ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.—Production company HRP Live relied on CP Communications for RF, bonded cellular, intercom and streaming services for its coverage in February of the 2022 NOBULL CrossFit Games at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison, Wisc.
“What differentiates us from most production companies is our standing in the fitness space,” said Mike “Rothy” Roth, a co-founder of the HRP Live and director of all of the individual competitions for the broadcast. “We’ve essentially invented how you cover the sport, and that’s been really helpful to us.”
Roth and co-founder Charlie Dube, worked for years on the CrossFit broadcast team. When the event’s management decided it wanted to change direction and hire an outside company to produce broadcasts of its events, the two created HRP Live. Since then, HRP Live has successfully produced several CrossFit broadcasts.
For the five-day event in February, HRP Live managed six NEP mobile units and a crew of about 250 people, including 17 announcers. HRP Live was responsible for live streams of the games and a two-hour live broadcast on CBS.
“All of our RF came from CP Communications,” Roth said. “The field of play is not just one or two fields of play – every inch of the Alliant Energy Center is in play, so we needed somebody who could be flexible. They also provided a bunch of bonded cellular work as well, because we had events that were downtown.”
Most of the CrossFit Games happened at the Alliant Energy Center’s indoor coliseum and outdoor North Park Stadium. Off-site activities included an event at the University of Wisconsin pool and another that required coverage from the stadium to the Wisconsin State Capitol in Madison, more than three miles away. Thirty-two cameras, including two drones with cameras, were used for coverage of that event, CP Communications said.
“We went from the stadium at North Park, which is where the athletes started and where we have standard RF,” Roth said. “Then they left the campus, and we switched to bonded cellular. It was a testament to a lot of people – CP chief among them – to make that work in real time when a bunch of people decide to go live on Instagram at the same time and your bandwidth gets cut in half.”
CP Communications assigned a crew of 12 to 15 people to the event. They handled all off-site communications and field reporter RF using a Unity intercom system, the company said.
“When you’re talking to people miles away, things can go bad. None of this works if you can’t talk to your people out there,” Roth said. “And to be able to talk to everybody in real time, which the Unity system allowed us to do, was spectacular.”
Originally, the CrossFit Games coverage was limited to two streams, but a deal late in the process added more streams for international audiences, and CP’s subsidiary, Red House Streaming, provided the encoding and distribution.
“We ran a lot of that through CP and RHS, where they were the last step out the door,” said Roth. “I think CP and Red House Streaming will be more heavily involved in our transmission and distribution down the road, because I think there’s going to be more and more of it – and they’re well set up for handling multiple streams to multiple places.”
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.
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