NFL Turns to TVU Networks for Efficient Content Delivery
Mobile-uplink transmission packs help meet ravenous demand for content
These days, the NFL is a content haven. The task of feeding the insatiable hunger of the fan base of the most popular sports league in the country is a daunting one and has led NFL Networks and NFL Films to invest in a growing number of mobile-uplink transmission packs from TVU Networks.
The NFL currently owns 10 TVUPack TM8200s, which it deploys in the field to acquire and transmit all kinds of content: live field reports, training-camp footage, feature shoots, interviews, and much more.
“When we were looking at opportunities to not have to send satellite trucks — not so much to save money but for efficiency — we felt we’d give TVU a try,” says Glenn Adamo, VP, production, broadcasting, NFL Films & Media Operations. “With digital media not just becoming a part of our lives but becoming our lives, TVU is the perfect alternative. It allows you to embed cameras with teams and file reports at will and feed them so that not only the team Websites can use them but also our digital-media group. The more content we can create the better.”
The content is used in myriad ways, including for programming on NFL Network, NFL.com, and all of the team Websites. Adamo’s long-term goal is to have TVU packs regularly embedded with all the teams. Currently, the league deploys the ones it has as desired, including at marquee events like the Draft, Combine, training camp, and various Super Bowl and Pro Bowl activities. They are also used on regular-season game days for onsite pre/postgame coverage.
“In wireless environments like around sports stadiums on game day, achieving reliable transmission over 4G or LTE for high-quality video with very low latency presents a serious challenge,” says Ken Valdiserri, VP, sports, TVU Networks. “The NFL relies on TVUPack for live video transmission over IP because of its ability to consistently transmit an HD-quality picture at sub-second latency. TVUPack combines our proprietary Inverse StatMux Plus technology with an advanced forward-error-correction algorithm and TVU’s Smart Variable Bit-Rate encoding to ensure an outstanding video picture even in the harshest wireless environments.”
The TVUPack TM8200 mobile uplink backpack transmitter provides the ability to transmit live video in HD. It features a removable encoder for fixed placement in a studio and contains multiple cellular modem cards with 3G/4G LTE, microwave, satellite, WiFi, and BGAN data connection for remote transmission.
According to Adamo, the flexibility of the TVUPack TM8200 allows content creators at the NFL Network, NFL Films, and each of the league’s 32 teams to multitask and acquire and transmit as much content as possible for multiple uses.
“A good chef can take a carrot and make 10 dishes out of it,” he says. “That’s how we look at these TVU units. When we are going out to shoot something, we have to be ready to shoot A, B, C and X, Y, Z as well, and TVU accomplishes that for us.”