Live From World Ski Championships: NBC Sports Offers a First With Live Coverage
The FIS World Ski Championships are giving NBC Sports a chance to do something it has never had a chance to do with respect to a major ski championship, Olympics or otherwise: broadcast it live.
“Everything is done here and live, which is different than the Olympics, where we would record all the content and cut it down to six or seven segments,” says Chip Adams, VP of venue engineering, NBC Sports. “Here, we are on live from the beginning to the end of the race.”
Technologically, NBC Sports is on hand for the World Championships with a mixture of C-level flypacks, which play an important role in Olympics operations, and additional rental equipment from BSI and Bexel. That gives the coverage a similar feel to an Olympics (although on a much smaller scale and with much more reliance on the world feed), but there is one big difference: the coverage is broadcast live.
“We’re taking the dirty feed with all the host graphics and timing, as well as the clean feed if we want to edit something,” says Adams. The leaderboard and announcer graphics are created with ChyronHego software.
BSI in Canada supplied the Lawo audio console, five cameras, and EVS servers; Bexel provided the Sony production switcher and EVS IPDirectors, SpotBox, and XFile.
From a workflow standpoint, NBC is relying on the world feed plus two or three cameras at the starting gate and finish line. There are also a camera grabbing beauty shots and a Red Digital camera shooting material to be used in the future.
EVS XT3 servers are networked to the Avid editing system, which, in turn, is connected to the asset-management system at NBC Sports headquarters in Stamford, CT. The connections came in handy last week, when an interview with U.S. skier Lindsey Vonn was sent from Colorado to Stamford and then back out to Phoenix so it could run during the Super Bowl last Sunday.