Tennis Channel Opens New Operations Facility in Conjunction with HD Launch

Channel formally moved its production and operations activity to a new,
state-of-the-art facility near its Los Angeles-area headquarters. The move
comes in conjunction with the network’s high-definition launch on DIRECTV.

The new building, located in


Calif., enables
Tennis Channel to create original programming in its own studio environment and
with a master control that will accommodate HD simulcast in 2008. The network
has utilized the facilities and operations services of FOX Sports since its
launch in 2003. The operations infrastructure at Tennis Channel’s new facility
also allows for future media platform development and international broadcast

“This is the Taj Mahal of high-definition tennis television,” said
Ken Solomon, chairman and CEO, Tennis Channel. “Its cutting-edge, on-air
capabilities put televised tennis on par with every major sports or
entertainment studio facility, but are devoted entirely to tennis and the
growth of this great game. The control this gives us will noticeably elevate
what appears on our channel, not just in terms of HD but also with a broad
array of dynamic on-screen and digital elements.”

Construction began in May 2007, following nine months of thorough architectural
planning and development that streamlined the actual building process, taking
into consideration the various electrical, mechanical and television broadcast
needs. The finished product includes a 5,000-sq. ft. production stage on the
main floor and an insert stage, two production control rooms, a voice-over room
and green room on the second floor.

Additionally, the facility’s third floor houses production offices and enables
the network to cut into broadcasts with news updates and ultimately develop a
network newsroom. The space was designed by Los Angles architecture firm Eric
Owen Moss, which has done work for the Los Angeles County Museum of Art,


University and Sony Entertainment.

About a dozen employees will be housed full time at the new studio.

“Since day one FOX has been a great partner for Tennis Channel — we
couldn’t have launched the network in 2003 without them,” said Larry
Meyers, senior vice president, production, and executive producer. “But
the timing for us to move into our own facility couldn’t be more perfect with
today’s high-definition launch. We’re very proud of how this new studio turned
out. It’s a prototype for what can be done by an independent, stand-alone
network, providing a tremendous bang for our buck.”

The facility is supported by an extensive array of top-manufacturer television
broadcast equipment. This includes Masstech Group archival systems that
automatically back up all Tennis Channel programming; Harris Corp. servers and
comprehensive master control switching and branding products; EVS Spotbox
digital video recorders in the edit rooms; Doremi digital video recorders in
master control; Chyron HyperX HD character generators for on-screen text; and
Sony routing switchers, production switchers, HD videotape recorders (HDcam
format), studio cameras and LCD monitors throughout the building. Venue
Services Group, Inc. (VSG) handled the entire operations system’s comprehensive
wiring design and installation.

“Everything that we’ve done for the new operations facility is predicated
on reliability and 24/7 television,” said Keith Manasco, vice president,
operations, Tennis Channel. “The equipment we’re using comes from the best
in the business and fully integrates on-air digital production with all digital
platform distribution systems.”

“This new studio came together through the hard work of many people, both
external and inside Tennis Channel,” added Dean Hadaegh, chief technology
officer and vice president, administration, Tennis Channel, who oversaw the
entire project from concept to creation. “What we’ve built is a facility
that not only interconnects all Tennis Channel offices and gives us the ability
to make our network available in HD, but also a system that is very
forward-thinking and allows us to embrace and implement advancing broadcast
technologies as they are introduced.”

On Jan. 1 Tennis Channel will christen the new facility with its first live
production, coverage of the annual international mixed-doubles Hopman Cup
tournament in


Australia. The network will utilize
the world feed from

for its Hopman Cup telecasts, adding its own network commentary and analysis
from the new studio. The first live tennis coverage originally produced by
Tennis Channel following the HD launch on DIRECTV will take place Feb. 2-3,
when the U.S. Fed Cup team hosts


La Jolla,

Calif. The weekend-long event will be the
first round of the 2008 Fed Cup competition, the most prestigious international
team cup tournament in women’s tennis.

Starting today, all original programming — documentaries, series and specials
– will premier in high definition on DIRECTV. In anticipation of its new studio
and pending high-definition launch on DIRECTV (with others expected to follow),
Tennis Channel began producing all original programming in high definition in
early 2007. Additionally, the network has covered live events in high
definition periodically since 2004, and first began shooting various original
programming productions in high definition in 2006.

Password must contain the following:

A lowercase letter

A capital (uppercase) letter

A number

Minimum 8 characters


The Latest in Sports Video Production & Technology
in Your Inbox for FREE

Daily Email Newsletters Monday - Friday