FOX Sports Expands Use of Level 3’s Vyvx VenueNet

Level 3 Communications will provide FOX Sports with its Vyvx VenueNet+ sports broadcasting services including video, voice and Internet in venues throughout the U.S. for the 2010 NFL season. This contract is an expansion of Level 3’s multi-year relationship with Fox Sports, in which Level 3 has supported their broadcast needs with VenueNet services at professional sports venues.

Earlier this year, Level 3 announced its investment in upgrading the Vyvx VenueNet technology in major professional football and hockey venues around the country. Upgrades included advanced video, voice and Internet services for broadcasters and content owners that are provided through a single connection panel at the venue. Since April, VenueNet+ has been deployed in 31 major professional football venues in the U.S. with deployment in NHL venues well underway. The VenueNet+ service offering is designed to easily support demand now and as data needs increase and new applications emerge.

“With VenueNet+, Level 3 is providing a one-stop-shop to meet our broadcast requirements, in addition to significant new services like high-speed Internet, which enables new workflows for us to consider,” says Keith Goldberg, VP of Transmission and Resiliency at FOX Networks Engineering & Operations. “Our goal is to provide our viewers with the highest-quality viewing experience possible, and Level 3’s VenueNet+ services are helping us do that much more effectively with the NFL.”

Level 3 will provide backhaul services from sports venues back to FOX Sports’ production headquarters in Los Angeles. The service will also now allow FOX Sports to connect uncompressed high-definition (HD) video directly at the VenueNet+ panel. In addition, Level 3 will offer JPEG 2000 compression services, which FOX Sports will trial at several venues for the 2010 football season.

Level 3 will deliver high-speed Internet access directly from the VenueNet+ panel. Consistent high-speed Internet access with symmetrical upstream and downstream connections represents a significant new advantage for production trucks, enabling new capabilities and applications, and providing Internet connectivity that surpasses that which is available in many venues today.

Each VenueNet+ installation includes phone line services from each venue, delivered via the Level 3 Enterprise voice platform.

“Level 3 enhanced its VenueNet services in response to our customers’ growing event delivery demands, including more high-speed connectivity, support for HD and voice applications from a single, streamlined platform,” says Andrew Crouch, president of Sales at Level 3. “VenueNet+ meets those needs, provides consistency across venues and fosters innovation in event delivery. The combination of those features and Level 3’s advanced operational and monitoring tools offers broadcasters like FOX Sports a significantly improved event delivery process with minimized set-up times and reduced operational complexities.”

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