Comcast Media Center

Winner of network automation Submitted byDiversified Systems Runner-up:Red Bee MediaSubmitted by TSL Versus has become one of the fastest-growing sports

Winner of network automation

Submitted by
Diversified Systems

Red Bee Media
Submitted by TSL

Versus has become one of the fastest-growing sports cable networks in the country. It is the exclusive cable TV home of the NHL, IndyCar Series, Tour de France, World Extreme Cagefighting and Professional Bull Riders. It also airs college football from top conferences. Growing demands pushed the legacy system to the limits. The broadcaster launched a shared HD channel with sister network Golf Channel in December 2007, known as Versus/Golf HD. To accommodate its own dedicated HD Channel launched in December 2008, Versus needed its own network operations facilities. The broadcaster built its new network operations center within the Comcast Media Center (CMC) in Denver. With the amount of live events rapidly increasing, it needed a network operations and transmission facility to accommodate both HD and SD playout, as well as provide for the blackout requirements of the sports franchises.

The project had an aggressive schedule with only a few short months to design, build and cut over the master control and transmission systems within a greenfield space at CMC. After a thorough, competitive bid process, Diversified Systems was selected as the integrator for the project. Diversified was up to the challenge and brought the project in on time and on budget.

The system had to tie in seamlessly with the Versus Stamford, CT, file-based production facility. Using server technology from Omneon along with automation and asset management from Avid's Sundance Digital, Diversified and the team from the CMC created an efficient and highly reliable system that leverages the workflow established in production. The flow of the space and the adjacencies of the various functions such as master control, feed coordination, ingest and media prep were primary concerns in laying out the floor plan. After several revisions, the team created an environment where the operations staff could visually monitor the aforementioned functional areas from a centralized work area without unnecessarily disrupting the operators.