouts. Among the available options are 4K/UHD, CIE color chart, HDR measurement, test pattern generation, eye and jitter measurement, closed caption display, IP, and 12G/6G-SDI. Leader has helped many customers manage their transition from analog to digital, from SD to HD, from HD to 4K/UHD, from SDR to HDR and from BT.709 to BT.2020 wide color gamut. Now Leader also provides SMPTE ST2022-7 and ST2110 support for the transition from SDI to IP.
or over 15 years, Levels Beyond has been trusted by the biggest names in media and entertainment to help create, manage, and distribute their media with their Reach Engine platform. With the ever-expanding growth of video content, the company’s cloud-based and on-premise/hybrid software services and solutions today are enabling industries — from media and entertainment, national sports leagues, and teams to corporate marketing and advertising and new media distributors — to produce, manage, and distribute more content, through more channels, with fewer resources.
>LH COMPUTER SERVICES
H Computer Services is a reseller specializing in video storage solutions for professional and collegiate sports. LH offers solutions that provide next-generation storage platforms providing content production, distribution, and archive with the performance and reliability needed to meet extreme production and delivery deadlines. The company offers solutions with file systems, optimized for video, in an endto-end solution from ingest to archive that are designed for performance from the ground up and built on the foundation of providing highperformance collaboration to leading post and broadcast organizations. LH has a variety of manufacturers to draw from providing directattached storage, FCSANs, as well as a traditional NAS, to meet the demanding needs of your workflow. Trust a partner like LH Computer Services that has a proven history of architecting and providing solutions to clients in the NBA, NCAA, and more.
imelight Networks, a leading provider of digital content delivery and edge services, em-
powers customers to provide exceptional digital experiences. Limelight’s edge services platform includes a unique combination of global private infrastructure, intelligent software, and expert support services optimized for video workflows.
ive CGI is pleased to have had recent success in a broadcast for this year’s NFL Pro Bowl Madden 21 Edition. Our product was seen by more than 2.5M viewers. We are also extremely excited to announce the launch of our patented technology product called Quinstream, which enables e-commerce on screen as an actual three-dimensional element in the show. Delivery is customized to the IP address or user login, meaning each viewer has a unique experience. We do this by using the Unreal Engine and marrying multi-player video game technology with the broadcast stream. Founded by Marc Rowley (5-time Emmy Award winner and inventor of the Pylon Cam), Live CGI is a technology startup wholly focused on reinventing broadcast as we know it. Having recently closed a seed funding round, we are looking forward to proving that content drives commerce and Quinstream drives content.
>LIVE MEDIA GROUP
ive Media Group offers a complete turnkey solution for our clients and their audience. The company was founded on the fundamental principle of creating the highest quality product and experience for our clients and their viewers. “Status quo” was not good enough, so we created the ultimate turnkey solution. How do we do it? Ownership and invention. Our experienced, interdisciplinary team developed all of our internal systems and processes for encoding and transmission. Furthermore, we own our own production and broadcast equipment (including production vehicles) to reduce cost and maximize control and redundancy.
iveU’s IP Pipe gives you remote control over a wide variety of network-based equipment, increasing your operational efficiency. With a simple set-up, the solution works with the new LU800 field unit or any LiveU HEVC unit, and lets you gain full remote control of your field cameras, intercom, CCU, and other IP-based gear. LiveU’s Remote At-Home Production (REMI) solution is being used today by leading sports organizations, broadcasters, and production companies to send multiple high-res, synced video feeds from the field to centralized
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production studios, leveraging LiveU’s Precision Timing feature. By adding remote management and control capabilities, IP Pipe further increases operational efficiency and cost savings. LiveU’s IP Pipe facilitates innovative new use cases, giving production teams added value beyond standard IP-gear control. Live productions can be enriched by sharing live insights from a custom application in the field. For example, getting Telemetry data from the field is used for Griiip motor racing coverage, where live racing feeds are combined with insightful real-time racing data to enrich the viewing experience. Simplify the set-up with remote access to different CCU functions such as shutter, white balance, knee, gamma, saturation, and more. (As supported by camera manufacturer software). Enhance field-studio communication by connecting your IP-based intercom, easily setting up 2-way communication between the station and the field.
ver the past 12 months, LTN Global has helped sports producers pivot to highly scalable cloud-based remote production tools to achieve cost savings and social distancing goals while accessing innovative production workflows. LTN Global recently opened a cutting-edge 30,000-sq-ft centralized global production facility in Kansas City, MO. Producers can access its state-of-the-art technology and full-time staff of industry professionals. Powered by LTN’s low-latency and ultra-reliable IP network, LTN Flex provides best-practice production workflows, managed and monitored by staff and proprietary software to deliver a scalable and dependable 24/7/365 support solution. LTN Flex delivers game-changing cost savings by reducing the personnel and equipment required onsite to produce high-quality content. LTN Flex levels the playing field by offering the quality of an ‘A grade’ traditional broadcast production at a price point that opens up new content creation and innovation opportunities to all levels of sports leagues.
umen is guided by our belief that humanity is at its best when technology advances the way we live and work. With approximately 450,000 route fiber miles and serving customers in more than 60 countries, we deliver the fastest, most secure platform for applications and data to help businesses, government, and communities deliver amazing experiences. Learn more
Feeding an Appetite for Innovation Belden’s end-to-end cabling and connectivity solutions bring never-before-seen technology, Wi-Fi 6, digital ticketing and highly sophisticated DAS systems to life in some of the world’s biggest and most well-known stadiums.
High-performance infrastructure supports extraordinary experiences for fans at home or at the game.
Ready to Start a Project? Speak to An Expert! © 2021 Belden Inc.
SPONSORUPDATE about the Lumen network, edge cloud, security, communication, and collaboration solutions and our purpose to further human progress through technology.
he year 2020 was most challenging to our industry; however, Lyon Video, an employee-owned company, was able to see an increase in business for the 4th quarter of 2020. The company finished the 2020-21 college football season in January with several bowl games for ESPN, including the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl, VRBO Citrus Bowl, and Valero Alamo Bowl. Lyon Video is seeing what looks to be a more promising 2021 with college basketball and the start of a busy spring sports season. In addition, we launched the start of our LYON CLOUD service, a next-generation cloud-based streaming and production platform. On the integration front, Lyon Video has added Hitomi VALID generators and readers to its fleet, companywide. Our integration group is finishing up an entry-level mobile unit for Hampton Schools and a new integration for Hill Air Force Base on a mid-level 4K 12G mobile unit.
2A Media builds public cloud solutions for managing and publishing video. Our goal is to offer a continuously evolving cloud platform that can meet the needs of the everchanging media landscape. We combine years of experience in the broadcast and online media industries with best practices in modern software engineering. With our help, you can migrate your entire end-to-end media workflow to the public cloud. Or we can devise hybrid solutions that mix your existing media applications with our micro services and comprehensive APIs.
arkertek, a 100% employee-owned company, is the trusted source for all mobile and studio infrastructure in the sports video entertainment industry. Our in-house fiber shop is the nation’s exclusive source for the innovative Neutrik DRAGONFLY. Simply stated, DRAGONFLY introduces Expanded Beam technology to SMPTE Hybrid cabling. It offers an advanced lens technology for the Broadcast and AV Market to bring a more robust, reliable, and easier to maintain system than common SMPTE hybrid camera signal transmission systems. Less cleaning and considerably increased uptime make
this a perfect fit for outside broadcast. Check out the new Markertek website. It’s now even more mobile friendly than its predecessor delivering a faster site with enhanced checkout! Our house is your house, America’s Broadcast Supply House is Markertek!
arshall continues to develop and expand its broadcast-quality 4K/UHD/HD camera offerings with a robust release schedule in 2021. Scheduled for the first half of this year is four larger sensor Global Shutter miniature POV cameras (CV566/CV568/CV366/CV368) to enhance video performance in sports production with extreme speed of movement and dynamic light environments. Marshall is also on track to add four more models later in the year to the growing Marshall PTZ and Zoom camera assortment, including the CV420-30X that will deliver up to 4K60fps and 30x optical zoom through 12GSDI/IP/SRT/HEVC, the CV730BHN will offer up to 4K60 and 30x zoom range through High-Bandwidth NDI/12GSDI, and two new CV620 cameras that provide up to HD60fps and 20x zoom range through either IP (SRT/ HEVC) or NDI|HX. Marshall cameras are heavily used by sportscasters in professional, collegiate, and high school level event production and streaming workflows.
asstech’s Kumulate is an award-winning hybrid cloud media and content management platform, helping sports and media organizations to evolve to the next generation of media processing. Using the power and flexibility of hybrid cloud storage, Kumulate ensures that your content is always in the right place, at the right time, and in the right format. Kumulate features a next-gen, intuitive user interface with powerful multisite search, segment and project markers, and partial file restore from any storage tier, whether cloud or on-prem. As a modular, multi-tier storage optimization platform, Kumulate has an array of functions including content acquisition, transcode, packaging, and an online store for your content, helping you to optimize media storage management and automate content workflows throughout the media supply chain, from initial delivery of content, through QC and transformation to distribution. A powerful REST-API enables integration with all major MAMs, PAMs, automation, ingest, logging, and cataloging tools.
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atrox Video is dedicated to providing sports video professionals with best-inclass REMote Integration (REMI) solutions. The Matrox Monarch EDGE encoder and decoder pair is the ultimate REMI platform that allows users to deliver exceptional quality, low-latency 3840x2160p60 or quad 1920x1080p60 video from the event to the centralized production facility or cloud. Equipped with tally signaling and talkback functionality for two-way communication between onsite and in-studio personnel, the 4:2:2 10-bit capable Monarch EDGE encoder and decoder solution enables broadcasters to affordably produce live multi-camera events by minimizing onsite expenses and keeping talent in-house, and confidently deliver superlativequality live programming. Monarch EDGE features high-frame rate (50 or 60 fps), multicamera video streams using a variety of streaming protocols, including SRT, MPEG-2 TS, and RTSP — all packaged in compact, portable, and low-power appliances.
axon makes powerful, yet approachable software solutions for content creators working in 2D and 3D design, motion graphics, visual effects, and visualization. Maxon’s innovative product portfolio helps artists supercharge their creative workflows. Its product lines include the award-winning Cinema 4D suite of 3D modeling, simulation, and animation technology; the diverse Red Giant lineup of revolutionary editing, motion design, and filmmaking tools; and the high-end production, blazingly fast Redshift rendering solutions.
edia Links, manufacturer and pioneer in Media over IP transport technology, will be showcasing its 100G Eco-system throughout 2021, which highlights innovation in remote/ distribution production across wide area networks. The total system solution allows broadcasters and service providers to transport more media channels than ever before. Whether its uncompressed or compressed video, audio, and/or data over IP from remote sporting and entertainment venues to distant production studios, the company’s 100G portfolio addresses the increasing need for more and more bandwidth from the network edge to the core. Media Links’ 100G Eco-system supports both remote and distributed media production, providing the ability to connect and share
Think Bigger. Do More. FreeSpeak Harness the power of the industry’s leading 5GHz wireless intercom system with nine customizable buttons and 12 kHz audio quality for the win.
