National Lacrosse League Taps BitFire Networks for Centralized Broadcast Production
The National Lacrosse League (NLL) and BitFire Networks have announced a new three-year partnership to present the next three seasons of play, starting with the current 2021-2022 season.
A worldwide audience will watch as these matchups take place all across the U.S. and Canada and are broadcast by ESPN and TSN. The multi-year agreement ensures that BitFire will play a key role in the production and distribution of NLL games, starting with at least 120 games in year one alone.
“This partnership with the National Lacrosse League exemplifies how innovative and technically complex sports production has become,” says Bob Sullivan, CEO, BitFire. “Our agreement will ensure the League’s dedicated fans won’t miss any of the fast-paced action by providing a best-in-class broadcast quality experience.”
The National Lacrosse League is a men’s professional box lacrosse league in North America, with fifteen teams: ten in the U.S. and five in Canada. The 2021-22 season represents a transformative year in the 35-year history of the NLL. Recently, the league announced multiyear, multi-platform media rights partnerships with ESPN and TSN, bringing the game’s reach to its largest potential audience ever, more than 100 million fans, establishing the league as a force in the North American sports space.
“Centralized remote production is fast becoming an industry standard for national sports broadcasts with the goal of improving production quality and consistency in a cost-effective manner,” says Joel Feld, NLL Executive Vice President, Broadcast and Content. “In Week 1 alone, we produced seven games, six in the same window. BitFire seamlessly delivered every game to eight takers, including national partners ESPN and TSN, and to the teams’ local partners.”
With a commitment to live sports production that brings viewers closer to the action than ever before, BitFire and the NLL are employing a centralized broadcast production workflow, with BitFire’s Network playing an integral role in supporting the League’s production partners. Utilizing a minimal on-site footprint at each of the teams’ respective arenas, a robust remote production solution was developed to ensure the League’s live content is captured and distributed in a high-quality and consistent manner.
“The agility and flexibility of BitFire’s transmission network is allowing the NLL to take a big leap forward in the quality and scale of its broadcast delivery,” notes Edward Derse, the NLL’s broadcast operations and technology consultant. “BitFire allows us to provide greater value to the league and its individual teams by allowing us to produce remotely and deliver NLL broadcasts seamlessly and economically to all takers, including the teams themselves.”
BitFire will provide feeds from each venue to NLL production partners, TV networks, local TV stations, regional sports networks and OTT destinations across the United States and Canada. This allows production partners to remotely switch games and produce more than one game simultaneously. The communication component is critical in that BitFire provides the audio, video and communications for each game.
“Our work with the NLL is a custom solution, created by a team of broadcast experts,” adds Sullivan. “This partnership shines a global spotlight on our solution-focused capabilities by creating the vision that our partners demand.”
BitFire is working on this new agreement in partnership with the league’s broadcast team, DOME Productions, Freedom Broadcast Group, DRAGONFLi Media Technologies and the league’s 14 active teams and venues spread out across the U.S and Canada.
With the addition of the NLL to its client roster, BitFire’s continued growth by providing superior, scalable, and end-to-end live transmission and production solutions.