NEP Group, the world’s leading outsourced technical production partner for premier content producers of live sports and entertainment, has achieved a milestone in sports broadcasting with the successful live, remote production from Sydney of the IAAF World Relays 2019 held in Yokohama, Japan (11-12 May).
On behalf of their clients, NEP’s multidivisional teams delivered two days of live coverage and competition highlights from NEP Australia’s centralised, internet protocol (IP) and multi-format production facility at the NEP Andrews Hub in Sydney, NSW.
On-location hardware and crews from NEP UK covered the event and 30 high definition (HD) signals – comprising the 17 main cameras, including two Sony HDC4800 cameras in ultra-high frame rate, plus graphics in Yokohama – were linked via diverse and hitless 10 gigabit-per-second circuits on the Telstra Distributed Production Network (DPN) and sent on to Sydney, 7,800km away, using VC 2 ultra-low-latency compression technology.
Production crew and hardware were based at the Sydney Andrews Hub while shading crew were based in Japan. The finished programming was then transmitted from the Hub to broadcast rights holders around the world.
ITN, Telstra, and NEP’s UK, Japan and Australia teams worked in concert, showcasing the use of IP technology and extreme low latency compression.
Soames Treffry, President of NEP Australia, said: “The IAAF World Relays extend the ‘hub and spoke, anyone, anywhere’ concept that NEP’s Andrews Hubs were built on, meaning people can work from any location so long as they’re connected to our network.
“This milestone project cements the reality of working across multiple geographies and reflects our strategy to deploy permanent facilities in key markets which all share the same resources – both human and technical – to meet critical industry needs.
“It also showcases the breadth and scale of NEP’s client offerings across regions, and we thank IAAF Productions and ITN for their confidence in NEP’s ability to deliver this marquee event via our Andrews Hubs.”
Steve Jenkins, President NEP UK & Ireland, added, “We’ve had a long-standing relationship with ITN and the IAAF, and it has been great to work with them and our colleagues across the NEP Group to offer ground-breaking solutions. NEP’s full suite of solutions means we can offer ITN and all our clients agile, fit-for-purpose technical services – whether configured from hub, spoke, flypack or truck.
“Importantly, our clients can be confident that we have the talent and expertise to combine these services and deliver exactly what, where and how our clients need them. We’re looking forward to further building on these new technologies and our relationship with ITN and IAAF at the World Championships in Doha.”
The success of this event further provides NEP with the momentum to support plans to offer creative productions in locations across the world.
Background on NEP Australia’s Andrews Hubs
The Andrews Hubs are the most technically advanced facilities of their scale in the world and are named in memory of NEP Australia’s late and much-loved President, Keith Andrews, who championed the initiative. Using an internet protocol (IP) backbone and multi-format production capabilities, the Sydney and Melbourne hubs enable multiple concurrent outside broadcasts from around Australia and internationally. Remote production allows cameras and microphones to be located at a venue, with the majority of the production team based at the hubs. There, central control facilities can accommodate up to seven simultaneous events, connecting with 34 sporting venues around Australia and at selected international sites via the Telstra Distributed Production Network (DPN). This creates considerable savings in crew travel time, as well as efficiencies arising from centralised and inter-hub resource sharing for everything from equipment through to disaster recovery capabilities. In 2018, NEP’s Andrews Hubs produced more than 250 events, including the FIFA World Cup from Russia, with 500+ events slated in 2019 in high definition (HD) and 4K/ultra high definition (UHD). To learn more about NEP Australia’s Andrews Hubs visit https://www.nepgroup.com.au/services/centralised-production.
Background on the IAAF World Relays
The 2019 IAAF World Relays, held from 11-12 May in Yokohama, Japan, are a key fixture on the IAAF World Athletics Series Calendar. The competition consists of three men’s, three women’s and three mixed events: the men’s and women’s 4x100m, 4x200m and 4x400m relays; and the mixed 4x400m and 2x2x400m relays, and mixed shuttle hurdles. For many participating athletes, the event is an important milestone ahead of both the individual and relay competitions taking place at the IAAF World Athletics Championships in Doha, Qatar (27 September – 6 October, 2019).
Broadcast of the World Relays comprised two days of live coverage and highlights programmes following both days of competition. The international feed included pre-cut features of both Tokyo and Yokohama as well as athlete interviews and features. Up to 17 cameras – comprising a polecam, railcam, USSMs and numerous fixed and RF – were set up to cover the event, offering a similar set-up to that planned for the track events at the upcoming 2019 IAAF World Athletics Championships in Doha.
For over 30 years, NEP has been a worldwide outsourced technical production partner supporting premier content producers of live sports, entertainment, music and corporate events. Our services include remote production, studio production, audio visual solutions, host broadcast support, premium playout, post production and innovative software-based media management solutions. NEP’s 3,500+ employees are driven by a passion for superior service and a focus on technical innovation. Together, we have supported productions in 87 countries on all seven continents.
NEP is headquartered in the United States and has offices in 24 countries.