CCTV rolls out big operation, two channels in Sochi

Bucking the overwhelming trend of “at-home production” at the Sochi IBC this year, CCTV (China Central Television) is producing nearly all its Olympic content on-site rather than offloading production operations and crew to its home base in Beijing. With a team of well over 200 people on-site and a sizable footprint at the IBC, CCTV is producing 14 hours of Olympics content per day from Sochi for its primary channel back home, including live action, taped events, news coverage, and interviews.

CCTV General Coordinator Dagang Wang

CCTV General Coordinator Dagang Wang

“We moved the whole channel here,” says CCTV General Coordinator Dagang Wang. “Very little [production is being] done in Beijing. Most of our work is here, and it is going well.”

CCTV is taking all the VandA (voice and audio) feeds provided by OBS from each Sochi venue to populate both the primary channel and a second channel — dedicated entirely to Olympic competition with no shoulder programming — with content.

CCTV's studio at the IBC

CCTV’s studio at the IBC

At its IBC facility, CCTV has a large studio for shoulder programming, a small studio dedicated entirely to its online coverage, and three commentary booths. In addition, CCTV has established a separate studio at the Mountain Cluster in Krasnaya Polyana.

As for ENG, CCTV has deployed 12 cameras and a team of 30 to gather news and additional content from around Sochi. This team uses six Avid Media Composer NLEs to prepare material for air as well as a Sobe editing system for raw material.

CCTV's work area at its IBC facility in Sochi

CCTV’s work area at its IBC facility in Sochi

Although CCTV boasts one of the larger on-site production complements at the IBC, that doesn’t mean that the network isn’t intimately connected with its broadcast headquarters in Beijing. Connecting CCTV’s IBC operation and its Beijing facility are two redundant 1,155.5-MBps STM-1 (Synchronous Transport Module level-1) fiber lines.

“We do a lot of file-[based] transport,” says Dagang. “It is something we also did [in London in 2012], but we are doing more here. It is working very well. File-[based workflows] are very important to us.”

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