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Gravity Media Deploys Advanced Remote Production Workflow For Triathlon Coverage

Gravity Media
(Image credit: Gravity Media)

SYDNEY—Gravity Media and the Mana Sports and Entertainment Group partnered on coverage of the June 5 head-to-head men’s endurance sport race in Germany that relied on an advanced REMI (remote integration model) production setup.

The race, a head-to-head contest between Kristian Blummenfelt and Joe Skipper and between Nicola Spirig and Kat Matthews not only was one for the history books in which a full-distance triathlon was completed in less than seven and eight hours, respectively, but also proved to be a remarkable achievement for the REMI model.

“This event was a great opportunity to demonstrate a ‘proof of concept’ and to highlight what can be achieved through experience and innovation. I thoroughly enjoyed watching the event. Technically [a] great achievement; everyone involved should be very proud –well done,” said Gravity Media CEO John Newton.

Some 50,000 people across the globe watched the race on YouTube and Facebook. Nine and half hours of live coverage of the Pho3nix SUB7 SUB8 Triathlon in Germany, powered by Zwift race was produced from the Gravity Media Production Centre in Sydney.

Coverage of the event spotlighted Gravity Media’s technical innovation. Sixteen cameras beamed in from the Laustitzring racetrack in Brandenburg, Germany, fed the remote IP broadcast switched from Sydney. Live coverage of racing was bookended with pre- and post-race content, featuring special guests, pre-recorded content and technical analysis.

“Gravity Media has a great reputation globally for not only providing complex technical solutions, but also for our highly credentialed and talented production team,” said Saul Shtein, director of Production & Content at Gravity Media Australia. “The Sub7 and Sub8 is an example of a cost-effective, full-turnkey production. From working with the client on the initial concept, pre-production, graphic design, crewing… right through to the telecast of the event.”

Live coverage was streamed on the Pho3nix Foundation’s YouTube channel. A peak of 28,880 concurrent viewers watched the racers finish under goal time. There were 202,300 logged views after 24 hours, and the stream is projected to exceed a quarter of a million views over the next week, Gravity Media said.

Coverage was also mirrored on Facebook, where it reached 174,438 views and 15,995 link clicks. Related social media post engagement logged a 600% increase from baseline, it said.

More than 90 Gravity Media personnel from Australia and France produced the coverage, said Mike Purcell, head of production and executive producer at Gravity Media Australia, adding that equipment from all of the company’s offices, including Germany and the U.K. was used.

“This event has been a great achievement at every level. Besides the technical achievement which has been brilliantly executed by the technical teams, on a complicated and very advanced set-up, it has also been a great collaboration between the Gravity Media offices across the globe,” said Solene Zavagno, general manager at Gravity Media France.

Gravity Media used a large amount of equipment to provide the necessary communications and video circuits used. Talkback was delivered via Unity communications using bonded devices. A total of 20 cameras were deployed, including specialty cameras on motorcycles and a drone. Polecams and a Shotover camera with gyro-stabilized head were also deployed.

All feeds were transported via AviWest bonded IP transmitters. Other tech included 20 EVS record ports spread across three XT3 servers linked in the control room, sever SRT return video fees, three GFX engines and multiple edit suites in Germany and Australia. Personnel included two dedicated highlight loggers, a social media team managing all social content and on-screen graphics from Gravity Media’s Australian design team and produced by Girraphic, the company said.

“This project required complex engineering solutions. We collaborated closely with the Gravity Media team in France to connect both sites through IP comms and bonded camera technology. Our facility has been designed to cater for both remote productions and traditional broadcast methods. This unique flexibility allows us to be agile for any production be it small or large, anywhere in the world,” said Adam Dodman, studio engineering manager at Gravity Media Australia.

More information is available on the company’s website (opens in new tab). Video coverage of the triathlon is available online (opens in new tab)

Phil Kurz is a contributing editor to TV Tech. He has written about TV and video technology for more than 30 years and served as editor of three leading industry magazines. He earned a Bachelor of Journalism and a Master’s Degree in Journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Journalism.