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ESPN Teleport - Winner of new studio or RF technology station

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Runner-up: WFYI
Submitted by: WFYI Public Broadcasting

Seven years ago, the initial discussions took place regarding the feasibility of developing a parcel of land near the ESPN campus for transplanting its antenna resources to one common area. By the end of December 2008, the project was completed. The teleport is comprised of five terraces, each lower than the preceding by 10ft. This allows for a clear line of sight to domestic and international satellites by all 22 antennas on the teleport. Eighteen antennas, ranging from 4.5m to 11m, were relocated to the teleport, along with four additional antennas, three of which are 9m antennas and one 7m Torus antenna. The Torus measures 24.4m in length and 7m in height, and it has the functionality of 35 7m C/Ku-band antennas with feed assemblies fully populated. The antenna was positioned to give it optimum reception along the domestic arc. With 30 feed assemblies aligned, the network no longer has to reject feed requests because of the lack of antenna resources. The addition of the Torus for domestic reception frees up 10 4.5m agile antennas for international reception.

The majority of ESPN networks are distributed by seven C-band transmit antennas powered by 1kW solid-state power amplifiers. They were chosen for their wideband characteristics, built-in redundancy and ease of maintenance. ESPN selected 1:2 phase combined traveling-wave tube amplifiers to power three Ku-band antennas for distribution of its international networks to targeted areas not reached by C-band distribution. Fiber optics are used to transport signals between the teleport and the transmission control room; loose tube conduits and air-blown fiber were chosen for their flexibility in meeting future needs. The completion of this teleport, and the expansion capabilities it provides, will allow ESPN to expand upon the 53,000 feeds it currently receives each year, enhancing distribution to the 196 countries and territories currently receiving ESPN content.