Burlington, Mass., 2/3/2017
Avid tools and workflows help enable FOX Sports’ production teams to collaborate remotely, maximize their media assets and engage viewers with compelling content across multiple platforms, including immersive VR experiences
Avid® (Nasdaq: AVID) today announced that its comprehensive tools and workflow solutions to create, distribute and optimize media will play a key role during FOX Sports’ coverage of Super Bowl LI, taking place on February 5 at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas. Avid solutions will enable FOX Sports to facilitate collaboration between production teams located over a thousand miles apart, give all editors immediate access to the footage they need, and create an immersive virtual reality experience for viewers as the New England Patriots take on the Atlanta Falcons.
FOX Sports faces a number of challenges to air what is one of the most highly anticipated and technologically advanced broadcast events of the year. It has to generate multiple hours of programming, across multiple days, for many different networks. To do this efficiently, its production teams need to collaborate from hundreds of miles away, manage huge volumes of footage, and engage viewers across multiple viewing platforms with immersive content. FOX Sports turned to Avid to help address these critical needs with fast, efficient and collaborative workflows powered by the MediaCentral® Platform, the industry’s most open, tightly integrated and efficient platform designed for media.
“Every year the Super Bowl keeps growing as we try to give the viewer a better experience,” said Kevin Callahan, vice president of Field Operations, FOX Sports. “Avid solutions are a key part of our workflow. Every piece of content that is created or finished on site will touch Avid shared storage. And Avid iNEWS® helps us collaboratively plan and manage our live shows by giving everyone access to the same information at the same time, no matter where they are in the world.”
FOX Sports is taking all of its studio programs out on the road for the week leading up to Super Bowl Sunday. Shows including Skip and Shannon: Undisputed, The Herd with Colin Cowherd, Speak for Yourself, FOX Sports Live, NASCAR Race Hub, and Garbage Time with Katie Nolan will be produced at Discovery Green Park in downtown Houston, using Avid iNEWS powerful newsroom system for managing rundowns and scripting. On Super Bowl Sunday itself, FOX Sports will rely on iNEWS for FOX NFL Kickoff as well as the seven-hour pre-game show.
While the shows are produced at Discovery Green Park, the final output is produced more than 1,300 miles away in Los Angeles, and in the case of NASCAR Race Hub, nearly a thousand miles away at Hub studio in Charlotte, North Carolina. FOX Sports has taken advantage of Avid’s flexible deployment options to network all of its iNEWS systems together so that everything is shared on one rundown system and updated in real time, enabling the geographically dispersed teams to collaborate more efficiently.
Avid shared media storage is at the heart of FOX Sports’ file-based workflows. With 320TB of storage supporting 25 simultaneous clients, it acts as the central repository for all of FOX Sports’ editing systems, including 27TB of archival historical footage for the two teams, giving all the editors access to the content in a shared workspace environment. The main compound at NRG Stadium and three remote locations in Houston are all connected directly to the system. Thanks to the openness of MediaCentral, third-party applications from Adobe, Aspera, Signiant and Telestream are also directly connected to the system.
“We’re always looking for fast, reliable storage, and Avid’s shared media storage is far and away the best tool for that,” said Callahan. “I’ve worked with it at many different events in the past. It’s bulletproof and its speed is phenomenal. It takes one big worry off my mind.”
Avid is also enabling a fully immersive experience with LiveLike whose virtual reality platform is powered by the Avid 3DPlay flexible and powerful graphics and video processing solution. Through the FOX Sports VR app, for the first time ever viewers can immerse themselves in a virtual suite at the stadium, view different camera angles, and watch VR replays. FOX Sports is taking advantage of the speed of Avid shared media storage to handle the large files generated from six high-resolution 4K cameras for the VR experience.
In addition, Twizted Design’s Flowgic real-time data integration application and Avid’s HDVG rendering platform will add a layer of augmented graphics to the field during game time, enabling LiveLike to display elements like jumbotrons, clocks and scoreboards with real-time data during the live game without the need for a human operator.
“FOX Sports is an outstanding example of one of Avid’s preeminent customers that’s shaping our industry’s future by implementing innovative workflows to overcome the challenges of broadcasting major sporting events like the Super Bowl,” said Jeff Rosica, president, Avid. “With Avid’s powerful tools and comprehensive solutions, FOX is able to facilitate efficient collaboration between production teams, put a vast amount of content at editors’ fingertips to enable more powerful storytelling, and engage viewers with jaw-dropping VR experiences.”
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