SVG Australia Summit, Launch of SVGW Australia Bring ANZ Community Together
It was a busy week for SVG in Australia as it held its inaugural SVGW event at the NEP Andrews Hub in Sydney on Tuesday and also held its second SVG Australia Summit at the Telstra Customer Insight Centre in Sydney. “It was a great couple of days for SVG and it was exciting to see such a great response to our offerings,” says Ken Kerschbaumer, SVG, Co-Executive Director, Editorial Services. “Our mission is to help advance sports content creation but also help strengthen the bonds between the sports production community as it undergoes a massive transformation in the way people work.”
Highlights of the Summit included three keynote conversations with Mike Davies, Fox Sports U.S., SVP, Technical and Field Operations and SVG chairman; Olly Wilton, Twitter Australia, Head of Sports Partnerships; Lewis Mitchell, Twitch, Partnerships Lead for Australia and New Zealand.
All three keynotes touched on various aspects of the future of sports production and distribution in Australia. Davies praised the Australian sports content creation community for “punching above its weight” given the amount of influence it has on the rest of the world relative to its population. Wilton’s discussion focused on how to make the most of Twitter as a mean to connect to fans via text and video and he also pointed out that Twitter should be considered an information platform rather than a social media platform. Mitchell closed out the event with an overview of how traditional content creators can build a presence (and even monetize) live streams via a platform that, increasingly, is becoming about more than just electronic gaming.
Along with the keynotes and panels were technology briefings and case studies from Karen Clark, Telstra Broadcast Services, head of sales, Australia and New Zealand; Matthew Lynn, Akamai Technologies, regional sales director, South Asia; Philipp Hey, Lawo, sales director, Asia Pacific Region; Amanda Leighton, Ross Video, director of sales, Oceania; and Xavier Muhlebach, Tennis Australia, supervising producer.
Stu Taggart, Envision, co-founder and CEO led a discussion with Alex Alderson, NRL Digital, chief digital officer; Todd Procter, Fox Sports Australia, head of Innovations & OB Special Events; and Caroline Ramsay, NEP Australia Broadcast Services, project director, Major Events. It touched on a wide range of topics, including global sports production operations, digital strategies for the NRL, and production innovations that have enhanced Fox Sports coverage of cricket.
Esports was a central focus of the late afternoon discussions as Anna Lockwood, Telstra Broadcast Services, head of Global Sales
Panellists led a conversation featuring Danielle Bleazby, AFL, head of Growth Products; Dominic Remond, Gfinity Esports Australia, CEO; Nick Vanzetti, ESL Asia Pacific Japan, SVP, managing director; and James Wyld, Riot Games, OPL live producer. The discussion focused on Esports highlights and accomplishments in the ANZ region; the role traditional sports leagues can play within the Esports environment; and how Esports leagues are evolving to keep up with the demands of old and new fans alike.
The final panel discussion of the day featured Clark; Adrian Jenner, Gearhouse Broadcast, director of technology; and Marc Segar, NEP Australia, director of technical services in conversation with Kerschbaumer. The focus was on the move to IP; the role 12 Gbps SDI will play in an industry that is looking to offer technical teams as many signal transport options as possible; and the deployment of 5G services that will not only support consumer devices but could also be used as a means of contribution and backhaul within a sports venue.
The night prior to the Summit NEP Australia hosted the inaugural SVGW Australia event. The event was led by Ramsey and more than 60 women and men attended the event that featured two panel discussions, a keynote conversation with Melissa Lawton, Facebook, head of live sports production strategy and a tour of the NEP Andrews Hub. There was also a networking reception and the efforts lay the groundwork for future SVGW activities which include plans to hold a similar event in Melbourne in August and to investigate the possibility of mentoring programs and more.