SPONSORUPDATE equipment and resources across wide area networks. This universal connectivity ensures that broadcasters and various other media-related companies can work together more efficiently and remotely, all while delivering services with impeccable quality and reliability.
he Pay-TV market is dramatically shifting towards OTT bundled models, with larger OTT market disruptors transforming the entire entertainment landscape. We are now seeing its impact within the sports rights market. MediaKind launched a major study into the direct-to-consumer (D2C) OTT services operated by 40 sports rightsholders to help understand this shift within sports. It found almost all sports rightsholders consider D2C services an essential tool towards building direct relationships with their fan base while offering secondary monetization tools and fan engagement services to capitalize on extensive and currently untapped revenues. MediaKind has since been developing its D2C service offering to enable sports rights holders to readdress their media strategies. Most recently, MediaKind has been working closely alongside a world-renowned sports rightsholder to help it experiment, test new content offerings, and reach new audiences without risking the guaranteed mid-term revenues generated by its existing broadcast deals.
ediapro is a leading group in the global audiovisual sector, unique in content integration, production, and audiovisual distribution. With operations worldwide through its 58 offices distributed across 36 countries on four continents, it provides the creativity and technical solutions necessary to design, produce, and distribute any audiovisual or multichannel project. Mediapro offers “end-to-end” sports production and transmission for coverage of all kinds of sporting events. The company works with highly experienced staff and has established key worldwide relationships that allow it to provide clients with a high-quality, cost-effective proposal for their projects. With mobile units, sports production automation, and cameras filming from above and below, Mediapro uses innovation to push boundaries and production technology to a whole new level. Mediapro successfully produced the MLS is Back Tournament 2020 for ESPN with Omnicam4Sky aerial camera system and provided
real-time tactical feed to the teams with AutomaticTV technology. Also, our Omnicam4Sky aerial camera system was used for the production of the Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League final rounds. In addition, Mediapro produced the CONMEBOL Copa Libertadores and CONMEBOL Copa Sudamericana by providing voice overs, graphics insertion, virtual advertising, distribution, and editing services.
aptivating audiences through virtual events and live streaming was the name of the game for MeyerPro in 2020. Well-equipped and experienced in broadcast and live streaming the MeyerPro crew made their mark on the industry last year. The MeyerPro team set the bar for large scale virtual conferences and live events. Now riding this momentum into 2021, they are bringing production quality to virtual conferences and events that has never been seen before. Utilizing the xR (Extended Reality) Stage solution, MeyerPro has been able to bring virtual sets and AR/VR to virtual event production. MeyerPro has also continued to invest in more tools to continue to bring cutting edge production quality to all levels of events. This includes Disguise rX servers, Analog Way Aquilon multiscreen switcher and numerous upgrades to their flypacks.
icrosoft enables digital transformation for the era of an intelligent cloud and an intelligent edge. Its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.
>MOBILE TV GROUP
obile TV Group (MTVG) has recently launched IP mobile unit 48 FLEX and 48 VMU. Mobile unit #49 will introduce MTVG’s next-gen system and is set to launch this spring. MTVG’s Cloud Control is launching around the country. Giving its clients remote access to all of MTVG’s production systems without sacrifices. Cloud Control is a complete production system that allows for broadcast level systems, unlimited cameras, SSMO, and even 4K to be controlled remotely with low bandwidth.
PE now offers all encompassing, costeffective resources and services to host remote post-production. Your entire postproduction team can work remotely, from anywhere in the nation, safely, securely, and without lag. HOW IT WORKS: MPE’s brand new
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infrastructure includes state-of-the-art data centers with multiple dedicated internet circuits and firewalls, operating across separate fiberoptic cables by different providers that run at 10 Gigabits per second. All the heavy lifting in terms of hardware and software is performed by MPE systems in their data center while your team simply needs to tie in with a basic computer at home or in the field. MPE’s in-house technical support team and IT engineers cover all systems 24/7/365. Flexible hybrid models are also available should you need to operate in person. MPE’s 60,000 sq. ft. NYC facility is available for in-person editing, on-site collaboration sessions, screenings and finishing. Finish your projects in their Dolby Atmos Certified Sound Mix Studios and 4K UHD Online and Color Correct Suites, all of which are also available for remote or in-person accessibility.
he launch of the new Mk.2 bar and processor together with Ncam Reality has generated a huge amount of interest since its release. With a smaller footprint and faster set up the new system has been put through its paces at a number of Tier 1 sports events. Ncam continues to support AR graphics for the Premier League, Champions League, Europa League, Bundesliga, Superbowl, Formula E, and F1, to name but a few, as well as supporting our broadcast partners around the globe.
fter 30 years in the television industry, Philip Nelson stepped out of his role as an executive at NewTek to start Nelco Media. Founded in 2017, Nelco Media provides a 360-degree approach to live video workflows. While many resellers simply “sell boxes”, Nelco instead focuses on service. Nelco Media prides itself on supporting its customers before, during, and after the sale. Nelco Media is a one-stop-shop where clients can purchase equipment, acquire engineering knowledge, get installation help, and book in-person product training.
emal Electronics is an Emmy Award winning U.S. manufacturer of a wide range of fiber-optic, copper, and hybrid electronic cable, connectors, cable assemblies, and custom panels, for AV, Mobile, and Sports Broadcasting. Products include LEMO SMPTE and Neutrik opticalCON cables, adapters, reelers, HD/3G/12G audio, video and hybrid cable, tactical fiber, RF cables, and our patented DT-12
SPONSORUPDATE connectors. We manufacture extra flexible and rugged high-power AVflex UL rated speaker and lighting cables, either in bulk or custom terminated with Neutrik powerCON or speakON or Socapex connectors. Our audio line includes AVflex microphone and snake cables in 2-54 channel. Fiber products include custom SMPTE panels, pigtails, adapters, and fiber cleaning kits. Nemal’s FOCC24 series SMPTE 311 Camera Cable, approved by both LEMO and Neutrik, is available in multiple variations (studioflex, rugged outdoor, tactical, water-block Riser rated, and mini-Steadicam). Recent product innovations include CAT6 snakes and a family of hi-rel XLR intercom/headset adapters.
or over 30 years, NEP has been a worldwide outsourced technical production partner supporting premier content producers of live sports, entertainment, music, and corporate events. Our services include remote production, specialty capture, RF and wireless video/audio, studio production, audio visual solutions, host broadcast support, postproduction, connectivity and transmission, premium playout, and innovative software-based media management solutions. NEP’s 4,000+ employees are driven by a passion for superior service and a focus on technical innovation. Together, we have supported productions in 88 countries on all seven continents. NEP is headquartered in the United States and has operations in 25 countries.
et Insight is defining new ways to deliver media. We’re driving the transformation of video networks with open IP, virtualized and cloud solutions that enable you to simply and cost-effectively create live experiences. We are opening up new routes for broadcasters, service providers, production companies, and enterprises to produce and deliver content to viewers anywhere. We have built the market’s most open and cloud-ready video centric media delivery platform and are continuing to invest in an open future for contribution, distribution, cloud ingest and orchestration, enabling you to successfully meet new consumer demands. We are technology agnostic — we want to give you the tools to maximize your content’s potential on your own infrastructure. It is your content, on any network, your way.
he past year has been challenging for live sports production as consequence of CO-
VID-19, but it’s also been a period of rapid innovation, as the industry had to adapt fast. For example, Nevion, a Sony Group company, has seen a clear interest in its IP-based remote and distributed production solutions that allow content to be produced from anywhere. Nevion has also had to adapt to the pandemic, by delivering and supporting IP media network projects almost entirely remotely. For example, Nevion delivered a large groundbreaking multi-site private-cloud project for Discovery, to support the broadcaster’s sports production in Europe. Nevion was able to work remotely because it already had processes in place and its flagship products (the softwaredefined media node Virtuoso, and the orchestration and SDN control software VideoIPath) are designed to be set-up, configured, and upgraded in the field. This experience will continue to benefit customers well beyond the pandemic.
extologies has the world’s largest broadcast video delivery network specializing in award-winning, broadcast-grade video connectivity for broadcasters and content owners across the globe. Operating out of multiple teleports and data centers, Nextologies is the only solutions provider that has instant access to over 55,000 linear TV channels downlinked from 75+ globally-placed satellites. In addition, Nextologies is a leader in signal acquisition and delivery providing fiber, IP, and custom end-toend solutions for IPTV and OTT platforms and video-centric applications across all platforms.
utanix is a global leader in cloud software and a pioneer in hyperconverged infrastructure solutions, making computing invisible anywhere. Organizations around the world use Nutanix software to leverage a single platform to manage any app at any location at any scale for their private, hybrid, and multi-cloud environments.
bject Matrix provides object storage solutions that solve the high data demands of the sports video industry. Its media asset focused software MatrixStore offers built-in security, analytics, and intuitive interfaces, which help sports production organizations make the most of their content. These nearline storage solutions deliver the highest levels of digital content governance, ensuring video assets are protected and authenticated. Allowing users to securely access content on-demand and maxi-
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mize media-based workflows for significant financial and operational benefits. MatrixStore offers three flexible solutions, enabling organizations to choose the right approach for their business model and future proof their operations. MatrixStore Cloud: A managed service which allows teams to self-serve and instantly access content from anywhere. MatrixStore Onprem: Deployed in-house or at an organization’s data center, either as a stand-alone solution or as part of a unified storage platform. MatrixStore Hybrid: A combination of on-prem, managed services or public cloud storage platforms.
penDrives is a global provider of enterprise-grade, hyper-scalable networkattached storage (NAS) solutions. Founded in 2011 by media and entertainment post-production professionals, OpenDrives is built for the most demanding workflows, from Hollywood to healthcare, and businesses large and small. OpenDrives delivers the highest performing solutions to match individual performance needs, even for the most robust, complex, and missioncritical projects, on-premises and into the cloud.
anasonic offers innovative products and solutions for studio and live production, sports content creation, and training/performance analysis. Panasonic’s KAIROS IT/IP live video platform offers an open architecture system for live video switching with complete input and output flexibility, resolution and format independence, maximum CPU/GPU processor utilization, and virtually unlimited ME scalability. As a native IP, ST 2110 system, KAIROS supports transitions to live IP workflows. Increase your production and live streaming capabilities with our industry-leading 4K and HD PTZ camera family including the AW-UE150 4K 60P and AW-UR140 outdoor HD 3MOS units. Bring a new level of movement to your remote camera live production workflow with a Tecnopoint floor or ceiling dolly and Totem system designed to integrate with Panasonic PTZ cameras. Tecnopoint robotic camera systems are perfect for VR/AR and real-time tracking. With our 8K ROI camera system, you can bring four individual HD crop sources into your switcher, allowing coverage of a whole end zone or a full basketball court. Our extensive lines of 4K and HD studio/ field cameras, VariCam and AU-EVA1 cinema cameras, and CX Series 4K and HD production camcorders are ideal for capturing fast sports action.
