ESPN is a leading US-based sports broadcaster based in Connecticut. It operates eight television channels in the United States. Its flagship channel has around 90 million US subscribers. In addition, ESPN broadcasts in more than 200 countries, with regional channels operating in Australia, Brazil, Latin America and the United Kingdom.
The month-long 2014 FIFA World Cup, which kicked off in June, saw ESPN pledge to screen all 64 matches live across three networks – ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC.
ESPN contracted worldwide broadcast solutions specialists Gravity Media – then branded Gearhouse Broadcast – to provide operational solutions within the World Cup’s International Broadcast Centre, located in Rio de Janeiro.
Gravity Media’s role was to receive the host feed (from Host Broadcast Services) as well as domestic and international feeds from ESPN’s studio located on Copacabana Beach. The feeds were then distributed and monitored internally within the International Broadcast Centre and transported to ESPN's main broadcast studios in Bristol, Connecticut.
A team of experienced specialists from Gravity Media provided a bespoke solution to meet the production requirements of ESPN, enabling seamless coverage of the highest quality.
Specifically, the solution incorporated LAWO’s compact and powerful V__pro8 video processor, which is available exclusively through Gravity Media.
Other equipment approved and supplied by the team included LAWO audio consoles, Evertz multi viewers, Snell routing, Harris glue equipment, five EVS XT3 servers, eight EVS XTAccess transcode machines, 88TB of storage and two DB servers.
Solutions offered by Gravity Media meant ESPN was able to deliver a quality viewing experience to US football fans.
“With the increasing popularity of soccer in the US and the majority of this World Cup taking place just an hour ahead of East Coast time, it’s a hugely important tournament for us to be broadcasting,” a spokesperson from ESPN commented.
“We’ve worked with Gearhouse at two previous World Cups, a Women's World Cup, as well as various major tennis tournaments and have full confidence in their ability to deliver on the biggest stages.”