The latest happenings from around the world of sports

Ascent Media to build, manage sports production facility for France’s TF1

Representing the largest project of its type in mainland Europe this year, Ascent Media Systems & Technology Services (S&TS) has agreed to design and build a tapeless production system for French broadcaster Télévision Française 1 (TF1)’s news and sports programming. The integration and installation project has begun and the first systems will begin operation in mid-2008.

The new facilities are to be built at TF1’s headquarters in Boulogne near Paris and will host and manage the production of all of the broadcaster’s news programming as well as that of LCI, the network’s 24-hour news channel.

The new facility will include a Dalet Media Asset Management platform tightly integrated with TF1’s existing newsroom computer system. More than 25 channels of video are ingested and 40 played out from an Omneon server. In addition, Exanet’s NAS (Network Attached Storage) solution is used to manage 96TB of redundant storage provided by DataDirect Networks across the main and backup systems. A total of 150 Apple workstations running Final Cut Pro are installed to allow editors and journalists to edit content both on-site and from the field.

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NFL Network deploys NVISION technology for Super Bowl hype

In preparation for Super Bowl XLII, the NFL Network is offering football fans more than 100 broadcasting hours that includes “NFL Total Access” on the scene in Arizona with news, features and interviews all week leading up to the big game.

The NFL Network is using NIVISION’s master control and router control technology behind the scenes to manage the live programming feeds from multiple venues. NVISION systems used for this project include the NV5128-MC Master Control, NV 915 Router Control and NV9640 Router Control Panel that offers up to 30 relegendable LCD buttons.

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ESPN, ABC to televise IndyCar Series in HD

This year, fans of the IndyCar Series will see all 16 events in HD for the first time. ESPN on ABC’s coverage of the 2007 Indianapolis 500 was the first IndyCar Series event to be televised in HD. The IndyCar Series season begins Saturday, March 29.

The IndyCar Series will appear on ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC, including seven events on both ESPN2 and ABC and two on ESPN.

All cameras used in ESPN’s IndyCar Series coverage will be HD (720p), including in-car cameras and those used in the pits and for other points of view. Also included will be an HD onboard camera that can provide a rotating 360-degree view.

The new onboard camera is the first of its kind in domestic motor sports and is provided by Broadcast Sports, which developed the system and worked with the league's technical team on wind tunnel simulation and aerodynamic research to ensure the new mount does not affect race car aerodynamics at speeds of more than 220mph.

In 2008, ESPN HD and ESPN2 HD said it would deliver more than 1000 live events in HD.

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