WE’RE EXCITED TO ANNOUNCE THAT
CATDV HAS JOINED THE QUANTUM TEAM! Deliver compelling fan experiences, collaborate with your team, and achieve high-speed workflows. Offering end-to-end solutions for sports production—asset management, post-production, AI-driven content archives. Find the clip you need for a highlight reel, improve remote post-production collaboration, and keep your video completely protected and stored for decades.
Explore solutions: quantum.com/catdv CREATE. INNOVATE. PROTECT. ON QUANTUM.
©2021 Quantum Corporation. All rights reserved.
SPONSORUPDATE >PARSEC CLOUD
e grew up in front of tiny CRT TVs, 640×480 computer monitors, and LCD screens with no backlight — and loved every minute of it. Eventually you come to realize it isn’t the games themselves, but the people you’re with that make these memories so magical. The world loses far too many of these awesome memories because of problems of time and distance — let’s fix that, shall we? Parsec is dedicated to those who want to keep laughing — to those who don’t really mean it when they say “this is my last game” — to those who want to make new friends who love what they love — and especially, to the indie game devs who fight so hard to keep their dreams alive.
sed by the leading sports clubs in the world, Pixellot pioneered the concept of automated sports production and has been leading the market in automated production and broadcasting for professional and semi-professional sporting events. Although COVID-19 put sports into a deep-freeze, thanks to fan restrictions at events, Pixellot saw a surge in demand. With 50 new installations daily at schools and universities, we are already deployed at 15,000 venues. We started 2021 off cracking the million milestone of total live games broadcast! We now produce over 70,000 games monthly as well as 150 leagues and tournaments in 55 countries. Pixellot recently introduced YOU — production software for the youth market that delivers high-quality video, highlights for fans, athletes, and families, as well as analytics for coaches. It uses a wide-angle action cam or Pixellot’s newly launched Air camera — an affordable, portable camera for high-quality capture of games and practices.
RG is the world’s leading provider of sports and event production solutions with a diverse resume featuring major live and broadcast sporting events worldwide, including the Super Bowl, Olympics, and World Cup. Clients and partners depend on PRG’s innovation, knowledge, and depth of experience in broadcasting, audio, video, lighting, rigging, staging, scenery, virtual production, and automated systems. PRG offers the industry’s largest and most diverse inventory of rental production equipment including all major broadcast cameras, audio, media servers, remote production gear, rigging, edit facilities, operations trailers, LED walls, and more. For customized solutions, PRG’s resource-
ful team of experts create proprietary tools to move the industry forward like Emmy-winning Front Row Cam, UltraView 4K director’s finder, 35LIVE! multi-camera workflow, and Flex Solutions Trucks and production suites. When it comes to lighting, no one surpasses PRG and its array of sophisticated tech, including proprietary systems like the Engineering Emmy Award-winning GroundControl Followspot. For sporting events, awards, halftime shows, and tributes, PRG can deliver turnkey production through live upload. For the current landscape, the company offers drive-in solutions, extended reality workflows, and a network of Digital Studios across the U.S. and Europe, plus 65 offices throughout the globe, allowing the flexibility to execute anytime, anywhere. PRG regularly draws on talent, technology and local insight in support of a project. This network also results in significant advantages in cost, time and environmental impact by reducing the need to move people and gear.
rimestream is a leading provider of asset management and automation software for media production. The company’s award-winning Xchange media asset management (MAM) platform gives sports broadcasters global access to their content and workflows, empowering remote teams to manage all of their content regardless of where it’s stored. Primestream continues to push MAM innovation for sports broadcasting with Xchange. One example is the ability to ingest growing files, giving an assistant director or producer the ability to create a rough-cut edit in real time as a live feed is being recorded. During a sports broadcast, the user can put together a sequence of key plays or moments in a game that can be immediately played out to air or passed to an editor for further enhancement using integrated NLE tools. This allnew capability creates powerful new efficiencies and time savings for producers, directors, and editors alike.
rimeview is a privately held global manufacturing company that was launched in 1997 specializing in advanced display solutions, with a focus on the industrial market. Primeview manufactures on the most advanced ISOcertified production lines, maintaining high quality control standards to build products for the most demanding markets. Primeview offers a true “one-stop shop” for display solutions
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from touchscreens, video walls, and specialty. The company’s solutions can be found in board rooms, museums, casinos, retail stores, hotels, and properties around the globe.
fter nearly 20 years, ProductionHUB has grown beyond an alternative to production guides and the yellow pages into the largest global network of film and video professionals ready to bring your content to life. ProductionHUB has come a long way since their lean beginnings. No matter what you need for a production, they’ll help you find it with plenty of time before the cameras start rolling. Search their growing network of over 150,000 professionals, place a request for something specific, post a full-time job or let them do all the crewing for you. Beyond their crewing services, they keep you up to date with emerging trends in the industry with their blog and press from leading, innovative companies. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or looking to hire someone from the industry, ProductionHUB is your resource.
he leaders in live event labor management are rising to new heights with a peerless new program — Kingsbridge Shared Services. This powerful platform combines Program Productions, XLT Management Services, and ProCrewz to offer unrivaled service in labor management, payroll, human resources, innovative technologies, and more. As an elite concierge, Kingsbridge offers a complete package of solutions with top technicians and technology. The new enterprise combines comprehensive coverage and business acumen to bring clients the best in the business: Program Productions, North America’s leader in production labor management; XLT Management Services: the industry’s most advanced payroll, HR, and labor management services platform; and ProCrewz, the essential resource management platform — the digital evolution of event labor management, used by over 10,000 technicians daily. The promise of Kingsbridge is loyalty meets legacy. Where others see obstacles, they build bridges.
ince 1979, PSSI Global Services, along with Strategic Television, has specialized in the coordination, production, and distribution of domestic and international programming. As the world’s leading provider of mobile satellite transmission, production, and streaming ser-
vices, PSSI Global Services offers a full range of fixed, mobile, and international flyaway satellite systems that provide live video, audio, IP, and data services worldwide. The company currently owns and operates more than 70 Ku-band and C-band satellite uplink/production trucks — more than any other transmission services provider — based throughout North America, as well as the PSSI International Teleport and international and domestic C/Ku flyaway uplink systems.
o our customers in sports production and to those that are part of the Sports Video Group: We appreciate you and we can’t wait for the sporting world to return to normal. Thank you for persevering and finding new innovative ways to deliver the joy of sports to all of us fans out here. Perhaps more than any other year, 2020 pushed the boundaries of innovation in sports production, post-production and editing, and finding new ways to repurpose, create, and deliver content to your fans. Even as the pandemic subsides, these innovations have pushed the industry forward and will continue to transform our workflows, and how we connect with fans. Here at Quantum, we continue to transform as well. We are so excited that CatDV is now part of the Quantum portfolio, and we know that the combination of the leading asset management platform for sports production, and the most performant and reliable shared storage with StorNext, will be a winning combination. We have an aggressive roadmap planned for 2021, with advancements in AI-tagged ‘enriched’ content archives, support for hybrid and multi-cloud workflows, and new platforms to help you push the industry forward. Here’s to 2021! — The Quantum Team.
ew from Q5X — Axient Digital versions of all Q5X wireless audio transmitters. The NBA will be the first to introduce these new encrypted transmitters, with the Q5X Axient Digital CoachMic being worn by both coaches and referees. The CoachMic transmitter features a robust, integrated, rocker-style mute switch and easy-to-see LED mute indicator light. This allows users to simply and confidently mute the encrypted audio transmission for sensitive conversations. The PlayerMic, known for its flexible rubber packaging and thin profile, and the fully waterproof AquaMic with 16-hour battery life, are also available with the new encrypted, digital technology. Like Q5X’s analog products, the new family of Axient Digital transmitters are 100% remotely controlled utilizing the RCAS MicCommander. Analog and digital transmitters can share the same 2.4G RCAS control network
for ease of operation. Q5X is the market leader in safe, rugged bodypacks designed specifically for the rigors of professional sports.
>RCN BUSINESS SERVICES
CN provides advanced High-Speed Internet, Digital TV, and Phone services to residential customers as well as small, medium, and Enterprise businesses. By design, RCN’s wholly owned, scalable, fiber-rich network supports continuous product innovation and service enhancement for its customers. RCN’s success stems from its foresight in acquiring, maintaining, and growing its expansive fiber-rich network with an unwavering commitment to offering premium telecommunication services with the very best in value, all supported by 100% U.S. based customer service.
>REALITY CHECK SOLUTIONS
CS worked alongside all our clients throughout 2020 to face the challenges of a unique year side by side. We have helped clients migrate to both remote and cloud-based productions, and to adopt new platforms and workflows. We continue to build new partnerships and test the boundaries of what can be done in a variety of areas including AR, personalization, and viewer engagement. Whether it was the biggest esports events or the U.S. elections, RCS continued to deliver innovation at the very highest level. 2021 looks set to be another year of innovation and we look forward to working with both new and long-standing clients, as well as our new partners and collaborators. Thank you to our clients and to SVG for your ongoing work and support.
>RF WIRELESS SYSTEMS
ith a 30-year history providing wireless solutions to the Broadcast Industry, RF Wireless Systems remains a global leader in wireless broadcast services. Technology development in wearable camera and data systems, has seen the company initiate growth in new and exciting production avenues. RFW operates on the philosophy that working with partners to provide almost limitless storytelling tools and this continues to serve the Canadian RF company well. Clients range from mobile and facility vendors to networks to production groups and the company looks forward to the next 30 years of challenges and evolution. Camera systems, POV’s, audio, comms, and full turnkey integrations remain the focus and strengths of this business.
