ESPN Expands US Open Fiber Connectivity to Meet International Needs

The attention of the tennis world is once again on the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Queens, NY the CBS Sports Network is on site covering qualifying matches through the end of day today and then Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day takes to the air on CBS stations across the nation tomorrow. And beginning Monday CBS Sports, the Tennis Channel, and ESPN begin delivering all the action to viewers.

“There’s a lot of great cooperation between all the parties and the USTA,” says Terry Brady, ESPN, director of remote operations. “For us there is nothing significant but we are always doing some small tweaks with the workflow.”

ESPN’s televised coverage begins in earnest on Monday afternoon at 1 p.m.  And one change this year is that both ESPN and CBS Sports will be sharing a new production unit: F&F GTX-17, complete with a Grass Valley Kayenne K-frame production switcher, 12 six-channel EVS XT3 servers, and Vizrt graphics.

“We will share that truck but we still have our own EVS network so we augment our audio and video coverage with our own style,” says Brady. Bexel once again supplied the equipment for that network that makes use of 15 six-channel EVS machines that are playback only and about 30 altogether. There are also 29 EVS IP Directors that are shared between the USTA and ESPN.

ESPN also is increasing the presence of its international networks as ESPN Brazil will be calling the action from its own booth in Arthur Ashe beginning in week two of the tournament.  During week one ESPN’s ITV production team, which is responsible for the production of DirecTV’s US Open mosaic service, will use the studio to call the action.

“That studio has all LED lighting which is great,” adds Brady.

ESPN has also beefed up its fiber circuits as there are now three backup circuits for the three domestic circuits and two circuits for ESPN Brazil and one to ESPN Argentina. There are also seven additional outbound circuits that are all backed up by Level 3.

“ESPN Brazil wanted more flexibility so that they can use the second path to send news and Argentina now has a dedicated path,” adds Brady.

Be sure to visit during the next two weeks for live reports from this year’s U.S. Open tennis championships.

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