Gravity Media captures history at the Pho3nix Sub7 Sub8 triathlon
On Sunday 5 June, Gravity Media partnered with Mana Sports and Entertainment Group to capture history, as four superstars of endurance sport – Kristian Blummenfelt, Joe Skipper, Nicola Spirig and Kat Matthews – went head-to-head in a race that defied the impossible and broke the mythical seven- and eight-hour marks for a full distance triathlon.
Broadcasting to over 50,000 viewers across the globe via YouTube and Facebook, the Gravity Media Production Centre in Sydney was a hive of activity, producing over nine hours of live coverage of the Pho3nix Sub7 Sub8 triathlon in Germany.
Showcasing Gravity Media’s technical innovation, a remote IP production switched in Sydney with 16 cameras beaming in from the other side of the world, at the Lausitzring racetrack in Brandenburg. The broadcast included nine and a half hours of live racing bookended with pre-show and post-show content, featuring a host of special guests, pre-recorded content and technical analysis.
“Gravity Media has a great reputation globally for not only providing complex technical solutions, but also for our highly credentialed and talented production team. The Sub7 and Sub8 is an example of a cost-effective, full-turnkey production, from working with the client on the initial concept, preproduction, graphic design, crewing, right through to the telecast of the event,” said Saul Shtein, director of production & content at Gravity Media Australia.
The nine-hour event was streamed live on the Pho3nix Foundation’s YouTube channel, with a peak of 28,880 concurrent viewers watching these champion athletes finish under goal time. Some 202,300 views were logged after 24 hours, and the live stream has now exceeded a quarter of a million views. This was mirrored on Facebook, where it reached 174,438 views and 15,995 link clicks, with related social media post engagement logging a whopping 600% increase from baseline.
“This large production showcased a truly global effort combining Gravity Media expert teams in Australia and France, with equipment from all offices including Germany and UK. Over 90 team members contributed to the great success of this project,” said Mike Purcell, head of production and executive producer at Gravity Media Australia.
“This event has been a great achievement at every level. Besides the technical achievement which has been brilliantly executed by the technical teams, on a complicated and very advanced set-up, it has also been a great collaboration between the Gravity Media offices across the globe. The athletes pushed their bodies to the limit showing that their achievements and drive have no limits,” said Solene Zavagno, general manager at Gravity Media France.
A large amount of technical equipment was introduced to the project to facilitate all required comms and video circuits to produce this large event. All the talkback was delivered with Unity communications via bonded devices.
“This project required complex engineering solutions. We collaborated closely with the Gravity Media team in France to connect both sites through IP comms and bonded camera technology. Our facility has been designed to cater for both remote productions and traditional broadcast methods. This unique flexibility allows us to be agile for any production be it small or large, anywhere in the world,” said Adam Dodman, studio engineering manager at Gravity Media Australia.
Twenty cameras were deployed, including specialty cameras such as motorcycles, pole cams, a drone and a Shotover gyro-head camera, all sending feeds to two control rooms in Sydney via Aviwest bonded technology. Other technology included 20 EVS record ports spread across three XT3 servers linked in the control room, seven SRT return video feeds, three GFX engines, multiple edit suites across Australia and Germany, two dedicated highlight loggers, a social media team managing all the social content, and all on-screen graphics led by Gravity Media Australia’s design team and produced by Girraphic.
“This event was a great opportunity to demonstrate a proof of concept and to highlight what can be achieved through experience and innovation. I thoroughly enjoyed watching the event, a technically great achievement, everyone involved should be very proud – well done,” said John Newton, CEO of Gravity Media.