021 has started strong for Riedel Communications, with several major sports broadcast projects coming to fruition that had been a long time in the making. All over the world, sports productions are defying the crisis and — with
a wealth of ideas and creativity — are providing impulses for the “new normal” and beyond. Here, Riedel solutions often act as a catalyst, opening up new workflows and possibilities. On the intercom side, Riedel’s RSP-1216HL SmartPanel, the all-new 1RU model in the company’s acclaimed 1200 Series of intelligent intercom and control panels, empowers users with its intuitive UI and its software-defined architecture. With the upcoming control system-agnostic Control Panel App and Audio Monitoring App for the 1200 Series, the RSP-1216HL will unite powerful intercom, control, and audio monitoring functionality into a single keypanel while reducing costs and saving valuable rack or desk space. But there has also been a lot of action on the video side: Since welcoming the Embrionix team to the family early last year, Riedel has fully incorporated Embrionix’ products and solutions into their portfolio, greatly expanding the MediorNet family of video networking devices. Based on innovative ultra-dense SFP technologies, the processing modules MediorNet MuoN, FusioN, and VirtU round out the Riedel video portfolio with full IP solutions. And for those relying on SDI, Riedel launched MediorNet MicroN UHD, an app-based media distribution and processing device that adds more bandwidth, more I/O, higher resolutions and more processing power to the MediorNet platform.
obovision is at the forefront of innovative remote camera solutions. Their 30 years of experience allowed them to quickly pivot when the pandemic hit in order to meet their client’s production needs as sports productions returned. Over the past year, Robovision helped Fox Sports bring their NASCAR coverage safely back on the air during the worst part of the COVID pandemic, deliver exceptional race coverage for NBC through the fall, deployed multiple new PTZ cameras for CBS at The Masters, and covered both college and NFL football from a variety of camera positions. Robovision has recently completed development of an innovative camera/robotic control system that is expected to integrate with the at-home production workflow on CBS’s NCAA college basketball package. Robovision continues to provide safe, innovative remote camera solutions for sports/entertainment broadcasters. With the ongoing pandemic environment, Robovision is positioned for industry growth and is committed to excellence moving forward.
he Ross Unified Venue Control System has taken game-day productions to the next level while establishing more efficient workflows for operators. From massive LED video walls,
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SPONSORUPDATE field signage, and 360-degree fascia boards to concourse displays and lighting systems, the Unified Venue Control System ties these elements together to ensure a seamless and more immersive game-day experience for fans and spectators. Best of all, the system is completely customizable and can be tailored to specific operational needs through our DashBoard user interface. Earlier this year, Ross deployed a custom sports venue solution at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa Bay, FL, to deliver the invenue production for the “Big Game”. The Ross gear that powered the show included the flagship Acuity production switcher, XPression Studio 3D graphics render engine, XPression Tessera 3D graphics render engines (LED control), and the DashBoard control system to tie it all together. In addition, Ross added to this already impressive production mix by adding the XPression real-time augmented reality (AR) system to display scoring drive summaries and in-game player statistics. The Piero sports analysis tool also played an instrumental role in driving the show and impressed fans in attendance by delivering visually engaging and informative effects by using camera lens data to overlay tactical graphics on-screen. While professional football’s “Big Game” may be the crown jewel of stadium productions, Ross also provides end-to-end custom solutions for venues of all different sizes.
evelopment of RT Software’s sports graphic solutions continued at a pace during the lockdown of 2020 resulting in a major new release to their flagship Sports Telestration solution Tactic Pro. The most eye catching of the new features is “Player Detect”, which sees Artificial Intelligence with Machine Learning used to assist the production of sports analysis graphics. One of the most frequent requirements with sports analysis is to trail a player’s movement with a graphic such as a circle, trail, or name tag. Up to now, this has been a time-consuming process of manually adding keyframes, but with Player Detect, Tactic Pro automatically detects players in a video clip with one button push, and then continues to analyze each players movement throughout the clip of action. Users can then simply drag a graphic, or multiple graphics on to a player and press play. Other new features include virtual camera flybys where the action can be frozen and viewed from a different angle, player drag clean up and Tablet Control for presenter led studio shows. With new Tactic customers in 2020 such as Channel Nine Australia
and Digi Sport Slovakia Tactic Pro continues to lead the way in broadcast sports analysis.
>RTS INTERCOM SYSTEMS
TS is a leader in the design and manufacture of professional intercom solutions, with over 45 years of experience in the market. From the flagship Advanced Digital Audio Matrix (ADAM) systems used to coordinate major network broadcasts of the world’s largest events to the wide range of wired/wireless and IP/digital/analog solutions we offer for applications of any size, RTS is dedicated to innovating the future of global communications. Our customer focus and industry expertise is reinforced on a global scale as part of the Bosch Group. What makes #theRTSdifference? More compatible systems — with open public standards (e.g. OMNEO, Dante, AES67, AES70) AND more backwards-compatibility with legacy systems. More complete range of IP-based systems — from matrices to keypanels to beltpacks. More intelligent IP connections for plug and play setup — with automatic recognition of devices on the network. More scalable systems — with far higher port density possible per frame than competitors’ products.
ith clients that include every major network and sports league, Rush Media Company has a proven track record of producing, packaging, and innovating live television productions at every level. With 23 production vehicles currently in our fleet, Rush Media Company is uniquely positioned to provide you with the best production vehicle to fit your needs. All of our production vehicles are equipped with state-of-the-art equipment and world class engineers to ensure that your production is delivered with innovation and creativity.
afeSite is a data-driven COVID-19 screening and testing solution that combines onsite mobile laboratories with lab-based RT-PCR and rapid-response, repetitive testing to ensure a location is as free from COVID-19 as currently possible. SafeSite’s comprehensive protocol accurately and quickly tests a workforce, location, event, school, or team daily and immediately prior to entering a location. Combined with a smartphone app, SafeSite PASS, we manage all test results, reporting, tracking, and tracing to ensure only individuals that are COVID-19 free can enter a location.
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erformance, reliability, and outstanding sonic quality characterize Sanken Microphones for professionals in broadcast, film, live, and video applications. The COS-11D ultra-miniature lavalier mics with their legendary vertical capsule design are an industry staple. Introducing the new CMS-M50, an M-S version of the popular CS-M1 short super cardioid 4” mic, with the rejection of a shotgun and quality of a studio mic. Ten Sanken shotgun microphones offer a mic to meet every need: mono, stereo, and 5.0. Featuring superior off-axis rejection, they are the new industry standard for high-quality production work.
ounded in 1990 by industry professionals, SDTV began with a simple idea to bring an efficient and valuable product to the television industry. We have since designed, built, and operated mobile production units that have become the industry standard. We have the capacity to provide an instantaneous television or data feed to locations around the world. We are setting a new standard by offering cost-effective high definition television production solutions while using the most advanced broadcasting equipment to clients of all sizes. SDTV is committed to leading the industry in innovation to create the best possible productions for our clientele.
encore, the gateway to better video delivery, will celebrate 70 years in business in 2021. With new and innovative solutions in all aspects of video transmission, Sencore continues its tradition of being one of the most reliable, efficient, and affordable ways to transport contribution and distribution content. Over the past year, Sencore supported multiple sportsrelated projects, including the expansion of our VideoBridge monitoring solution into ESPN South America with the addition of new SMPTE 2110 products and launching protocol-agnostic gateways supporting SRT, ZiXi, RIST, HLS, and RTMP. Sencore’s encoding and decoding platforms continue to push the boundaries of innovation with support for almost all new compression standards. As an OEM, Sencore can pivot our production to bring new technologies like ATSC 3.0 to market quickly and effectively. And as always Sencore’s customer support services remain the best in the business.
ntroducing dearVR MONITOR from Sennheiser and Dear Reality. Produce multi-
channel and immersive audio accurately from anywhere. Over the past year, sports production has adapted to an ever-changing environment and having access to a proper mix room is no longer guaranteed. The dearVR MONITOR enables you to mix anywhere, anytime, and in any common speaker setup from stereo all the way to 9.1.6 using only a pair of headphones. Enabling the production and monitoring of content in immersive audio formats, like Dolby Atmos, without the need for a multichannel speaker system and in less-than-ideal environments, dearVR MONITOR is essential tool to have at hand. Choose from multiple reference virtual mix rooms with a simple and easy to use interface. It works everywhere you do with VSTs, AAX, and AUs versions. Start mixing right away by visiting the dearVR website to download.
hure has been making people sound extraordinary for nearly a century. Founded in 1925, the company is a leading global manufacturer of audio equipment known for quality, performance, and durability. We make microphones, wireless microphone systems, in-ear monitors, earphones and headphones, conferencing systems, and more. For critical listening, or highstakes moments on the field, in the studio, and from the press room, you can always rely on Shure.
igniant’s advanced transport technology has long been trusted by the media industry for mission-critical file transfer applications across the global supply chain. Our software provides fast, reliable, secure movement of large datasets via any IP network, with comprehensive control and visibility at any scale. These benefits are more important than ever in today’s hybrid cloud, multi-cloud world, where the Signiant Software-Defined Content Exchange (SDCX) SaaS platform plays a foundational role in the modern media technology stack. This unified means of accessing media assets located in diverse, distributed storage repositories has set the stage for innovations that extend beyond file transfer into other value-add interactions with the content. Demand is soaring for the SDCX SaaS platform, which underpins the interconnected global media ecosystem and enables content exchange within and between companies of all sizes — because media happens everywhere.
>SILVER SPOON ANIMATION
ilver Spoon is a leading provider of realtime animation and virtual production for all screens, from broadcast to emerging social media formats. With roots in premium perfor-
mance capture, we work nimbly across industries, from advertising and gaming to film and TV. At our 12,000 sq. foot facility in Brooklyn, NY, we are constantly innovating, and expanding the boundaries of what can be made in real time.
kycam is a leading designer, manufacturer, and operator of mobile aerial camera systems. Skycam plays a significant role in changing the way sports are broadcasted in America, appearing at marquee broadcast events such as Super Bowl XXXVII, US Tennis Open, NCAA Final Four, NFL Pro Bowl, Monday Night Football, Sunday Night Football, and NCAA College Football.
martCart SVX is a mobile interactive touchscreen system designed for live sports productions. With a screen as bright as the latest stadium screens in full daylight, it provides an enhanced presence at an event and adds a new dimension to sports broadcasts. “We are pleased to have been invited to play an important part in the revitalization of CBS Sports’ coverage of the PGA Tour for the 2021 season under the new and dynamic leadership of Coordinating Producer Sellers Shy,” says SmartCart Technologies Founder, Gil Cowie. The SmartCart SVX can also be implemented efficiently by a crew that is running an at-home/remote production. For onsite talent, the concept ensures both the reporter and player can still practice safe social distancing. “It’s an ideal presentation tool for any on-site, mobile, and associated remote/at home production being undertaken during the ‘new normal’ in sports broadcasting – answering the requirement for COVID-compliance.”
