Avid Interplay MAM for Sky Italia sports production

A recently updated production system deployed by Sky Italia across all of its sports channels is based around Avid’s Interplay media asset management system. The new set-up – implemented in July – is derived from an initial highlights creation system established in 2003.

In the latest stage of work – completed in advance of the 2012 Olympic Games – an HD production system was brought to air for no fewer than 20 channels based out of Sky Italia’s Milan Santa Giulia HQ and production complex. This landmark project entailed close cooperation of all Sky departments and resulted in the implementation of Avid Media Composer and News Cutter across an infrastructure of 80 servers and 65 workstations.

In addition to multiple pay TV channels, the new production platform will serve interactive TV and mobile services, Sky’s own web presence, and social media sites.

Riccardo Botta, Head of Sport Production and Operations at Sky Italia, comments: “The system addresses really different needs and feeds several channels, [namely] Sky Sport 1, Sky Sport 2, Sky Sport 3, Sky Sport Extra, Sky Super Calcio, 14 Sky Calcio soccer-devoted channels, and one All News HD 24/7 channel, Sky TG24, and involves live production for 18 hours each day, [resulting in more than] 100 brand new stories per day.”

The volume of content is indeed rather formidable. Sport Time alone, notes Botta, yields some 8,000 hours of live programming per year and 1,300 hours of original programming, including dedicated programmes such as I Signori Del Calcio that necessitate extensive post-production and the outside filming of countless interview segments.

Moreover, adds Botta, “other programmes are retouched – for instance, a wrestling show which needs to have American adverts removed and Italian commentary only might be received during the night in advance of screening the following day. This demonstrates how many complex production tasks the system needs to meet on a daily basis.”

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