2021 Australian Open

Host Broadcasting

A joint UK/Australia team from Gravity Media is currently hard at work in Melbourne, Victoria, helping to deliver this year’s Australian Open (AO) tennis. The first Grand Slam of the year has been pushed back from its traditional mid-January start date to allow hundreds of players and organisers to complete 14 days of quarantine before their role in the tournament begins.

Among them has been a combined Gravity Media team of 26 full-time staff and additional freelancers, many of whom have been in Australia since November 2020. The country has one of the most rigorous quarantine systems globally, which has affected all overseas crew making their way to the venue – some of our people have spent 80 days away from home, working seven days a week after their quarantine fortnight to get Melbourne Park ready for broadcast.

This year, it’s as big an operation as ever, if not bigger, with large numbers of crew from multiple organisations coming together for the job. The stats are impressive: 

  • 14 staff from Gravity Media in the UK
  • 12 staff from Gravity Media in Australia
  • 75 crew working for the tournament organisers
  • 27 crew working for the AO’s key broadcast partners
  • 2,562 total days worked on the Host project alone
  • 322 quarantine days completed by overseas staff. 

In total, there are nearly 100 people onsite employed by Gravity Media, and over 3,000 total days worked. When we add in quarantine, it’s over 3,300 days. We’ll be broadcasting hundreds of hours of play over the 22 days of transmission, and we’re doing it while a global pandemic still has the world in its grasp. 

What’s more, the team has actually been on-air since 31 January, providing coverage for the first of the AO warm-up tournaments also being held at Melbourne Park. It’s the biggest ever lead-in to the Aus Open, comprising the Melbourne Summer Series (three WTA 500 events; two ATP 250s) and the ATP Cup, so it’s been a busy few days for the team already. 

The Australian Open is one of the biggest projects Gravity Media takes on in any given year, and to deliver it in these difficult circumstances is all the more commendable. Although we’re immeasurably proud of our team on the ground and the sacrifices they’ve had to make, we’re equally proud to say it’s not uncommon. Commitment like this is demonstrated week in, week out by our people, helping cement Gravity Media’s reputation for remarkable client service and flawless delivery. We hope this year’s Australian Open is a belter.