French Open Reflections: NBC’s Pierra Moossa on workflow essentials and innovations
By: David Davies
Thursday, June 15, 2017 - 4:06 pm

In the first of a series of reflections on this year’s French Open, Pierra Moossa – who is director of NBC coverage – discusses the broadcaster’s approach to the legendary tournament, and the latest additions to its workflow and production infrastructure.

Can you give me an outline for the scope and extent of the NBC ops at the French Open this year?

NBC’s coverage of the French Open is a result of a successful partnership and co-production with the Tennis Channel. With VER, the Tennis Channel sets up the entire technical operation and NBC shares facilities with them during its broadcast windows. NBC has a dedicated control room, Avid, Duet, SMT score bug and two EVS machines as well as two dedicated announce booths at the two main show courts (Phillipe Chatrier and Susan Lenglen). All cameras including an RF HH and a HSSM EVS are shared between TC & NBC. There are 12 cameras that are spread across the two main show courts plus additional drops at multiple locations throughout Roland-Garros to capture the atmosphere of the event. A RF hand held roams around the grounds to provide the best imagery of the crowds and the venue. There are also file transfer capabilities between NBC’s Roland-Garros operation and NBC’s International Broadcast Center in Stamford, CT.

In what primary ways are you augmenting the host broadcaster feeds this year?

For the two main courts (Phillipe Chatrier and Susan Lenglen), NBC creates its own unique independent line coverage and replays. On both courts, the two main net cameras and play by play camera are always safe for international broadcasters and NBC augments those feeds with five cameras on Phillipe Chatrier and four cameras on Susan Lenglen. For all other courts, NBC will use host broadcast clean feed and just add the score bug. To complement the audio mix, there are over 25 added microphones over the 2 courts to enhance the host broadcasters tennis match effects. For the Semifinals and Finals, NBC will have 7 supplementary unilateral cameras (including a HSSM) in addition to the host broadcast feeds plus a flash location for Champion interviews.

Are there any specific innovations for this year’s coverage in terms of workflow optimisation, additional camera positions, and so on?

The biggest addition to this year’s coverage is a reverse Robo which will capture the players reactions as they look back to their friends and families boxes.