MT’s Virtual Fans and Brands (V-FAB) solution infuses broadcasts with the high energy of virtual fans in the stands, while empowering sponsors and advertisers with in-game virtual messaging that can be targeted for specific regions. Since pioneering the Emmy-winning virtual systems for football (1st & Ten) and baseball (K-Zone), SMT’s expanded virtual technology now includes virtual audiences as well as advertising and sponsorship insertions, all in real-time on live TV. Since 2003, SMT has offered clients the opportunity to sell ad space in uniquely flexible spaces, such as fields of play, tennis courts, backboards behind batters, hockey rink glass and ice, LED ribbon boards, buildings, virtual billboards and sets, and more. Clients past and present take full advantage of V-FAB with in-stadium sponsorship logos on virtual billboards in the batter’s eye, on-field
sponsor logos in center fields, and on-ice advertising in the rink, and cheering crowds instadium.
>SONY ELECTRONICS INC.
ony offers the most comprehensive suite of tools and technologies to power your creativity. With advances in Imaging and HDR workflows, Sony can enhance the richness of content with an expanding range of HDR tools. Connecting, collaborating, storing, and distributing is easy with Sony’s cloud workflows. Revolutionizing interconnectivity with its multi-layer IP platform, Sony is enabling efficient orchestration, management, and monitoring of production and network resources. And, Sony is able to achieve new possibilities with AI and data analytics. With ST2110 now fully integrated into its products, Sony is broadening IP effectiveness with Control and Orchestration software for facilities and enterprises. Its Live Element Orchestrator gives broadcasters and content creators the ability to manage and control devices within a facility or across multiple locations. With the acquisition of Nevion, a leading provider of virtualized media production solutions, Sony is able to improve the efficiency and resource sharing of its fully harmonized workflow management and monitoring system. Sony’s IP Live solutions have been adopted by more than 120 customers worldwide. Sony recently launched an IP transmission system for the ubiquitous HDC-2000 and HDC-3000 series. The HDCETX30 IP Adaptor allows Sony’s vast majority of sports production cameras to easily interface into an ST2110 network, allowing greater workflow stability and resource sharing. When combined with the HDC-3500 Global Shutter system camera, the HDCE-TX30 system allows the transmission of pristine 1080P images and will soon support up to 4x HD Super Motion and 4K UHD, enabling both IP HFR and IP 4K remote solutions.
>SOS GLOBAL EXPRESS
020 — a year unlike any in recent memory — started off strong with the SOS team working on its 30th Super Bowl, WTA Tour, Wallenda’s Volcano wire walk (Nicaragua), and WRC. However, nearly everything grinded to a halt just before NCAA March Madness. Despite sports remaining largely postponed or cancelled, there were glimmers of hope in the industry that SOS was thankful to be involved with, from white glove remote broadcast package delivery to on air talents’ homes to UFC Abu Dhabi and Red Bull de los Gallos in the Dominican Republic. In 2021, we continue our commitment to support events across the globe with best-in-class services as we finalize our multi-year plans to support the Tokyo and Beijing Olympic Games,
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SPONSORUPDATE and prepare for Qatar World Cup, WTA, WRC, UFC, and many other premier sporting events. Formed in 1986, SOS Global Express now employs more than 130 logistic specialists worldwide, focused on TV Production, Sports, Music Touring, and Major Live Events, delivering turnkey solutions and operational support 24/7/365.
software, a cost-effective storage management tool that brings visibility and analytics to content for intelligent tiering of data. Designed to scale according to changing business needs with wide-ranging workflows, StorCycle reduces operational expenditures and increases efficiencies in today’s dynamic environments.
OUTHWORKS is a global software development company that builds solutions to accelerate value for organizations and people. Operating at the intersection of new technology and industry to create competitive advantage for sports organizations and better fan experiences, SOUTHWORKS works with some of the biggest names in sports and broadcasting on cloud video engineering, cognitive transformation, big data, machine learning, and application modernization projects. SOUTHWORKS developers, engineers, and architects build cloud-native delivery platforms that bring your organization to its audience; deliver seamless fan experiences at scale and at speed, reliably; and help sports organizations employ data management tools, AI, and machine learning to construct and stream data pipelines, deliver analytics, and surface insight.
parx Technology is the leader in Participation TV; a real-time platform that engages viewers and connects them with the content on the television screen. Using their second screen devices, viewers are able to interact directly with the main broadcast, commenting on the TV story and at times influencing the outcome. The Sparx Studio platform provides a perfect opportunity for brands to connect directly with the consumer through sponsorship integration on both the main broadcast and second screen.
odernize your video workflows with the BlackPearl NAS and Object Storage Platform from Spectra Logic. The cost-effective BlackPearl platform allows organizations to seamlessly stage most recent and relevant content on multiple tiers of storage, including disk for quick access to content, and tape or cloud for the ultimate in protection and DR. The solution scales effortlessly to accommodate small sports production sites up to the largest sports networks, teams, leagues and universities. To harness the full value of content, Spectra’s complete suite of storage solutions delivers a modern approach to media storage, including its latest offering, StorCycle Storage Lifecycle Management
portzcast is an international leader in the development of real-time scoreboard data integrations. Their proprietary technology allows for the standardization and distribution of real-time game data from venue scoreboard systems around the world. Over the past decade, their engineers have provided real-time data from all types of sporting events including basketball, football, baseball, softball, swimming, soccer, and more. In 2020, Sportzcast technology surpassed 6,000 venue installations worldwide, enabling safe production workflows for clients at all levels of competition, including members of the NBA, FIBA, NCAA, NIAAA, NFHS and U.S. Olympic Sports organizations. Originating from the official venue scoring system, Sportzcast real-time data feeds are the fastest and most accurate event data in the industry. Sportzcast partners with leading technology companies to enable workflow enhancements into numerous professional applications such as broadcast graphics, replay systems, postproduction editing suites, coaches’ tools, and web applications.
>ST ENGINEERING IDIRECT
T Engineering iDirect is a global leader in IP-based satellite communications, providing technology and solutions that enable our partners to deploy advanced satellite services that profitably expand their businesses.
tats Perform is the market leader in SportsTech, providing the most trusted sports data and the latest advancements in applying AI and machine learning to deliver better predictions for teams, sportsbooks and a more engaging broadcast, media, and fan experience.The company collects the most detailed sports data to create new experiences across sports. Leveraging the richest sports database, Stats Perform enhances sports competition and entertainment through machine learning and computer vision to create advanced predictions and analysis — be that for digital and broadcast media with differentiated storytelling, tech companies with reliable and fast data to power their innovations, sportsbooks with in-play betting and integrity
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services, or teams with first-of-its-kind AI analysis software.
ounded in 2016, Streaming Global has invented and patented a reimagined media delivery pipeline to address the three major pain points of the industry: high cost of delivery, long glass-to-glass latency, and lack of reliability scale. Streaming Global’s MDRN (Media Delivery Right Now) technology is ideal for 24/7 OTT channels, linear media transport, and live events with single and multi-stream content. SG MDRN turns any simple cloud storage server into an ultra-fast live streaming server. This enables live, linear, OTT, social and VOD streaming with global scalability over existing cloud providers (Microsoft Azure, Amazon AWS, Oracle Cloud, etc.) and private/custom clouds.
treann Media is the most innovative and interactive OTT streaming platform in the world. With Streann, content providers and broadcasters can build the next Netflix or Spotify, with more than 100 proprietary features for distribution, engagement, gamification, and market-first monetization technologies. Established in 2014 in Miami, FL, the company has earned several industry awards thanks to its user-friendly, all-in-one solution, and has been deployed in 141 countries. We have built reliable streaming platforms for major sports events such as the 2018 FIFA World Cup and 2019 Copa America.
>STUDIO NETWORK SOLUTIONS (SNS)
NS is a leading media technology company committed to helping video production teams around the world transform the way they store, share, and organize media. By combining scalable, high-performance shared media storage hardware with powerful software and workflow tools for teams working on-premise and remotely with Adobe Premiere Pro, Final Cut Pro X, DaVinci Resolve, Avid Media Composer, and other creative applications, SNS empowers postproduction, broadcast, and VFX teams in over 70 countries to create amazing content, faster. SNS recently launched new remote workflow solutions for the creative community including Nomad — the remote editing utility included with EVO shared storage servers — and SNS Cloud VPN. SNS Cloud VPN is the safe, secure, and convenient virtual private network service built exclusively for EVO. With EVO, SNS Cloud
VPN, and Nomad, remote production teams can stay connected to their media and workflow tools at all times from any location.
n a challenging but equally positive year for Supponor, a key highlight includes our continued growth in the use of Supponor’s virtual advertising technology in European football. Through our extended partnerships in LaLiga with Mediapro, our virtual LED and virtual cam carpet technology has been deployed covering matches involving primarily FC Barcelona, Real Madrid and Atletico de Madrid, as well as in the Bundesliga alongside Sportfive, deploying regularly at matches including the two leading clubs, BVB Borussia Dortmund and FC Bayern München. We have also seen growth outside of Europe, with further developments in our associations in the U.S. and Canada with the NHL and NBA, and new opportunities being delivered across South America and Australia/New Zealand. The hiatus in live sports, caused by the global pandemic, has also allowed us to focus on our internal innovation roadmap, and we have made significant progress in product research and technology development.
ith live sports ramping up this year to resemble more of a pre-pandemic “normal,” service providers must look to seize the video data opportunity to optimize subscriber acquisition and retention. With increased market competition and demand for content, traditional approaches to video analytics are no longer enough to transform data into meaningful, actionable insights that can help get subscribers to stick around. That’s why Synamedia launched Clarissa, an industry-first business insights solution that takes a holistic view of pay TV and OTT businesses to enable informed and impactful business decisions. Clarissa brings together siloed data sets from varying sources for a universal view across viewing quality, user experience, content consumption, and advertising insights. Armed with these insights, service providers will have the resources to knock it out of the park when it comes to delivering the high-quality viewing experiences that sports fans expect.
