ITN Productions boosts facilities for three-year Football League coverage deal
ITN Productions, the in-house TV production business from ITN, recently signed a three-season contract to produce all content from The Football League to be shown on national and international networks. In preparation for this it needed to bolster its production facilities so partnered with EVS. ITN Productions installed XS video servers, IPDirector live content management and a Xedio CleanEdit NLE as its primary production workflow.
ITN Productions’ coverage of The Football League is set to transform the viewing experience for fans of clubs in The Championship, League 1 and League 2. Over 1800 matches are set to be produced each season for the next three years and ITN Productions will produce edits of each of these matches beginning with the 2015/2016 season. To manage this amount of content ITN Productions needed to find the right innovative solution to deliver its live highlights production in an efficient and reliable way.
With filming requirements ranging from one pitch-side camera to expansive multi-camera OB productions, ITN Productions needed to make sure the solutions and workflows used would be scalable and able to handle the deployment of additional camera feeds during the season if needed. To achieve this, ITN Productions’ configuration of 12 EVS XS video servers can ingest up to 44 HD SDI feeds simultaneously while maintaining four outputs as back-up.
It has also installed EVS’ live production asset management suite IPDirector, which acts as the central nervous system of the EVS workflow. This allows operators to control the servers, schedule ingest, log, browse and review media as well as create clips and playlists in a quick and efficient way.
XTAccess gateway units and Xsquare orchestration software are managed by the IPDirector PAM suite and enables ITN Productions to generate low resolution files and rewrap content in MXF OP1a while the ingested file is still growing. The solution also allows the easy management of transferring high and low resolution files to the EVS XStore shared storage, Avid ISIS storage and Avid Interplay post-production network.
The Xedio CleanEdit software allows 20 editors to simultaneously begin working on highlights with access to all of the low resolution files available on the XStore. The speed and flexibility of the solution means ITN Productions no longer needs to wait several hours after a match to edit their coverage, but instead can do everything from kick off to the final whistle in real-time. This closes the gap between fans at the match and those waiting to see the goals at home.
With EVS’ XStore shared storage and Xedio CleanEdit installed, ITN Productions is able to produce the variable edits needed by its multiple broadcast partners. Ten minute highlight packages are produced for Channel 5 without voiced commentary and then for clubs and archive with commentary. A two minute unvoiced package is also produced for uploading on YouTube.
The workflow has been installed across ITN’s data centre outside of London and its headquarters in central London. An IP network managed by ADI links signals from each match to the XS servers installed at the data centre. After ingest here, the editors working on Xedio CleanEdit in London have immediate access to the content in order to create highlights packages. While working on content recorded and stored 40km away, editors in central London experience latency of less than one millisecond.
“This contract win is a transformative moment for ITN Productions and ITN,” said Mark Browning, MD of ITN Productions. ”Our workflow needed to produce the high quality content that our audiences expect from our productions while providing ITN Productions with the ability to create content for multiple sports quickly and easily.”