ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.—CP Communications has announced that it provided REMI production and streaming services for the Ohlmeyer Kusserow Group (OKG), a production company that specializes in sports broadcasts, during OKG’s production of two LPGA events in September for ESPN.
Approximately 50 hours of programming from the two tournaments was produced by OKG for ESPN, which was streamed live on ESPN+.
CP supported OKG for its coverage of the Kroger Queen City Championship at Kenwood Country Club in Cincinnati in early September, followed by the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship at Pinnacle Country Club in Rogers, Ark., later that month, the companies reported.
During the events, OKG was tasked with coverage of ”follow groups" as opposed to creating the network feed.
“Covering groups of players that aren’t the leaders has become a model for expanded coverage of events,” explained Kurt Heitmann, CEO, CP Communications. “It’s a way to bring more visibility to the LPGA and their players in a cost-effective manner.”
A combination of six Sony PXW-X400 and PXW-X500 ENG cameras, equipped with compact AVIWEST encoders, were used to provide coverage of two groups of three golfers at a time. A drone was also used for overhead shots of the courses, and a DSLR on a gimbal rig brought the shallow depth of field “film look” to the production. For the beauty cam and birdie mic, CP utilized its proprietary CamSTREAM technology, which is an all-in-one PTZ streaming solution, the companies said.
Red House Streaming provided the studios, control room, and streaming services for the productions from its facility in St. Petersburg, FL. The eight live streams were ingested via the RHS-36 truck on site, streamed to Red House Streaming for a line cut of the production, and then streamed to LPGA.com and ESPN+, as well as IMG for international distribution.
“With a smaller budget and a smaller crew working together for the first time, we put together shows that match up with anything airing on PGA Tour Live,” said Chris Ohlmeyer, executive producer and managing partner, OKG. “The golf workflow we are creating will hopefully make it financially sustainable for the LPGA to have their players showcased on ESPN+ like only the PGA Tour has had up to this point.”
The production used CP’s FastReturn secure video management platform to provide return video to camera operators in the field. Plus, with CP’s Unity intercom system, the on-site crew had its own dedicated channel, while a proprietary talent mic system allowed the on-site talent to hear their microphone feeds and give the production a traditional talkback to the producer workflow. “The Unity gives us the advantage of solid yet flexible communication, which makes REMI production easier,” said Frank Rafka, senior RF tech manager for CP Communications.
As with many golf setups, a lack of cell service was the biggest challenge on the two courses, the companies said.
Even courses with good coverage can suffer from site saturation during the event due to fan activity. As part of its preparation, CP brought its proprietary bonded cellular survey kit to the courses to maximize the shooting opportunities during the LPGA events. The company is also developing a proprietary portable VPN solution for boosting bonded cellular capabilities, which will launch at the 2022 New York City Marathon in November.
“This production model is challenging on a number of levels, but CP has proved it’s possible to deliver broadcast-quality, multi-camera productions without the traditional broadband expense,” Heitmann added. “We look forward to delivering more production solutions for OKG and the LPGA.”
George Winslow is the senior content producer for TV Tech. He has written about the television, media and technology industries for nearly 30 years for such publications as Broadcasting & Cable, Multichannel News and TV Tech. Over the years, he has edited a number of magazines, including Multichannel News International and World Screen, and moderated panels at such major industry events as NAB and MIP TV. He has published two books and dozens of encyclopedia articles on such subjects as the media, New York City history and economics.
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