Eleventh heaven for Rafa and Input Media

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Spain’s Rafael Nadal dominated the tournament from start to finish, sweeping aside his opponents in every round before demolishing Dominic Thiem in the Final to claim a record-breaking 11th men’s singles title on the red clay of Roland Garros.

And it was the 11th successive year Input Media had been on-site at Roland Garros too, delivering world feeds, highlights programmes and other top-quality content on behalf of the Fédération Française de Tennis (FFT).

Input Media was part of the fabric of the grand slam tournament, providing a wide range of services for ten years. At the core of our production operation were the two highly-acclaimed world feeds – International Super Signals (ISS) Prime and Extra. Both feeds went on air when play began at 0900 GMT and ran until the last shot of the day – often late into the evening if the weather was warm and dry.

With a dedicated commentary team of eight led by the great Fred Stolle – himself a French Open winner in 1965 – ISS Prime and Extra captured the unfolding drama live each day and reached hundreds of millions of viewers globally.

ISS Prime and Extra were rated as among the best world feeds in any sport, with the French Open being one of the world’s first high-profile sporting events to introduce a second world feed to showcase its best action.

We built a complex technical hub on-site to support the ISS output, with the host broadcast coverage of all courts available to the ISS programme editor and producers working through the day building an hour-long, ready-to-air Daily Highlights Programme for play-out at 2000 GMT.

Underpinned by file-based workflows, the hub’s technical infrastructure supported the two galleries, four edit suites and a bank of EVSs needed to deliver output of the highest quality to the FFT’s rights-holders around the world. In 2018, for the first time, our operation spanned the English Channel, with all courts being logged remotely from our Production Centre in west London, freeing up valuable space for operations on-site.

With our other services for FFT including individual match edits and content for digital and big screens around the ground, 2018’s French Open was a real tour de force by all at Input Media.

The next stop is Wimbledon, where our sister company HyperActive Broadcast has supplied enough Avid and EVS technology to record up to 40 live streams simultaneously. Strawberries at the ready...