Input Media Covers Indoor Bowls Championship for BBC

The BBC began its live coverage of the World Indoor Bowls Championship Jan. 17, extending a busy period of sports broadcasting that included the BDO Darts Championship (Jan. 1-10) and the Masters Snooker (Jan. 9-16).

The broadcasts from Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, UK, are produced by Input Media, which won a two-year contract to cover World Bowls for the BBC at the end of last year. In turn, Input Media has contracted Arqiva OBs to provide facilities for the SD/stereo transmissions.

Eight Sony HDC-1500 cameras running in SD mode are being used to shoot the event, with a ninth for presentation and interviews. Two cameras have been mounted on 30-ft. Jimmy Jibs at either end of the playing area, the first time these cranes have been used for the Indoor Championship. Unit Manager Lew Henson explains that the director worked with this hardware at the Commonwealth Games and wanted to use it for this event.

All production and technical operations are controlled from Arqiva’s Unit 1, a digital widescreen scanner with double expanding sides. The truck is equipped with a 36-input Sony DVS 7350 vision mixer and a 48-stereo I/P Calrec C2 audio console.

During the bowls coverage, the truck also accommodates two DigiBeta VT machines, two EVS player-recorders, and two Avid editing systems. A Pierro virtual graphics system is being used for match analysis.

Because there are no fibre circuits running into the venue, Arqiva has an uplink on-site to get feeds back to BBC TV Centre. Crew includes eight camera operators, two vision engineers, and five audio technicians.

“Arqiva offers us an excellent, cost-effective, end-to-end solution to broadcast the World Bowls for the BBC,” says Neil Oughton, director of content and delivery at Input Media. “With a proven track record of delivering quality live programming for the BBC, Arqiva is well equipped to handle an event such as the 2011 World Indoor Bowls Championships.”

Input Media is one of three independent production companies to pick up new contracts with the BBC in recent months. Century TV won a three-year deal to cover the MotoGP season, which begins in Qatar during late March and ends in Valencia, Spain, in early November. Sunset+Vine will produce highlights of the 2011 Cricket World Cup, slated to be held in India, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh Feb. 19-April 2.