AG Video Systems has integrated support for Sony’s Hawk-Eye high-performance cameras used in the Hawk-Eye sports visionprocessing technologies platform into its IPbased MCM-9000 Multiviewer. The solution, relied upon by sports broadcasters world-wide, provides the tracking and analytic tools required for ball tracking, watching goal lines, line calling, and point detection. Hawk-Eye
provides officiating, production, video management, broadcast, and digital solutions that make games fairer, safer, and more engaging for the viewer. Until now it was not possible for sports broadcasters to directly integrate visualization and monitoring of Hawk-Eye camera output streams — which are not a typical 4K source — on an all-software IP Multiviewer. TAG’s integrated Hawk-Eye support provides full visualization of the content along with all other sources for display on the Multiviewer mosaic output, which combined with TAG’s integrated probing and monitoring ensure signal quality, health, and integrity prior to feeding the HawkEye vision processing system.
ata Communications is a digital ecosystem enabler that powers today’s fast-growing digital economy. We enable the digital transformation of enterprises globally, including 300 of the Fortune 500. We carry around 30% of the world’s internet routes and connect businesses to 60% of the world’s cloud giants. We have been a part of the rich heritage of the internet in India. Over the last 25 years, enterprise-enabled services have been essential to the adoption of digital services in the country. Connectivity is an essential fabric of sustenance for the economy. We are committed to enabling industry leaders in this New World of Communications, with our unique promise of delivering secure connected digital experiences.
ill 2021 rise from the ashes of 2020? At Tedial, we think so. Here’s why. During 2020, remote technologies emerged so fast they gave us whiplash. We innovated and pivoted quickly to implement these solutions, including cloud and AI, while looking towards 2021. Remote production threw broadcasters a lifeline during lockdowns with the creative use of cloud services. All Tedial solutions are cloud-compliant for remote operations, including: EVOLUTION MAM; HYPER IMF enhanced content delivery, and SMARTLIVE automated live sports production tool. Tedial knocked it out of the box, however, with our award-winning Hybrid Cloud architecture that combines the security of private cloud with the scalability of public cloud. Web-based user interfaces can be used anywhere, anytime giving customers access to Tedial’s platform remotely whether it’s an onprem, hybrid, or full cloud solution. Additionally, our aSTORM content management solution provides increased access to archived content by integrating multiple storage tiers and locations for easy access and utilization allowing channel output continuity in the absence of ‘live’ events. SMARTLIVE’s new remote-ready features and
functionalities target and win fans with better storytelling, preparing broadcasters for their strong return to live programming. At Tedial, we’re continuously innovating.
ounded in 1973, Telemetrics revolutionized television camera control with the development of Triax control systems and continues to be a pioneer of innovative robotics and camera control systems used in the Studio, Legislative, Military, and Education markets. The company began designing, manufacturing, and supporting its own camera robotics systems in 1979, and ceiling and floor camera track systems in 1981. Today, Telemetrics offers the OmniGlide Robotic Roving Platform, the ever-expanding series of Robotic Camera Control Panels, the S5 line of Pan/Tilt heads, the Televator family of motorized columns, and ceiling- or floormounted TeleGlide track systems.
elestream features solutions to analyze, capture, produce, automate, stream, and monitor live sports video cost-effectively. Broadcasting sporting events with the right tools can help increase efficiency while reaching new audiences. Telestream customers include the world’s leading media and entertainment companies, service providers, cable companies, telcos, ad agencies, corporations, healthcare providers, government, and educational facilities, as well as video prosumers and consumers. For over 20 years, Telestream has been at the forefront of innovation in the digital video industry. The company develops products for media processing and workflow orchestration; live capture, streaming, production, and video quality assurance; and video and audio test solutions that make it possible to reliably get video content to any audience regardless of how it is created, distributed, or viewed. Telestream solutions are available on premises or in the cloud as well as in hybrid combinations. Telestream is privately held with corporate headquarters located in Nevada City, CA, and Westwood, MA.
elos Alliance is a global leader in audio, trusted by the biggest names in the media landscape. Telos Alliance’s focus is to deliver innovative, intuitive solutions that inspire the creation of the most exciting and engaging audio experiences imaginable. No audio challenge is too big; no technology is beyond reach; no solution, large or small, is unobtainable. The Telos Alliance portfolio of brands includes Axia Audio, Linear Acoustic, Minnetonka Audio, Omnia Audio, Telos Alliance, Telos Infinity, Telos Systems, and 25-Seven Systems. Headquartered in Cleveland, OH, with additional offices and dealers around the world, the Telos Alliance supports the diverse needs of
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SPONSORUPDATE audio professionals around the world with bestin-class support 24/7.
elstra and its Telstra Broadcast Services division ensure media and broadcast companies thrive on trusted media networks. In response to recent disruptive industry shifts, we’ve focused on enhancing our internet delivery capabilities, advancing existing infrastructure and becoming industry change-makers. We recently launched the Telstra Internet Delivery Network, which has enabled us to transport private content safely and securely over public IP networks, and increases our ability to meet the needs of rights holders for major sporting events using a variety of distribution methods, including fiber, satellite, cellular, and Internet networks. Beyond Internet delivery, we’ve deployed new media and broadcast infrastructure in India and China, and increased media network services across remote production, live sports, and esports. This is all supported by our existing international infrastructure and broadcast operations as well as our dedicated team of security specialists for broadcast security and our commitment to broadcast sustainability.
eradek designs and manufactures high performance video solutions for broadcast, cinema, and general imaging applications. From wireless monitoring, color correction, and lens control, to live streaming, SaaS solutions, and IP video distribution, Teradek technology is used around the world by professionals and amateurs alike to capture and share compelling content
he Switch has enhanced its cloud-based live production and delivery platform, MIMiC, giving its sports customers global access to a more comprehensive suite of services. The MIMiC platform has been extended to include cloud-based transmission and bonded cellular capabilities — on top of the cloud production offering it rolled out in 2020. MIMiC’s cloud transmission service offers global IP delivery, enabling sports broadcasters, streaming services, and other rightsholders to take video feeds from anywhere in the world and simultaneously deliver them to multiple — up to hundreds — of destinations primarily using the internet and, where available, The Switch’s private network. MIMiC enables cost-effective, high-quality transmission in excess of 20mbps, which can enable HD and UHD broadcasts. For events in
remote locations with limited internet access, The Switch can support cloud-based transmission with bonded cellular services for either the primary feed or as a back-up — leveraging 5G where possible. MIMiC’s newest services bolster its existing end-to-end, cloud-based production-as-a-service offering, which covers remote IP-video contribution through to distribution. It handles all aspects of the production workflow in the cloud, from clipping tools, editing, and graphics creation to comms and talk-back, giving producers of sports content the choice to use their own production crew or The Switch’s experienced operators.
>THE VIDEO CALL CENTER
he VCC makes it possible to leverage billions of internet-connected devices to extend reach, lower costs, and facilitate locationagnostic workflows for live production. NFL Network, Turner, Discovery/TLC, Fox Sports, FS1, MLB, MSG, NBA, WWE, and others use VCC’s efficient, high-quality, live, IP video connections to add depth and variety to shows. VCC’s two-way remotes are a flexible, green option for securing interviews from anywhere in the world. VCC’s expert production staff and patented technologies ensure long duration, stable, lag-free connections that encourage natural conversation between hosts and guests, without the need for onsite crews, centralized studios, or control rooms. Instant return video lets remote guests view hosts live on their devices. Participants only need a device with standard mobile data or WiFi connections to appear on camera and never have to download specialty software. VCC’s new CrowdView virtual audience system provides flexible live studio fan interaction to any show.
HUMBWAR co-founders David Vottero and Brian Carr met at Emerson College, where they collaborated often, putting their technical and creative skills to synergistic use. When they moved to Los Angeles and found success as problem-solving freelancers, they quickly decided their clients would be better served by an alliance between their skillsets. Brian is a multitalented engineer and technical problem solver, coming from systems design and project management with a background as a broadcast technician; David is a visionary creative director and producer with a background in broadcast television. Together, they created THUMBWAR — a meeting of the technical and creative minds.
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SL’s audio, power, and control solutions can be found in many sports broadcast trucks across the globe. At one of the most watched live events of the year, Super Bowl LV, NEP’s Supershooter 9 deployed TSL’s MPA1-MIX-MADI-V units. NEP is a worldwide user of TSL and several of its trucks are equipped with TSL’s PAM2-IP units, which are useful tools when working with audio in an IP infrastructure. The MPA1 monitors can also be controlled via SNMP with TSL’s control systems to push source names to the units, or to control the MPA1 via a salvo to ensure users are assigned the correct audio sources relating to their production. NEP Singapore also uses TSL’s MDUs and MPA1 audio monitoring units with TallyMan control for use in their fly packs, and have been deployed for live productions, including UFC ‘Fight Island’ 2020 in Abu Dhabi and Cricket in the UAE 2020.
he Kalis Games are a licensed CrossFit competition event that is held annually in the Philippines. In 2020, COVID-19 posed a huge challenge for the Kalis Games organizers. Due to travel restrictions and other risks, the organizers were unable to bring athletes from all across the world to Manila. They had to find a way to remotely capture and broadcast the athletes from their respective locations so that they could be seen by organizers, judges, volunteers, and audience alike. Using TVU Partyline and TVU Transceivers, the organizers were able to capture and remote broadcast 90 athletes from 17 countries and 30 gym locations with low latency transmission and without the need for extensive hardware or software. Cloud-based TVU Partyline allowed onsite judges to interact and collaborate virtually in real-time using broadcast quality video while monitoring each remote athlete. Up to 10 athletes were simultaneously displayed in a gallery view in each round of competition with the athletes using their mobile phones for live video capture from their location. The video was then produced and streamed live directly to social media channels.
niqFEED develops software-only virtual advertising solutions which help sports rights holders to maximize sponsorship and advertising revenue, by creating targeted advertising for different regions. uniqFEED’s proprietary software — AdApt — allows tailored advertising content to be virtually inserted into each
localized broadcast feed, creating new revenue opportunities from local markets. While 2020 was undoubtedly a difficult year for the sports industry, particularly with the disruption to live sports events, uniqFEED’s successful B-series round has allowed the company to hire a worldclass team of scientists and software engineers to focus on product development. The company also hired a strong operations/broadcast team and used leading industry consultants to help develop a revised customer-centric strategy for the business. Our core sports focus is now Football, Baseball, and Basketball. We have a new Baseball product ready for market — with remote production as a key asset — following rigorous testing over the last 12 months.
inception, the organization has continued to deliver live production and creative technology support to its long-standing partners, Florida Citrus Sports and the Orlando City Soccer (MLS) club. Over the past year, Venue Edge has witnessed incremental growth by partnering with intercollegiate conferences, such as the Mountain West Conference (MWC) and Big West Conference (BW). The Venue Edge team assisted the (MWC) in re-designing its in-venue game presentation during the 2020 men’s and women’s basketball championships and will do so again in 2021. Finally, Venue Edge is proud to announce its recent partnership with Global Polo TV as it develops new content and coverage of the U.S. Polo Association for its revamped OTT platform.
nreal Engine is the world’s most open and advanced real-time 3D creation tool. Creators across games, film, television, architecture, automotive and transportation, advertising, live events, and training and simulation choose Unreal Engine to deliver cutting-edge content, interactive experiences, and immersive virtual worlds. Proven over countless hours of live production, Unreal Engine has all the tools needed to create jaw-dropping live broadcasts and events out of the box. Recent examples, like the use of in-game augmented reality graphics at Super Bowl LV, demonstrate how Unreal Engine is being used to create bestin-class visuals at top speed with the utmost stability required for live production in sports.
