SVG Year in Review: July
By the time July 1st came along, the UK’s Summer of Sport was already well under way at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club (AELTC), and there was plenty more to come.
The big news for Wimbledon rights-holders and broadcasters at the All England Club was a recabling of the Broadcast Centre, a move spurred on by the Olympic games, which used the AELTC courts for its tennis matches. Other big news at AELTC included a technically revamped pressroom (courtesy of SIS Live and RG Sound Engineering), a new rooftop studio for Live@Wimbledon, and a new online streaming service at Wimbledon.com. The 3D production by Sony, CAN Communicate, and Visions moved to a completely tapeless workflow, while ESPN celebrated its first Wimbledon with complete domestic U.S. rights including the semis and finals (formerly NBC’s domain).
After Roger Federer’s epic Men’s Final victory over Britain’s favorite son Andy Murray brought Wimbledon to a close, the focus temporarily turned back to the states for MLB’s All-Star Game festivities in Kansas City. A gruesome heat wave that hit temperatures as high as 107 degrees (and 150 degrees in the compound thanks to black asphalt) passed just in time for the Home Run Derby, for which ESPN rolled out an epic 29 cameras and a rich stew of audio sources. As for the game itself, ESPN debuted several new production elements and enhancements with a new pregame show set in the outfield, several new audio components, an upgraded DiamondCam, and GoPro cameras in both bullpens. In addition to the domestic U.S. coverage, MLB International delivered the game to more than 220 countries and territories around the world.
It was also a busy month for SVG, which held two events on opposite coasts in the span of a week: the Sports Entertainment Summit in Los Angeles (in conjunction with Variety) on July 12, and the Sports Asset Management Summit at NBA Entertainment’s headquarters in Secaucus, New Jersey on July 17.
The Sports Entertainment Summit, which featured a full day of panels and sessions addressing the rapidly converging markets of sports and entertainment, was highlighted by keynote conversations with AEG CEO and President Tim Leiweke, UFC President Dana White, and pro-skateboarding legend and sports entertainment entrepreneur Tony Hawk. In addition, SVG-produced a trio of tech-focused afternoon breakout sessions that addressed the evolving 3D and 4K production markets, Fox Sports’ groundbreaking file-transport efforts, and the growing importance of the second screen.
Less than a week later, NBA Entertainment opened its doors for SVG’s Sports Asset Management Summit, offering attendees a behind-the-scenes look at its new state-of-the-art Digital Media Management system. The afternoon was packed full of sessions addressing today’s challenges and pain points in building a reliable and future-proof (or at least almost future-proof) asset management system, including cloud-based, transcoding, delivery, and future technologies.
Then it was back across the pond for the British Open, where the BBC delivered both domestic coverage and the world feed during a very wet tournament. The other two broadcasters on site were TV Asahi and ESPN, which produced coverage for the U.S. with plenty of help from CTV and IMG on the technical backbone and engineering services front. In addition, ESPN’s ITV once again delivered a multi-viewing Open experience for DirecTV and ESPN3 viewers.