Mark Hallinger /
Televisa Tackles Split Production
Split facility, Web-browsing highlight Mexican rightsholder Games
Televisa used host
broadcaster service IPBrowseWeb, which allowed personnel located in Mexico to browse content, create clips
and even retrieve content with minimal delay over standard Internet
Televisa’s facility at the London International Broadcast Center (IBC) was
interesting for a variety of reasons.
most of the facility was located outside the IBC, in several buildings
and an OB van in the satellite compound. These buildings are connected by triax
and fiber to studios located inside the huge IBC complex.
Francisco Larios Sanchez, technical director of sporting events for
Televisa, explained that this situation was simply a space issue -- the Mexican
rightsholder acquired the rights quite late, and space inside the IBC building
was limited. Two other related Mexican stations with rights -- Azteca and
Televisa Deportes Network -- do have complete facilities inside the IBC.
But Televisa’s split is more than just the few hundred metres
between studio and technical rooms, it’s also between London and Mexico. Like
many broadcasters, Televisa sees value and savings in keeping a substantial
crew complement at home.
“Normally for these events we
have 200-220 people,” said Larios. “Now because so much is in Mexico, we have
just 110 people here, a big cost savings in hotels, flights, etc.”
As for the coverage, Larios said they were creating their own
variant of the Multichannel Distribution
Service (MDS), the11 ready-to-air channels of competition plus
Games news delivered via satellite by host broadcaster OBS.
doing our own MDS,” said Larios. “We receive the VandA package from OBS (48
signals) ... then do our own 10 signals focused on Mexican athletes and sports
favored by Mexico.”
Most of the 10 signals -- delivered
to Mexico using fiber -- were live. Televisa was on-air with Games programming
from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily. Beyond the live signals, program production took
place both in Mexico and in London.
SERVERS AT THE CORE
The browse, duplication and content access benefits of a server
infrastructure and its associated software were central to Televisa’s production.
Televisa had two EVS
IPEdit stations, one
in London and one in Mexico. Likewise, both sides of the split facility had a
single IPDirector station.
Both Televisa’s London facility and its Mexican
production rooms were connected to the host broadcaster servers via the host
broadcaster Browse Service. This service
placed an EVS server within a rightholding broadcaster facility. Production
personnel in Mexico or London could use EVS IPBrowse software to look at lo-res
browse copies of content before picking only needed content for HD-res
delivery to the EVS server in the facility.
Televisa had two EVS IPEdit stations, one in
London and one in Mexico. Likewise, both sides of the facility had a single
Televisa installed an active storage server integrated with Sienna storage to
get a backup and to keep the content for historic purposes. This content was
recorded in SD and was also connected with the Mexico facility, which could get
TOUCHING THE FUTURE
Televisa was also
experimenting with a new-in-London host broadcaster service called IPBrowseWeb. This service allowed
producers and production personnel located offsite to browse content, create
clips and even retrieve content with minimal delay over standard Internet
the 48 signal VandA package from the host broadcaster and turned around its own
ten signal package focusing on Mexican athletes and sports favored by Mexico.
Larios said Mexico-based personnel could
see (in lo-res) competition material within 1 second of its arrival on the host
servers. As for delivery of hi-res content, they restricted this to clips of 5
minutes or less.
“In this guy kind of an operation with
many editors and producers in Mexico, it’s a way for the off-site staff to be
more involved, they can know immediately what’s happening and can get some
A Mexican in long jump is an example
of how IPBrowseWeb was used. In this case, the international feed had just one
of his jumps, so Televisa could use IP Web to pull his additional jumps, a
small amount of content, across the web.
“This will get
more use in the future for sure,” said Larios, a 36-year veteran of the
industry. “Every event costs more with less space.”