>VARIANT SYSTEMS GROUP
his year, Envivo Replay has entered its second version phase introducing faster navigation of elements and bins, native HEVC 4:4:4 and a larger range of 1080p record formats, Ross Talk and VDCP control integration, and the new Wedge controller that allows the system to be in a remote-operator location. Envivo Studio developments have landed systems in pro and college sports production centers making them a critical part of “one-man-band” workflows. Also, new this spring is the launch of Envivo Review, a superior VAR system for all sports and horse racing Stewards. A variant of Review puts the tool in the hands of coaches, offering them with a more productive workflow to get video review of play action from the practice court to the classroom and online. Variant Systems continues to increased their footprint in the U.S., Japan, Europe, the Middle East, and South America.
enue Edge continues to support collegiate and professional sports organizations by aligning innovative content, activations, and new technology together to form an improved fan experience, whether in or out of the venue. Since its
rusted by premier sports organizations, Veritone turns media into intelligent content that can easily be searched by faces, names, logos, and more. Content is an asset — an asset with vast potential for commoditization and revenue generation. Veritone helps content owners, like you, capture untapped revenue by providing powerful automation, curation, and activation tools designed to monetize media including videos, audio, images, and documents. Manage your media intelligently — search, organize and share assets leveraging AI-generated metadata — all in a centralized location. Enhance sponsor and press activation — leverage powerful search tools to uncover content for your sponsors and provide members of the press with controlled access to content. Provide an onsite event experience, remotely — eliminate the need for trucks, tapes, and storage to live sporting events. Ingest, index, transcode, store, manage, and distribute broadcast quality video with global stakeholders. Activate your content — turn historical archives and live moments into actionable content for creative and marketing teams to drive engagement and maximize revenue. License valuable content — rightsholders can allow audiences to purchase media. Additionally, rightsholders may leverage Veritone Licensing to manage the process on their behalf.
>VERIZON BUSINESS GROUP
egardless of your business’s size, you’re always on the lookout for the right partners. Our industry insight, information, products, and solutions help improve your business outcomes, so you can grow and thrive.
he Verizon Media Platform is the simplest way to prepare, deliver, display, and monetize your content. We give you all the benefits of the cloud in a pre-built solution optimized for live sporting event delivery. As live stream-
ing experts, rest assured that we provide you with the best technology and engineers available to keep your live sporting events looking great with the personalization features you need to delight and engage your growing audiences for years to come. The platform is built on the world’s largest, most connected delivery network, ensuring high-quality, instant-on viewing of digital content on every device, every time, everywhere. More than 10,000 of the world’s largest broadcasters and enterprises count on us to deliver seamless digital content for today’s demanding online viewers.
ideon develops products for audio/video applications in the Global AV, Aviation, and Automotive industries. With over 30 million devices using its streaming media, DVD, and Blu-ray technology, Videon is a partner to the world’s leading technology companies and AV product developers. Our holistic approach supports customers at any stage in product development, offering expertise during ideation, design, development, manufacturing, certification, and support. All of these are done in-house, simplifying and streamlining the process.
>VIDISPINE – AN ARVATO SYSTEMS BRAND
s an internationally active IT specialist, Arvato Systems supports companies in digital transformation. About 3,000 employees at over 25 locations worldwide stand for a high level of technical understanding, industry know-how, and a clear focus on customer needs. As a team, we develop innovative IT solutions, bring our customers into the cloud, integrate digital processes and take over the operation and support of IT systems. Vidispine is a brand of the Arvato Systems Group. The Vidispine portfolio enables companies working with media to focus on their core business by providing easy access to technology that supports their business needs. Our platform enables customers to get the maximum value from their assets, rights, media inventory, and market. In addition, we are able to map entire value-added chains in the network of Arvato, a member of the Bertelsmann Group. We shape our business relationships personally and in partnership with our customers.
idOvation gives the sports production community relief from signal loss and latency in their live television transmission, contribution, and distribution while satisfying almost any application or budget. Golf, fishing, soccer, and other live sports and network Reality TV productions benefit from our At-Home Remote Production (REMI) solutions using
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SPONSORUPDATE unmanaged networks (cellular and the public Internet) and extremely low latency configurations over managed networks. The sports industry utilizes our at-home remote production solutions to maintain frame-accurate video genlock and seamless lip-sync across unlimited number of handheld mobile and ENG cameras. Many sports production facilities use our IPTV and digital signage systems to distribute live television, cable TV, DirecTV, satellite, studio feeds, stage feeds, and digital signage over their corporate networks to endpoints including smart TVs, set-top boxes, computer desktops, mobile devices, and tablets. Many media companies are taking advantage of our enterprise IPTV system with Veramatrix encryption and digital rights management.
>VIMOND MEDIA SOLUTIONS
imond VIA is a cloud-based, flexible, modular, and scalable Streaming and Content Management Platform that grows with your needs, to serve your OTT audiences wherever they are. From media ingestion through asset management, content curation, and distribution direct to audiences, Vimond VIA ensures great viewer experiences and efficient workflows for your users and editorial teams at a global scale. Vimond VIA scales automatically to accommodate peak viewing volumes, keeping infrastructure costs efficient. VENN is a new kind of TV network for the streaming generation, aimed at gaming, pop culture, and esports audiences. VENN or Video Gaming Entertainment & News is a 24/7 service beta that launched in August of 2020. VENN and Vimond are collaborating to deliver a new streaming service for gaming, esports, and pop culture entertainment. Vimond is providing the Video Content Management Service solution using our VIA 2.0 platform.
t Vislink, our mission is to ensure our customers capture and deliver unique and compelling live video content and secure a competitive edge. #AttheHeartoftheActionVislink Technologies brands are recognized as the global leaders in the design, manufacture, and deployment of end-to-end live video communications solutions. In the broadcast, sports, and entertainment sectors, IMT and Vislink provide high-definition communication links to reliably capture, transmit and manage live event footage.
s the world and, more specifically, the media industry continues to navigate the chal-
lenges of COVID-19 and faces the realities these unprecedented times present, it is more apparent than ever that innovative solutions for producing and distributing content are needed to keep people safe and ensure that the show goes on. VISTA’s centralized broadcast facility continues to prove that a strong foundation in innovative workflows allow VISTA’s customers to safely execute their broadcast goals, delivering events day-in and day-out while adhering to strict medical protocols at the venue and back at the VISTA Facility. This year, VISTA welcomed both Major League Soccer and the National Women’s Soccer League to the VISTA facility to produce both league’s drafts. These were sophisticated and innovative broadcasts that combined centralized broadcast elements, virtual cloud base technology and a mixture of prosumer equipment to deliver a far reaching, immersive, and exciting show for both leagues.
ITAC supports sports leagues, broadcasters, TV networks, OTT providers, stadiums, and arenas with reliable, high-quality captions for live and recorded sporting events. The company captions more than 575,000 hours of programming per year, and employs the largest team of qualified, trained captioners in North America. VITAC specializes in accessibility and compliance, helping sports-video providers meet FCC and ADA requirements. It has provided captions for broadcasts of the Olympic Summer and Winter Games, the Super Bowl, the World Cup, and the NCAA Men’s Basketball tournament, just to name a few, as well as in-stadium captions for Major League Baseball’s “Ballpark” mobile app. VITAC also provides quick-turnaround captioning for live clips of sporting events, simultaneous encoder and IP connectivity for web and TV captioning, and dual-mode delivery of captions to ribbon boards and handheld devices in stadiums, arenas, and convention centers.
ITEC’s Enterprise Grade IPTV & Digital Signage Platform combines broadcast quality IPTV distribution with powerful Digital Signage capabilities into an all-in-one integrated solution. Designed to seamlessly integrate with any IT environment and run on all types of networks — LAN, WAN, and Wireless — EZ TV is the ideal solution for sports stadiums and arenas looking for a secure, scalable cost-effective way to distribute video and display signs using their existing IP
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network. The award-winning EZ TV platform offers the most advanced IPTV experience with live streaming, on-demand video, digital recording, mosaic player, time-shifted TV, and customizable look-and-feel. The EZ TV Digital Signage module uses hardware-based end points to deliver eyecatching digital content with dynamic data and full HD and 4K content — all managed from a centralized server. The platform includes a video wall module that will support any configuration of displays and enables exciting new opportunities for fan engagement.
izrt recently introduced Flexible Access — a simplified way for customers to access the world’s best software-defined story telling tools for sports content production. Flexible Access is friction-free, so it’s easy to get started with low upfront costs, swift ROI, and the ability to scale up, down, and across to meet rapidly changing production needs. Open up unlimited possibilities from live virtual sets and video walls, to 3D sports analysis with virtual views, real-time AR, and revenue-generating virtual graphics. Flexible Access plans are available in the following Vizrt Solution Suites: Vizrt Extended Reality (XR), Vizrt Production Control, Vizrt Media Workflow, Vizrt Newsroom, and Vizrt Channel Branding. NewTek, a Vizrt Group brand, has a new esports case study spotlighting The Gaming Company, an esports marketing agency in Malaysia. The Gaming Company operates a fully equipped in-house live production division called TGC Productions. Underlying this demanding video production is the NewTek TriCaster TC1 live multi-camera HD/3G/4K-SDI production system, interfaced with NDI, the innovative IPbased networking protocol. Together, TriCaster TC1 and NDI provide end-to-end, softwaredefined visual storytelling solutions for sports productions that unify high-end SDI-based video production with the IP-based gaming world.
he “Free Ligue 1 Uber Eats” app is just a few months old but is already an incredible success story. With more than 100,000 downloads, the app currently has an impressive 4.1/5-star rating on the Google Play store (after 2,000+ reviews) — and it just keeps on growing! The app, from the French telco and media disruptor Free, provides near-live ingame highlights from French Ligue 1 soccer,
game summaries, interviews, news and web stories. So what explains its success? Speed — key moments are pushed to fans in seconds. Coverage — up to 30 mins of clips (~10-20 secs each) posted per game. Personalization — fans can select the teams they’d like to receive clips from. Experience — clips are delivered in vertical multi-zones format for mobile-first viewing. We’re proud that Wildmoka StoryBot (clip automation) and Auto ReZone (automated video verticalization) play an integral part in Free’s end-to-end content production and delivery chain.
