Landing a knockout blow with Blackmagic

Gate receipts for the much anticipated fight between UFC’s Conor McGregor, and arguably boxing’s most decorated fighter, Floyd Mayweather, might have missed the record set in 2015, however, a one-off special YouTube show, The Knock Out with Coral, presented by The True Geordie surpassed all expectations when it generated in excess of 16 million views. 

The show peaked at just over 208,000 concurrent viewers on the night, making it the number one live video on YouTube worldwide. The one-off special was part of a newly commissioned YouTube series, The Kick Off with Coral, hosted by The True Geordie and produced by creative and technical partner, Formidable. 

“We knew there was going to an appetite for this show, Geordie and Coral were both really keen on a live fight companion, but the viewing numbers were way beyond expectations. Earlier that same day we’d hosted The Kick Off with Coral, only our third show of the series and generated 170,000 views. Getting it right takes a precise blend of people and technology, especially if you want to avoid it looking overly produced,” said Formidable’s creative director Pete Gibbons. 

“Our set is compact to give an intimate relationship with the audience so we’ve kept the technical setup relatively simple to start with,” added Iain Slater, the show’s live director. “Blackmagic’s ATEM Television Studio HD Pro gives us an all-in-one switcher and hardware panel that has definitely helped us to make the most of the space we do have. In addition to our three camera channels we also connect a laptop for stats and an iPad for social media updates. We run the stats laptop through a Teranex AV, which allows us to provide the switcher with a 25p source that matches everything else,” he continued.

The iPad is used by one of the presenters to bring social media responses from the audience live into the show, which can also be cut to as an ATEM input, said Slater. “We have actually built a macro that takes the iPad display and automatically applies a DVE and crop, placing the screen feed on a background. We then check sound and dial in any delay that is required. Everything comes out of the ATEM at 1080 and a Teranex Mini – SDI Distribution gives us enough outputs to distribute the programme everywhere it’s needed. That includes three channels passed through boxes and converted to USB3 for streaming purposes on separate PCs, each running OBS, and to a HyperDeck Studio Pro as a backup,” he noted.

 Slater added that while there were a, “few tricky standards conversion challenges that took a bit of thought,” he added that the Teranex AV was a big help. “And while sometimes working out the golden path to make a macro achieve what I need it to do took a while, I think we’ve achieved great things both visually and technically in a very short period,” he concluded.

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