Fox trusts in Lawo for major international sports events
By: David Davies
Monday, July 17, 2017 - 10:04 am

American broadcaster Fox Sports is heavily using Lawo equipment for remote production at various major sporting events. After having acquired the US broadcast rights to broadcast soccer championships, Fox contacted the German manufacturer with regard to its renowned IP-based commentary and remote production systems.

Lawo IP-based remote production equipment has been used for years at several international sports events for live broadcast production and the discussions led to the purchase of two Lawo remote kits for the Americas Football Championship. After their success with that event, the same Lawo equipment was used by Fox Regional Sports to produce Big East College Basketball. This also included the integration of VisTool, Lawo’s powerful control and GUI application software. Broadcasters use VisTool to easily create custom status displays, tablet and touchscreen based button panels and even virtualize mixing console controllers.

Fox purchased the latest set of equipment to support the recent international sports event in Russia which broadcaster regard as the dress rehearsal for the larger soccer tournament next year. The equipment used in this setup; in all six V_remote4, twelve A_mic8, 4 DALLIS, VisTool and 4 LCU commentary units will be used in the meantime for other Fox remote production events.

“We are very happy with the Lawo equipment, their support on site and the general service the Lawo staff provide. The complete setup with Lawo’s V__remote4, A__mic8 and LCU commentary units and the use of VisTool provides us a flexibility and efficient use of resources we just have not experienced before,” says Doug McGee, head of venue engineering, Fox Sports. “Now a major focus is in refining the IP workflow moving audio, video from venues to IBC and beyond.”

One of the technical highlights for Fox Sports is a custom Lawo audio application that makes control of the in-ear mix for talent easier than ever. “The in-ear mixes can be done for the on-air talent local to the venue, with no delay, and they can be controlled remotely from the Broadcast Center,” says McGee.

Kevin Callahan, VP, field operations and engineering, Fox Sports: “We took this project as something that is not only about next year but also about home-run productions in the States. If the connectivity between the venue and broadcast center is good enough, the kits have the potential to streamline onsite studio operations by removing the need for a truck to be rolled in. The production people can work in an environment they are used to, and the system is built for growth and expansion.”