Originally featured on BroadcastEngineering.com
BSI delivers Kentucky Derby action for NBC Sports
Broadcast Sports Inc. (BSI), a developer and service provider of wireless camera, audio and communication systems, played a critical role in NBC's live broadcast of the 138th Kentucky Derby in Louisville, KY. BSI provided the RF infrastructure and wireless technology that allowed NBC to extend its coverage beyond the track and grandstands into the furthest corners of Churchill Downs.
BSI deployed its Intelligent Diversity Distributed Receive System using multiple RF-over-fiber receive sites throughout the venue. The system supported the wireless control and signal reception of four handheld cameras and three Steadicams, a 360-degree camera mounted on the starting gate, and a helmet-mounted POV camera that was used during post-race interviews. BSI also provided NBC with 13 wireless microphones for talent and effects audio.
A horse racing broadcast like the Kentucky Derby presents a variety of unique production challenges that can be easily overcome with wireless technology. Using BSI's system, NBC was able to immerse viewers in the experience from start to finish. The complete package, which also included multiple off-air communication systems, allowed NBC to shoot live footage on the track itself and across the grounds including the barns, paddock, betting windows, high-profile guest seating areas, jockey locker room and the winner's circle.