BitFire Networks Celebrates One-Year Anniversary in the Industry

On its one-year anniversary, BitFire Networks has announced plans for continued company expansion amid a year of major growth within the video transmission industry. BitFire will open a new production studio in Phoenix as the team continues to expand its core product offering with an eye towards the ever-changing landscape of content production.

In BitFire’s first year, the team worked with such notable clients, including the MLB Network, CBS Sports, Tegna, Tamron Hall, and ‘Judge Jerry’. BitFire’s technology combined with production resources were integral in supporting the company’s clients, whose productions included events for the NHL, MLB, PGA Tour and NCAA Tournament.

Led by industry veteran and CEO Bob Sullivan, the team at BitFire has combined an advanced IP transport network with remote production services, all under one roof.

“It’s amazing what our team has accomplished in just one year,” he says. “Companies operate for a lifetime and never have the opportunity to work with the international clients we have partnered with in our first year. I couldn’t be prouder of what we’ve done and more excited for the future.”

Biggest Events:

During the last year, the BitFire team has managed several marquee events. From the Oscars to the NHL Draft, BitFire played an integral role in these world-class productions.

  • BitFire shone bright under the international spotlight of the NHL Draft by deploying 75 simultaneous remote systems to help integrate more than 100 broadcast feeds for the first-ever virtual 2020 draft. Faced with COVID-19 operational limitations, the company partnered with the MLB Network and the NHL Network to solve the unique challenge of synchronizing video feeds from 31 NHL clubs from unique locations, NHL Central Registry, and more than 40 draft prospects located throughout North America and Europe.
  • BitFire may not have won an Oscar, but thecompany was proud to have a seat at the Academy Awards, providing technology to those in the audience. With the ceremony held at Union Station in LA, the new venue presented a challenge with several of the nominees sitting at tables that had a blocked view of the main stage. Via the FireBridge platform, a real-time feed of the main production was deployed to tablets allowing guests to watch the show at their socially distanced tables.
  • BitFire Networks supported CBS and a nationwide radio network in bringing the NCAA tournament to fans and schools across the country. Utilizing low-latency distribution of CBS’ on-site production, radio crews and networks that couldn’t travel to the event were able to produce a seamless broadcast for their fan bases.
  • BitFire provided critical support to the PGA Tour during the 2021 PLAYERS Championship. The company’s real-time video transport solution allowed remote operators to monitor each hole of the event from their offices in Scottsdale, Arizona…more than two thousand miles away from the on-site television production compound in Ponte Vedra, Florida.

“Collaborating with BitFire to produce coverage of the 2020 NHL Draft was an extremely rewarding experience,” says Susan Stone, MLB Network SVP of Operations and Engineering . “Through creativity and innovation, BitFire provided a robust and efficient IP transmission system, which was vital in presenting this world‐class virtual experience for one of the National Hockey League’s tentpole events.”

Key Partnerships:

Throughout their first year, BitFire has built several key partnerships. The company’s partners’ willingness to collaborate and desire to adapt to new workflows have allowed us to provide cutting edge solutions in a dynamic market.

  • Major League Baseball Network – MLBN partnered with BitFire to allow their talent to work and broadcast from their homes across the country. Using BitFire’s FireBridge web platform, talent’s video, audio and IFB are seamlessly integrated into the rest of the production at the MLBN control room in Secaucus, New Jersey. BitFire is currently collaborating on a handful of MLB programs, including MLB Now, High Heat, MLB Central, On The Fly, Hot Stove and Bettor’s Eye.
  • Skycam – BitFire deployed their platform to allow SkyCam to monitor, communicate with operators and even remotely pilot their camera systems across all their productions, including the NFL, NCAA Football, the Final Four and championship boxing.
  • Freedom Broadcast Group: BitFire’s team partnered with the production and operations team at Freedom Broadcast Group to help them implement a more deployable ‘Remi’ workflow for their spring sports package across various different sports, all with unique challenges. A custom broadcast solution composed of BitFire servers, located both on site and at the Freedom broadcast studio, ensured up to 9 camera feeds were transported fully in-sync with ultra-low latency via the BitFire Transport Network.
  • Engine Shop: Partnering with the production team at Engine Shop, the company was able to support various live Major League Soccer Esports broadcasts, all utilizing a distributed production workflow. BitFire remote talent kits were distributed to talent homes in London, Toronto and New York allowing them to participate during the live event. Talent integration, combined with remote production personnel interfacing directly with BitFire’s Boston-based control room, truly showcased how turnkey the company’s solutions can be.
  • The Professional Fighters League (PFL) is the number two global market leader in the Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) industry and BitFire is honored to be a crucial part of their broadcast workflow. Utilizing a combination of services ranging from remote talent contribution kits to comms and multi-viewer distribution, BitFire’s platform enabled the live event, broadcast across the United States and more than 160 countries, to proceed with seamless execution.

One of their biggest announcements will happen in September. BitFire will unveil its 16,000 square foot studio and production facility, complete with two sound stages and one-of-a-kind production technology that takes innovation to new heights. LED systems and walls will create real-time, reactive environments enabling a fully immersive experience. This cutting-edge technology highlights the use of Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR) and Mixed Reality (MR), emphasizing the use of computer-generated content to create engaging new worlds for a more intricate story-telling experience.

“As we enter our second year, we look forward to more exciting opportunities and continuing to push the adaption and development of our broadcast-caliber IP video transport platform,” adds Sullivan. “Given the breadth of our production solutions, combined with our commitment to continued development, we believe our reputation will continue to soar.”

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