>WORLD WIDE TECHNOLOGY
WT is a future forward, global technology company uniquely positioned to solve complex problems for our customers to allow them to accelerate growth. Utilize our Advanced Technology Center, a collaborative ecosystem to design, build, educate, demonstrate, and deploy at scale innovative technology products and integrated architectural solutions for customers. Together we make a new world happen!
orldStage is a recognized leader in the events industry offering our clients and partners the most diverse and flexible technical production solutions for live events, broadcast support, and permanent installations. Over the last year, WorldStage added four LED production stages across the country designed for video shoots, broadcast productions and immersive xR projects, and also developed the proprietary virtual production platform ‘Digital Oasis’. Combined with our core capabilities in audio, video, LED, media servers, and lighting technologies to support the sports, broadcast, corporate, studio/installation, and theater markets, WorldStage continues to provide innovative solutions for projects with professional and collegiate sports, broadcasters and brands. With offices across the country in New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Nashville, WorldStage is The Ultimate Resource for Event Engineering, Technology, and Imagination.
>WOWZA MEDIA SYSTEMS
owza Media Systems is the recognized gold standard of streaming, with more than a
decade of experience working with 35,000+ organizations, in 170+ countries. By reducing the complexities of video and audio delivery to any device, Wowza enables organizations to expand their reach and more deeply engage their audiences, in industries ranging from education to sports broadcasting. Wowza was founded in 2007.
020 proved to be an extremely frustrating time for those involved in the world of sport, but luckily for sports fans, WSC Sports proved to be a shining light in a very bleak year. WSC Sports were able to help their clients keep the action going when there were no live sports being played through the creative use of archive content and innovative content offerings. The year also afforded WSC Sports the chance to develop its technology to support three new sports (Rugby, MMA, Racing) and release new product offerings and tools. Other highlights included signing over 40 new clients (including giants such as NASCAR and Tencent), and venturing into new markets India, China, Russia, Brazil, to name a few. In 2020, WSC Sports analyzed over 27,000 sporting events for its clients, creating 1.5m videos, which added all together makes over 38,000 hours of content!
We believe Versus is the ideal technology partner for Xcite,” said Sean Hopkins, Founder and CEO of Xcite Interactive. “Our robust relationships with teams, venues, leagues, and event promoters gives us access to a huge and growing audience of fans, and the Versus Systems technology will enable our event partners to significantly enhance the level of fan engagement.”
ytech continues to innovate its MediaPulse resource management system by announcing a new, fully featured graphical user interface for the Media Orchestrator. Seamlessly incorporated to the workflow software, the new graphical UI merges asset management, operations, and resource management, allowing game-changing media services companies to monitor the people, facilities, or equipment needed to complete a given task. The new
graphical UI takes the complication out of the workflow process by offering users an easily digestible and totally intuitive interface. Users can move an entire block of functionality instead of choosing from a menu item. A user can also grab a visual block, plot out the appropriate steps, and link it graphically through Visio. The new UI makes it easy to define, configure, and monitor any media service workflow while adjudicating any discrepancies. Users can also monitor and resolve problems in the workflows of other systems.
ixi’s Software-Defined Video Platform (SDVP) enables orchestration, monitoring ,and management of reliable broadcast-quality live video delivery over any IP network, any protocol, any cloud provider, and any edge device, making it easy and economical for media companies to source, manage, localize, and distribute live events and 24/7 live linear channels in broadcast QoS, securely and at scale. Zixi helps sports leagues and content owners virtualize their content contribution and delivery workflows with the SDVP. The SDVP provides a way for content owners to cost-efficiently deliver bouquets of different game feeds and camera angles to a wide variety of partners with the creation of dynamic targets in its ZEN Master control plane, which also provides stream data telemetry and insights. When it comes to mobile transmission from in-stadium and video return monitoring of live streams to ensure broadcastquality delivery, many content owners leverage Zixi’s OnAir and Zixi Player mobile apps to stream live from an iOS or Android device and transmit and view their live sports broadcasts from anywhere in the world. As a leader in distribution over any IP network, Zixi is currently in a production pilot delivering 4K live broadcast feeds over Verizon 5G networks using AWS Wavelength Zones, enabling low latency distribution of high-resolution live streams for the quality of experience that sports consumers demand. Zixi’s Intelligent Data Platform is using AI and machine learning toolsets to predict failures, provide alerts on anomalies and optimize broadcast live video workflows.
INTERESTED IN LEARNING MORE ABOUT WHAT YOU’VE READ? Find contact information for every SVG sponsor starting on page 133 and get in touch today!
SPORTSTECHJOURNAL / SPRING 2021 131
VIRTUALSERIES DON’T MISS SVG’S UPCOMING VIRTUAL EVENTS! April 21-22 SYSTEMS INTEGRATOR SUMMIT April 29 SPORTS OTT FORUM May 4 DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION WORKSHOP May 12-13 REMOTE PRODUCTION WORKFLOWS June 10 IP PRODUCTION FORUM June 22-24 SVG COLLEGE SUMMIT AND COLLEGE SPORTS MEDIA AWARDS July 15 RSN SUMMIT July 28-29 SPORTS CONTENT MANAGEMENT FORUM September TBD SPORTS BETTING SUMMIT October 8-9 SVG CHAIRMAN’S FORUM October 27 TRANSPORT November 16 ESPORTS PRODUCTION SUMMIT November 17 VENUE SUMMIT
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3G WIRELESS ADDER TECHNOLOGY
AE LIVE AERIAL VIDEO SYSTEMS
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AJA VIDEO SYSTEMS
ALL MOBILE VIDEO
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ARCTEK SATELLITE PRODUCTIONS
415 405 5320
Catherine A. Palaia
Kurt Van Scoy
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AMAGI AMAZON WEB SERVICES
ASG (ADVANCED SYSTEMS GROUP) AT&T
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BLACKMAGIC DESIGN BOON AI BOSE BRAINSTORM
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CAT ENTERTAINMENT SERVICES
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DALE PRO AUDIO
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DIVERSIFIED DMC BROADCAST GROUP DNA STUDIOS DOLBY
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HAIVISION HIGH ROCK MOBILE TELEVISION
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NEMAL ELECTRONICS NEP GROUP
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REALITY CHECK SYSTEMS RF WIRELESS
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ROBOVISION ROSS VIDEO
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WORLD WIDE TECHNOLOGY
WOWZA MEDIA SYSTEMS
SPORTSTECHJOURNAL / SPRING 2021
THE FINAL BUZZER
FINDING MENTAL HEALTH SUPPORT IN TIMES OF CRISIS By Ken Kerschbaumer Sports Video Group, Executive Director, Editorial The COVID-19 pandemic has transformed the world of sports production in numerous ways, and some of those changes will not only be long lasting, but most likely permanent. Decentralized productions where crew can work together across thousands of miles; COVID-19 protocols and habits that will remain with us for years; and, for many, a smaller frequent flyer mileage balance and hotel status that is many, many room nights short of qualification. It has also transformed SVG and our mission, especially when it comes to new initiatives. Our latest? Establishing a relationship with the world-renowned Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation to ensure you and your family have access to today’s most-trusted addiction and mental health care and resources. The past year has been an exceptionally dangerous one to those in our industry who battle addiction. And the increased stress of having no or much less work coupled with isolation, loneliness, and more has made mental health issues much more prevalent. Much of that despair comes not only from the problem and underlying condition itself, but also in the powerlessness of not knowing where to turn for help and support. The relationship with HBF changes that power dynamic. The health and wellness of SVG’s members and their families is priority number one. We realize the COVID-19 pandemic has created a tremendous amount of strain on the entire sports TV, video, and content creation industry, and many of our colleagues may be struggling. Hazelden Betty Ford’s programs and services integrate a patient-centered approach and evidence-based practices — delivered with the utmost respect and fierce compassion that make healing possible. The relationship with HBF is very much the result of the hard work of Sports Broadcasting Hall of Famer Geoff Mason. Geoff is also on the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation’s Board of Directors, and I want to give Geoff a big thank you (as well as HBF VP and Chief Development Officer Moira McGinley and VP of Business Development Bob Poznanovich) for helping to turn vision into reality. So, what does the relationship mean to you and your organization? Most importantly, there is a dedicated phone line for SVG members and sponsors who want to reach out for help. Dialing 1-855-348-7018 (if dialing from a foreign country, simply dial 00-855-348-7018) will get you and loved ones in touch with an HBF professional who understands the unique needs of sports-production professionals and can discuss a wide variety of options. You can also reach out to Hazelden Betty Ford through this direct email: Hope@HazeldenBettyFord.org. Treatment options include inpatient, outpatient, mental health services, telehealth, sober living, and specialized programming for teens and young adults, those struggling with opioid use disorders, women, and professionals. In addition, there are programs designed for your children and families, offered virtually from the comfort of their homes. One of the first steps the team at Hazelden Betty Ford will take is to evaluate your insurance plan, as most insurance plans will help cover the costs involved with various treatment options. The SVG/HBF relationship is also designed to give your entire organization greater access to recovery and mental health support. Given that HBF works with a number of private health insurance companies to offer coverage of care, there is a good opportunity that everyone at your company can find a respected and trusted source for addiction and mental health support. Times of crisis are often a time of transformation and renewal. No one wants to go through another global pandemic or crisis, but it’s nice to know we don’t have to go through it alone. <
SPORTSTECHJOURNAL / SPRING 2021
PUBLISHED BY SPORTS VIDEO GROUP 19 West 21st St., Ste. 301 • New York, NY 10010 Tel: 212.481.8140 • Fax: 212.696.1783 www.sportsvideo.org EXECUTIVE DIRECTORS PAUL GALLO, Executive Director
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The Sports Video Group was formed in 2006 to support the professional community that relies on video, audio, and broadband technologies to produce and distribute sports content. Leagues, owners, teams, players, broadcasters, Webcasters, and consumer-technology providers have joined SVG to learn from each other, turn vision into reality, and implement innovations, while sharing experiences that will lead to advances in sports production/distribution and the overall consumer sports experience.
SportsTech Journal is produced and published by The Sports Video Group. SportsTech Journal © 2021 Sports Video Group. PRINTED IN THE USA.