Who wouldnt consider a career in Live sports?


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There are many diverse things in this industry which give me a buzz but I think that live sports coverage is probably pretty near the top of the pile. With a 17yr old son considering his career options I thought it time to introduce him to the world of live sports and SIS LIVE were kind enough to give us a quick tour behind the scenes on the second Monday of this year’s Wimbledon.
Even with the recent hot spell the wet and cold June/July won’t be a distant memory I am sure so with a “rain stopped play” break we made our way to meet with SIS LIVE engineering manager Alan Wright.
Regular readers on tv-bay may recall a previous report from Wimbledon a few years ago when the hospitality was provided by Timeline TV and we covered EVS and the logging aspects of the event. This time it was the fundamental acquisition services that SIS LIVE provide to the host broadcaster, The BBC.
There are 9 televised courts using from three cameras on some outside courts up to around 20 for the finals on Centre with each court having its own production gallery, and courts 1, 2 and Centre being controlled from trucks.
The 9 HD feeds from the courts are distributed to OSCAR (On Site Central Apparatus Room) and from here the feeds are distributed out to the many broadcasters both on site and to the trucks outside for wider transmission. All the court action arrives in OSCAR as a final feed suitable for transmission so if any broadcaster in the world has an interest in court 12, for example, they can take that feed as a finished product ready for their own voice over. There is also an option to take a clean output if different language graphics are to be added.
As we make our way to the roof of the broadcast centre we overlook many courts with court 18 showing the typical commentary box and situated just behind a jimmy jib which looks out over Henman Hill.
SIS LIVE are in situ from the beginning of June for a 3 week lead into the start of Wimbledon, with the initial emphasis on over 50 miles of cabling to the Broadcast Centre, and the trucks arriving a few days before play to be “connected” for a full rehearsal on the Friday before play commences.
As we look down on the outside broadcast area we see OB2 looking after court 2, OB7 court 1, OB5 Centre Court and OB1 providing the BBC domestic programme.
OB1 therefore takes all court mixes from OSCAR so the director / editor can decide where the story will go at any point in time, mixing in with John Inverdale on the roof garden and Sue Barker in the downstairs studio.
As we spend time in OB1 we see the hoist camera operator with a 70 metre viewpoint giving great shots of the city skyline including the Olympic stadium way off in the distance. The team in OB1 are preparing to end BBC2 coverage, however the end of the match doesn’t go as planned with deuce points taking play over network time. You don’t get much closer to the coal face of live TV with the team working together with the BBC network to suitably close coverage in the way the viewer would want. You can feel the tension as coverage overruns by several minutes and finally the last match point goes in OB1’s favour and we cut to Sue Barker’s famous “tennis continues over on BBC1, join us there”.
As you’d expect, operating Europe’s largest OB fleet, has kept SIS LIVE busy so far this year, having been involved with events like the Diamond Jubilee; Royal Ascot; the Europa, FA Cup and Carling Cup Finals; the Tour De France, The Open Golf, Formula 1 and the BBC Proms.
For Euro 2012 SIS LIVE’s Link 18 and Link 17 vehicles were equipped as 2 camera HD production vehicles and worked with BBC Sport across the Ukraine and Poland providing a combination of live pitchside presentation, flash interviews and low behind goal match coverage. All this is delivered by a SIS LIVE crew, with camera and sound staff doubling up as portable single camera (PSC) crews when required.
For the semi-final at the Polish National Stadium in Warsaw on 28th June, BBC Sport brought their studio presentation operation to site. OB3 facilitated this with 7 cameras and 4 EVS machines. The facilities included a 4 camera studio, pitchside presentation, commentary, flash interviews, a pitchside reporter, as well as 2 match cameras. There was also a VT operation to handle Slo-Mo replays, FCP Editing and Piero Analysis on site.
Last year SIS LIVE won the prestigious contract to design, build and deliver HD agile cameras and digital RF microwave links for the 34th America’s Cup. The multi-million pound contract sees SIS LIVE supply the on-board camera systems over a three-year period to the America’s Cup Event Authority (ACEA).
With the Olympics in full swing as we go to print you can expect more news from SIS LIVE in the next few issues.

Tags: iss068 | sislive | wimbledon | oscar | bbc | N/A
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