Turner, CNN Tap Bexel for Bleacher Report Premiere
Finding a hotel room for a Super Bowl three weeks before the game can be challenging enough, but Turner Sports and CNN upped the ante when they needed a suitable location for the launch of Bleacher Report, CNN’s latest sports-news venture. Bexel provided its LPU (lightweight production unit) system to handle the video and audio needs.
“Parking around here is pretty tight and next to impossible, but, fortunately, we have experience using the Bexel Hercules [flypack] so it was an easy fit and just a matter of figuring out what the requirements were,” says Tom Sahara, senior director, remote operations and IT, Turner Sports.
The set went live on Saturday afternoon from a location near the Harrah’s hotel and casino. The Turner Sports hospitality group was holding an event at the hotel and was able to get the hotel’s cooperation in providing not only street-level space for the set but also a second-floor office to house the production equipment.
The core of the production was five Sony cameras tied into a Sony MVS-7000 production switcher and a Calrec Artemis audio console. Audio was delivered by a Hydra fiber system, and CWDM (course wavelength division multiplexing) fiber transported video signals. EVS servers and associated graphics gear were also deployed, and an Evertz Xenon router handled signal distribution.
“The Hydra helped with audio, and the CWDM allowed us to get all the feeds over fewer strands of cable and streamline set up,” says Sahara. “It took more time to get the gear up to the second floor and installed than it did to run the cable.”