NEP delivers sports broadcasting milestone
NEP Group, the world’s leading outsourced technical production partner for premier contentproducers of live sports and entertainment, has achieved a milestone in sports broadcastingwith the successful live, remote production from Sydney of the IAAF World Relays 2019 held inYokohama, Japan (11-12 May).
On behalf of their clients, NEP’smultidivisional teams delivered two days of live coverage and competition highlightsfrom NEP Australia’s centralised, internet protocol (IP) and multi-formatproduction facility at the NEP Andrews Hub in Sydney, NSW.
On-location hardware and crews from NEPUK covered the event and 30 high definition (HD) signals – comprising the 17main cameras, including two Sony HDC4800 cameras in ultra-high frame rate, plusgraphics in Yokohama – were linked via diverse and hitless 10 gigabit-per-secondcircuits on the Telstra Distributed Production Network (DPN) and sent on to Sydney,7,800km away, using VC 2 ultra-low-latency compression technology.
Production crew and hardware were based atthe Sydney Andrews Hub while shading crew were based in Japan. The finishedprogramming was then transmitted from the Hub to broadcast rights holdersaround the world.
ITN, Telstra, and NEP’s UK, Japan andAustralia teams worked in concert, showcasing the use of IP technology andextreme low latency compression.
Soames Treffry, President of NEP Australia, said: “The IAAF WorldRelays extend the ‘hub and spoke, anyone, anywhere’concept that NEP’s Andrews Hubs were built on, meaning people can work from anylocation so long as they’re connected to our network.
“This milestone project cements thereality of working across multiple geographies and reflects our strategy todeploy permanent facilities in key markets which all share the same resources –both human and technical – to meet critical industry needs.
“It also showcasesthe breadth and scale of NEP’s client offerings across regions, and we thankIAAF Productions and ITN for their confidence in NEP’s ability to deliver thismarquee event via our Andrews Hubs.”
Steve Jenkins, President NEP UK &Ireland,added, “We’ve had a long-standing relationship with ITN and the IAAF, and ithas been great to work with them and our colleagues across the NEP Group tooffer ground-breaking solutions. NEP’s full suite of solutions means we canoffer ITN and all our clients agile, fit-for-purpose technical services –whether configured from hub, spoke, flypack or truck.
“Importantly,our clients can be confident that we have the talent and expertise to combinethese services and deliver exactly what, where and how our clients need them. We’relooking forward to further building on these new technologies and ourrelationship with ITN and IAAF at the World Championships in Doha.”
Thesuccess of this event further provides NEP with the momentum to support plansto offer creative productions in locations across the world.
Background on NEP Australia’s AndrewsHubs
TheAndrews Hubs are the most technically advanced facilities of their scale in theworld and are
named in memory of NEP Australia’s lateand much-loved President, Keith Andrews, who championed the initiative. Using an internet protocol(IP) backbone and multi-format production capabilities, the Sydney andMelbourne hubs enable multiple concurrent outside broadcasts from aroundAustralia and internationally. Remote production allows cameras and microphonesto be located at a venue, with the majority of the production team based at thehubs. There, central control facilities can accommodate up to seven simultaneousevents, connecting with 34 sporting venues around Australia and at selectedinternational sites via the Telstra Distributed Production Network (DPN). Thiscreates considerable savings in crew travel time, as well as efficiencies arisingfrom centralised and inter-hub resource sharing for everything from equipmentthrough to disaster recovery capabilities. In 2018, NEP’s Andrews Hubs producedmore than 250 events, including the FIFA World Cup from Russia, with 500+events slated in 2019 in high definition (HD) and 4K/ultra high definition (UHD).To learn more about NEP Australia’sAndrews Hubs visit https://www.nepgroup.com.au/services/centralised-production.
Background on the IAAF World Relays
The2019 IAAF World Relays, held from 11-12 May in Yokohama, Japan, are a key fixtureon the IAAF World Athletics Series Calendar. The competition consists of threemen’s, three women’s and three mixed events: the men’s and women’s 4x100m,4x200m and 4x400m relays; and the mixed 4x400m and 2x2x400m relays, and mixedshuttle hurdles. For many participating athletes, the event is an importantmilestone ahead of both the individual and relay competitions taking place atthe IAAF World Athletics Championships in Doha, Qatar (27 September – 6October, 2019).
Broadcast of the World Relays comprised twodays of live coverage and highlights programmes following both days ofcompetition. The international feed included pre-cut features of both Tokyo andYokohama as well as athlete interviews and features. Up to 17 cameras – comprisinga polecam, railcam, USSMs and numerous fixed and RF – were set up to cover theevent, offering a similar set-up to that planned for the track events at theupcoming 2019 IAAF World Athletics Championships in Doha.