The Switch Provides Innovative Workflows for `Love Island USA’

`Love Island', season 3, Olivia Kaiser (Image credit: CBS)

NEW YORK—The Switch, a provider of services for production and the global delivery of live video, has announced that it worked with ITV America to create a unique workflow to support the 24/7 live production of the reality show `Love Island.’

The live production involved 115 cameras, production locations in Hawaii, Los Angeles and Burbank and the delivery of content to three networks.

As part of the effort, The Switch installed a dedicated network between the main “Villa”, a second villa at “Casa Amor”  and the master control room set up at the Naniloa Hotel in Downtown Hilo, Hawaii. 

From Hawaii, The Switch provided fiber connectivity to The Burbank Switch which housed all of the post production servers for ‘Love Island’ and the main Post Production Offices at ITV’s Lankershim facility.  Produced by ITV America’s ITV Entertainment, the reality show’s remote locations in Hawaii presented connectivity challenges for the production team and they turned to The Switch for assistance.   

The Naniloa Hotel in Downtown Hilo, formed the main base of operations for the production crew. The Switch located Nimbra  IP transmission platforms at each of the three locations and working with its local Partner, Hawaiian Telecom, provided 10Gb connectivity from each site to support video, audio and data connections between the sets. 

It also provided 10Gb connectivity to its Burbank production facility, where ITV America’s 80+ remote editorial team put together the show 24/7 for 41 days straight. 

In total, the production team directed, produced and controlled 115 cameras across three sets from 20 miles away at the Naniloa and edited the show from 3,000 miles away in California. 

Separate production “bubbles” were created at all three Hawaii locations as part of the many protocols in place to keep contestants and crew safe throughout the process. 

“Given our shooting location and the various challenges that come with creating content in 2021, we knew it would be difficult to keep post production on site in Hawaii,” said Danielle DiStefano, executive vice president of post operations & technology at ITV America. “When we shifted `Love Island’ to a remote workflow from Hawaii to Los Angeles, we needed a partner that understood live production, could manage unforeseen challenges and could handle continuous live feeds from multiple remote locations. The Switch offers a unique mix of extensive production knowledge and network capacity, which enabled it to meet our specific requirements. Having The Switch on board freed the on-the-ground creative team to concentrate on producing the show instead of worrying about how to get the content where it needed to go.”

In addition to assisting with the connectivity from Hawaii to Los Angeles, The Switch worked with ITV America to deliver the show 6 nights per week for 6 weeks via fiber to Los Angeles, and by satellite to New York for broadcast. It also supported the delivery of live feeds to CTV in Toronto for the Canadian simulcast of the series. The Switch enabled ITV America to deliver 50 hours of content across three networks over the course of six weeks. 

Linda Hannan, sales director, digital media and OTT, at The Switch, said: “The pandemic has shown that our customers need to adapt and work in innovative ways to keep content flowing. The project with ITV America highlights our ability to connect our network to any location – no matter how remote – and underscores our ability to support high-end productions even in the most challenging conditions.”

This is the second year running that The Switch has supported ITV America with connectivity for `Love Island.’ It supported another unique production set-up in 2020 when the show was shot in Las Vegas and edited in Los Angeles. 

George Winslow

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.