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Raycom Sports Archives With Sony Optical Disc

CHARLOTTE, N.C.—For the past four decades, Raycom Sports has produced collegiate sports content for syndicated and cable packages. In addition to our current partnership with the Atlantic Coast Conference (handling production for the conference’s Regional Sports Network and providing production services for ESPN’s upcoming ACC Network) we have also produced live mobile and documentary content for the Carolina Panthers, Blizzard Entertainment, The Basketball Tournament and Hot Wheels Monster Trucks Live. As Coordinating Producer, I have worked with our great staff and freelancers to produce Emmy-winning content for Raycom Sports since 2004.

Alex Farmartino

Alex Farmartino

We were recently presented with an exciting but daunting challenge to digitize our entire video library. While our current video workflow has been fully digital for multiple years, 40 years of content creation left a massive amount of invaluable historical assets on videotape. Our overall collection of nearly 40,000 tapes ranged from high definition formats like HDCAM and DVCPro to Betacam and 3/4 inch.


We had to consider many factors when developing our solution. Off-site housing of a video library can be very effective with the appropriate budget, but it’s tougher for mid-sized production operations like ours. Since storage is a monthly cost in any remote library arrangement, all conversations about storing our video library elsewhere to lower expenses resulted in contingencies of lowering the quality of video archived or increasing the turnaround time for assets retrieved, and these concessions were unacceptable or too cumbersome.

So how best to store these new digital assets locally? Having utilized XDCAM cartridges since our jump to high definition, we had witnessed first-hand the durability and read/write speed benefits of Sony’s disc-based solutions. That experience, combined with the massive Optical Disc Archive (ODA) workflow implemented by the Golf Channel, among others, demonstrated that massive asset libraries could be stored locally without using data tape. Having also seen the Carolina Panthers implement the ODA solution, we were convinced ODA was the best fit for all of our production needs.

Thanks primarily to the tireless efforts of our Production/Archive Manager, Rob Chorney, Raycom Sports has digitized over 20,000 videotapes as of Dec. 1, 2018. The material digitized, which is comprised of ACC football and basketball games since 1983, represents about 85 percent of our Atlantic Coast Conference content and about 60 percent of our overall library. Our Sony Optical Disc Archive PetaSite implementation consists of three chassis housing 190 slots of ODA storage and four Gen2 drives. This footprint gives us over 600 TBs of storage in our active repository. Masstech’s Flashnet middleware allows editors working within our Avid Media Central environment to archive and retrieve assets from within the Avid GUI, providing editing efficiency. Additionally, having assets more readily available for distribution has increased our video licensing revenue.

We are extremely pleased with the PetaSite system and its potential for scalability. With the coming release of Gen3 technology, I am confident our video library will be securely housed by Sony for years to come.

Alex Farmartino is coordinating producer at Raycom Sports. A 14-time MidSouth Emmy winner, he has worked since 2004 in live mobile broadcast and documentary production. He can be reached

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