TV2 Sport Norway successfully launches, courtesy of hard work and top tech

Norway’s TV2 has accomplished the challenging task of launching a 24/7 sports-news network, TV2 Sport, in near record time, thanks to an existing infrastructure, a familiarity with automation-based operations, and a team willing to go from creating 15 minutes of news a day to producing hours of news each day.

The network debuted on June 6 and took advantage of an infrastructure used for a sports pay-per-view network so that it could quickly make the move from being an occasional-use network to one that meets the news needs of sports-hungry Norwegians. About 15 additional staffers were brought on to meet new content-creation needs.

“We don’t need much to start the network, but in the long run, we will need to expand both the technical [equipment] and personnel,” says Eivind Halle, TV2 Sport, senior director of technology.

At the core is the Mosart automation system, featuring a story-based architecture for managing rundowns, stories, story elements, and secondary events in addition to automation commands. The editorial staff can also reorder headlines up to the last second before airing.

“The way the Mosart system controls the vision mixer, audio mixer, and graphics allowed us to build a template-based workflow,” says Halle. “So we can have a quite advanced show with very few people. It’s easy to set up, and you need to prepare templates in advance, but once you do that, you can run it for a year without having to change anything.”

Other equipment plays a vital role: Quantel editing systems, Ardome storage, Vizrt graphics, a Yamaha audio mixer, a Grass Valley vision mixer, an Avid iNews newsroom system, and studios complete with Sony HDC1500 cameras and more. A new studio was built in the week prior to the launch.

The idea behind the network was to get more value out of rights properties owned by TV2 and to also ensure that sports fans get the news they need. And now, instead of having to cut hours of press conferences and other news down to 15 minutes, editors and producers can deliver more complete stories to viewers.

“We can have one director and producer operating the cameras, sound, graphics, and everything else from the gallery,” adds Halle.

The network is currently SD only but will make the move to HD in the fall, with a new HD production gallery expected to be in operation in January.

“If we didn’t have the newsroom system and infrastructure we built in 2006, this would have taken a year to build,” adds Halle. “But when we built the infrastructure in 2006, we built in the capability for growth so this was possible.”


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