SVG Sports Cloud Production Forum Gives Refresher Course on Cloud-Based Tools, Ecosystem

More than 200 professionals were in to NYC to discuss the emerging trends of this workflow

While the sports production industry has made great strides in the live cloud-based production of sports events in recent years, there is still much work to be done – and much discussion to be had. The SVG Sports Cloud Production Forum, which took place in New York City on Thursday, May 16, provided sports-video-production community with a chance to gather, collaborate, and share insights on the current state of live cloud-based production, the cloud’s place in the sports production ecosystem, and what the industry needs to do in order to leverage cloud-based tools and services in more pragmatic and beneficial ways.

AWS’s Andrew Reich, NHL’s Grant Nodine, and SVG’s Ken Kerschbaumer highlight the league’s cloud-based workflows for live game production.

The day started with an impressive in-depth conversation that went into the recent live cloud production from the National Hockey League. NHL SVP, Technology, Grant Nodine, and AWS, Senior Industry Specialist BD, Media & Entertainment, Games, Sports, Andrew Reich, break down why  the cloud was used to produce both a main broadcast and an alternate feed, the technologies involved in the project, and what the game meant not only to the league but the entire industry.

Following up, an introductory panel into what beginners can learn about the cloud. Industry veterans from AWS, Alpha, Advanced Systems Group, Diversified, and Tata Communications/The Switch hit the stage to break down the fundamental principles, practical considerations, and strategic approaches for navigating the cloud.

In another real-life example, Reich was joined by NASCAR’s Managing Director, Digital Technology, Patrick Carroll, to dissect how the motorsports league and AWS worked together to enhance the in-venue fan experience by incorporating more engaging content in the NASCAR Tracks App.

SVG’s Brandon Costa and ESPN’s Chris Strong speak about the network’s progress with working in the cloud.

After a 15-minute case study by Grabyo, ESPN’s Director, Specialist Operations, Chris Strong, walked through the network’s adventures in the cloud. Over the past two years, ESPN has pushed the boundaries of live cloud-based production with several real-world deployments and a plethora of behind-the-scenes tests. Now, ESPN is focused on building a robust baseline to operate different cloud-based workflows from. In this fireside chat, Strong highlighted how they’re working towards IAC (infrastructure as code), building out their “golden image”, and working with internal security teams in order to lay the ground for a cloud-based future.

After lunch, Microsoft’s Senior Director, Data & AI Technical, Scott Bounds, detailed the in’s and out’s of Microsoft Azure, how broadcast-technology vendors leverage the platform to deliver live-production tools in the cloud, how it’s powering the NBA App, and more.

NASCAR’s Patrick Carroll and Reich run through the upgraded in-venue experience via the NASCAR Tracks App.

Next up, SNY’s Senior Producer/Editor, YouTube Manager, Samantha Kandell and LiveU’s Sports Sales Director Paul Brack spoke about producing a fully cloud-based streaming program, The Putback with Ian Begley, with a lean team and the help of LiveU Studio to connect remote contributors together.

Later in the day, live cloud production and orchestration tools was the next topic of discussion. With the NAB Show in Las Vegas still top of mind, this session explored technologies and workflows that drive seamless and efficient live content production in the cloud. From orchestration to automation, equipment manufacturers and software providers will dive deep into the innovative solutions shaping the current landscape of live cloud production.

Next, industry experts engaged in a spirited debate on one of the most critical decisions media organizations face in their cloud strategy: Public Cloud vs. Private Cloud vs. Hybrid Workflows. This conversation explored the merits, challenges, and strategic considerations associated with each approach, providing decision makers a roadmap to create agile, scalable, cost-effective cloud-based workflows of their own.

PGA TOUR’s Anthony Renda and Kerschbaumer break down the role of the cloud in “Every Shot Live”.

In the last end-user case study, PGA TOUR’s Director, Content Publishing & Media Workflows, Anthony Renda, showcased their cloud-based production of “Every Sot Live.” Over the next two years, the PGA TOUR is tapping a new dedicated truck fleet built by NEP and a new 167,000 sq. ft. facility. In the cloud, Renda and his team are able to lessen the need for racks of equipment in the new facility and the trucks.

The 2024 SVG Sports Cloud Production Forum was made possible by Title Sponsor AWS; Gold Sponsors Bitfire, Matrox Video, Riedel, Sony, TAG Video Systems, and The Switch; Case Study Sponsors Grabyo, Grass Valley, and LiveU; and Event Sponsors Advanced Systems Group, Haivision, Net Insight, and Signiant.

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