SuperSport broadcasts – Behind the scenes

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SuperSport broadcasts – Behind the scenes

SuperSport is the premier sports broadcaster in South Africa, and owns the rights to most popular sports competitions.

While many South Africans may take these broadcasts for granted, providing high-quality, live coverage of sports matches is an incredibly complex and difficult task.
 

genetic

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I've done OB work before... can be very stressful when things go wrong (and they do), but very rewarding work and used to absolutely love it.
 
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Nobody Important

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Yeah this is actually interesting. A nice behind the scenes look.

Could have added a few more pictures, the production side of it looks cool.
Agreed. I would have loved to know more about the cable management system. Whenever I go to a stadium and I see these trucks, there is a huge amount of cables running from the trucks into the stadium. I can just imagine the task of running all those cables in various directions throughout the stadium.

It takes me 30 minutes to setup a simple sound-system in a hall, I can imagine that it must take these guys an entire day! And then what about wrapping up? :X3:
 

genetic

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Yeah this is actually interesting. A nice behind the scenes look.

Could have added a few more pictures, the production side of it looks cool.
Here is a good behind the scenes video on how SuperSport broadcast a game;


 

genetic

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Agreed. I would have loved to know more about the cable management system. Whenever I go to a stadium and I see these trucks, there is a huge amount of cables running from the trucks into the stadium. I can just imagine the task of running all those cables in various directions throughout the stadium.

It takes me 30 minutes to setup a simple sound-system in a hall, I can imagine that it must take these guys an entire day! And then what about wrapping up? :X3:
Setup can take weeks before broadcast!

The director, producers, technical directors, and various HOD's recce the location often weeks prior to an event. Although all stadiums have a pre-defined technical blueprint these days, each game is different (be it soccer, cricket, rugby etc.) and always treated as a unique broadcast.

OB trucks, camera locations, power and backup requirements, security, satellite up-link and redundancy are all mapped out into a technical floor-plan before the first cable is even laid for each and every game. The producers will then draw up a gear and crew list, detailing every piece of equipment, crew and every inch of cabling required for the broadcast.

The broadcast engineering team then come in and lay out all the equipment required for the broadcast days before the event. They conduct relentless technical tests and rehearsals to iron out any techincal challenges.

There are then pre-game performances (i.e opening ceremonies) that are rehearsed by both artists and technical crew. These ensure that the best camera angles cover the most important or visually appealing moments of each performance, to ensure clean, entertaining and seamless coverage come D-Day.

As someone that works in the field, I have nothing but respect fellow crew that slave after hours, weekends and public holidays to ensure you get your entertainment.

If we fsckup, everyone knows about us. If we do our job properly, we go unnoticed. That's why were best gone unnoticed. :p
 

Nobody Important

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Setup can take weeks before broadcast!

The director, producers, technical directors, and various HOD's recce the location often weeks prior to an event. Although all stadiums have a pre-defined technical blueprint these days, each game is different (be it soccer, cricket, rugby etc.) and always treated as a unique broadcast.

OB trucks, camera locations, power and backup requirements, security, satellite up-link and redundancy are all mapped out into a technical floor-plan before the first cable is even laid for each and every game. The producers will then draw up a gear and crew list, detailing every piece of equipment, crew and every inch of cabling required for the broadcast.

The broadcast engineering team then come in and lay out all the equipment required for the broadcast days before the event. They conduct relentless technical tests and rehearsals to iron out any techincal challenges.

There are then pre-game performances (i.e opening ceremonies) that are rehearsed by both artists and technical crew. These ensure that the best camera angles cover the most important or visually appealing moments of each performance, to ensure clean, entertaining and seamless coverage come D-Day.

As someone that works in the field, I have nothing but respect fellow crew that slave after hours, weekends and public holidays to ensure you get your entertainment.

If we fsckup, everyone knows about us. If we do our job properly, we go unnoticed. That's why were best gone unnoticed. :p
Mybb should have interviewed you. Or you should have written this article. Very informative. :thumbsup:
 

genetic

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Also to put cost into perspective...

SuperSport started upgrading their infrastructure to 4K back in 2014. (mostly used to get extra resolution for scaling in HD).

Their recent television camera acquisitions were the new Sony HDC-3500/4800 4K cameras, which are designed to supplement their current fleet of HDC-1500 and 2400 range of HD cameras. Although DSTV / SuperSport still broadcast in 1080i / 720p, some programs are now being produced in 4K, and transmitted in HD.

The new Sony 4K HDC range TV cameras start at around R1 million to R3.5 million each, depending on the model. That excludes a lens!.. Then slap on a Canon UHD Superdigi 90x zoom lens at a cost of R2.8 million a pop, and one TV camera can soon cost upwards of R4-6 million+ each!

Throw a few dozen cameras to a sports field, add a couple of multi-million dollar broadcast vans, fibre and satellite transmission back-links, then you can understand why sports broadcasting is so expensive.
 
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