Ross Video, Reality Check Solutions Drives Rebrand for ESPN Netherlands
Reality Check Solutions (RCS) is a supplier of graphics packages and control solutions with live data integration to the producers of sports, news, and entertainment content worldwide. Late last summer, the EMEA team was contacted by Fox Sports in the Netherlands to help with a rebrand project (to ESPN Netherlands, owned by Disney) and to refresh the graphics packages used for all football content. On the customer’s direct recommendation, RCS turned to the XPression platform of graphics solutions from Ross Video.
“Sometimes our customers are looking for lots of advice and guidance from us, and other times they have a stronger sense of direction,” notes David Peacock, RCS’s Senior Project Manager for EMEA. “Our primary contact at ESPN Netherlands (Fox Sports at the time) was Jinne Tania, Technical Lead on the rebrand project, and he was looking for a new graphics vendor that could help simplify his workflows to make them more efficient. On top of that our proposal offered a better return on investment. In this sense, our initial role was really to manage the wholesale change over to XPression, making improvements to workflow where we could, while maintaining a sense of familiarity for the audience. We had never worked with Ross on any large-scale projects before and the experience was first-class,” notes Peacock.
The newly re-branded ESPN Netherlands launched on January 1st this year, and RCS provided a total of nine XPression BlueBox Engines to provide live match graphics on all Eredivisie and Keuken Kampioen Divisie (the top two divisions of Dutch football) as part of its comprehensive remote production workflow consisting of a bespoke control application, cloud-based data handling and real-time graphics delivery. XPression Desktop Preview Server is also being used to provide a preview for the operators working in the central graphics hub at EndemolShine’s production facility.
“At every step, the support we received from Ross was exceptional – this is the biggest point of difference between Ross and other players in the field,” comments Peacock. “Of course, there have been challenges in moving such a complex project to a new platform – we had to handle training and commissioning 100% remotely, for example – but the help and advice we received from the Ross team were outstanding!”
Reflecting on the project, Jinne Tania from ESPN offers a final thought.
“If I could sum up the positives of working with Ross on this project in three words, they would be ‘support, support and support,'” he says. “We know that XPression is an increasingly popular platform – it has some distinct advantages over other options in terms of price point and ease of use – but it’s the attitude of the Ross team that really makes a difference. I have every confidence in the product and would have absolutely no hesitation in recommending Ross to other customers.”