In soccer, buying and selling players to improve your team’s performance is only possible during two periods a year. The final day of this Transfer window is when some of the biggest surprises pop up. Needs it to be said this Transfer Deadline Day is of the utmost importance for Sports broadcasters such as Sky Sports News? On January 31st, the final day of the January Transfer Window, Sky Sports News is the reference broadcaster to get all the insights on this. Which player will end up where? Will there be any last-minute transfers? Sky Sports News is literally on the ball to cover all this during a marathon broadcast.
To pull this off they have a well-oiled team of professionals, using top-notch technology. Reporters need to be in the field, to report live where the action is. And they need to move quickly to the next location. So they need equipment they can rely on blindly to get the news out. And this counts for all parts of the chain: camera, sound, lights, editing, playout and transmission.
For transmission, Sky Sports News is a long-time user of Mobile Viewpoints mobile backpack encoders. Housed in a rugged casing, these encoders can be carried in a backpack or on the back of any ENG camera. When a reporter and his team arrive at a soccer stadium, all they have to do is power it up. In the background, all necessary tweaks are being made automatically to guarantee the best picture possible. That time when a big satellite truck needed to come in, park, point its big dish to the south (without anything like trees or buildings blocking the signal) are slowly moving to the past. All the cameraman and reporter have to focus on is setting a great shot, and getting a great interview or that unique scoop.
Back at the Sky Sports News headquarters, all these incoming feeds are monitored closely by technical and production teams. Nothing can go wrong on such a day. Over 20 Mobile Viewpoint WMT live encoders were being used all day long. Not only in the UK, but also all over Europe. Sky Sports Deutschland and Sky Italia, also Mobile Viewpoint users, were contributing also. Live feeds where exchanged of all their backpacks in the field between the different channels.
Using Mobile Viewpoint’s VideoManager, staff can easily monitor incoming feeds using a web browser. Are audio and video OK? Is the framing by the cameraman ready to go live? If needed, they can even adjust settings remotely when the local cameraman needs assistance. It makes the whole process of being live on the scene easier, faster and more flexible.
When Transfer Deadline Day comes to an end, the dust settles not only at the soccer teams but at Sky Sports headquarters as well. A whole day of frantically producing news, which happens and changes every minute, has come to an end. Nervous calls, solving last-minute technical issues, … all come to an end after the end credits roll. Using 20 teams, over 80 live reports where contributed. And that’s only possible when the use the best equipment there is. But this team seemed well at ease during the day.