The latest happenings from around the world of sports from Satellite Technology Systems, ESPN International, and more

Satellite Technology Systems supplied uplink services for Super Bowl

Crystal Lake, IL-based Satellite Technology Systems provided the world feed for NFL Films during the recent Super Bowl XLIII game; it’s the third consecutive year NFL Films has contracted STS for its services.

Using its recently upgraded 33ft Ku-band, HD production uplink vehicle (featuring FOR-A’s HVS-1000HS HANABI 1 M/E HD switcher), the feed was made available in HD/SD simultaneously as well as on both C- and Ku-band satellite frequencies. The C-band antenna part of the truck was used for HD, and the Ku-band portion of the truck was used for the SD world feed. Within the truck, TANDBERG Television encoders were used to encode the world feed.

The dual-band transmission capabilities ensured security for the game’s far-reaching broadcast. Last year’s Super Bowl was transmitted to 232 countries and territories in 34 languages and made available to an estimated 1 billion people. While somewhat more complicated to control, the dual-band technology provides an essential backup system should the primary system fail.

ESPN International brings Super Bowl XLIII to Latin America in HD

This year was the first time in Latin America that the Super Bowl was broadcast in HD on ESPN International for DIRECTV HD subscribers.

ESPN HD was launched in the United States March 30, 2003, as an HD simulcast service of ESPN, followed Jan. 6, 2005, by the launch of ESPN2 HD. In 2008, ESPN HD and ESPN2 HD collectively delivered more than 12,000 hours of HD sports programming.

ESPN International, a division of ESPN, has grown to include ownership — in whole or in part — of 45 TV networks outside of the United States as well as a variety of brand extension businesses, which allow ESPN to reach fans in 194 countries and territories.

WTVision providing on-air graphics to championship motorcycle racing

WTVision is working with Interzona and Mediapro to provide high-quality graphics for Eurosport viewers of the World Championships and other high-profile motorcycle races. As a multiplatform player, wTVision integrates its own solutions with several graphic platforms, such as Inscriber, Orad, Wasp 3D, Vizrt and Media Refinery, among others.

The World Championships were held in January in Great Britain (Sheffield, Jan. 3) and France (Marseille, Jan. 24). Top Indoor Trial riders can be seen over the next few weeks in different stadiums of Spain (Barcelona, Feb. 8, and Madrid, March 14) and Italy (Bolzano, Feb. 26).

WTVision is employing its SportStats CG Suite, a real-time sports on-air graphics and scouting system that supports multisport live events broadcasts.

Harmonic, Newtec support first HD horse racing simulcast

Roberts Communications Network, in conjunction with Churchill Downs, the world-famous racetrack in Louisville, KY, has launched an HD simulcast broadcast. This landmark service is powered by Harmonic’s DiviCom MV 500 MPEG-2 HD encoders and Newtec’s Azimuth AZ110 broadcast satellite modulators.

At the recent Churchill Downs Fall Meet, on-screen graphics and racing information were presented in the 16:9 HD format, allowing for additional and enhanced wagering information for both the on-track and simulcasting customer. Roberts Communications is initially providing the service to select off-track betting sites across the country.

Roberts selected the Newtec Broadcast Satellite Modulator AZ110 and uses DVB-S2 for the transmission of the HD MPEG-2 signal. The combination of HD and DVB-S2 minimizes satellite capacity for a full HD feed.