Blackmagic Design’s ATEM packs a punch at Haringey Box Club
This summer London Live gave its viewers unprecedented access to amateur boxing’s biggest event: Haringey Box Club. Some 290 bouts were contested across three days in a bid to find boxing’s next star, and this year the competition was broadcast live from London’s Alexandra Palace.
During the course of the competition, more than 90 hours of live coverage were produced by Wilkie TV. Founder Claire Wilkie shared a glimpse behind the scenes on the live OB.
“Our goal for the event was to help take fans and viewers ringside throughout the competition using a series of compact, portable OB units, known as the ‘Wilkie Box’,” she explains. “It’s a 6RU case, featuring Blackmagic’s ATEM production switchers, combined with bespoke onscreen graphics software, VT playback, multi track recording and streaming capabilities. It may be small in footprint, but it is incredibly powerful, cost effective solution allowing a single operator to achieve much of what a full scale OB van can.
“Each of the four boxing rings were treated as a self-contained OB production, with a dedicated operator responsible for directing, mixing and controlling onscreen graphics from ringside. As well as mixing camera feeds from three robotic camera heads, our operators also imported metadata via XML from the officials’ table and used this to generate lower-third graphics, incorporating each players name and key stats as they fought, and that was all done in real-time.
“By designing the production to be handled by a single operator, not only did it reduce the production costs, but it also gave the London Live production team four professionally produced live streams, which they could choose to TX at any one time during the competition. The simultaneous streaming also gave London Live a solid and smart submix solution, which allowed them to produce the second screen that sports viewers have now come to expect, but without incurring additional costs.
“With each bout being clipped straight to YouTube as soon as it finished, in total we completed more than 87 hours of live broadcast and almost 3,000 minutes of action across 290 bouts. That content was shared across social media by fans and contestants alike, driving tens of thousands of views to the London Live YouTube Channel within hours of each day’s events finishing.
“Each of the four units were really put through their paces during an intensive live OB, but the ATEM’s size and range of professional production features mean that we were able to deliver extremely slick live TX that help to broaden awareness of sports that don’t otherwise get coverage on mainstream sports channels.”