Live From the ATP World Tour Finals: ATP Media expanding use of Hawk-Eye SMART Production service
The deployment of Hawk-Eye SMART Production automated camera systems has becomingly increasingly prevalent at tennis tournaments in recent years. The ATP World Tour has been among the beneficiaries, and the service – which was developed by Hawk-Eye in collaboration with Sony – was much in evidence at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in London recently.
Based around 3 or 4 automated player-tracking cameras controlled by one operator, SMART Production makes it possible to streamline the live production workflow and significantly reduce the cost of live sports production. The Hawk-Eye operator is able to manage the entire production – including graphics and replays – from a single laptop.
Dominic Gresset, executive producer at ATP Media, said that the SMART Production system “really allows the tournament to maximise its court coverage”. At The O2 it was used to capture play on the practice courts located in the public and VIP areas, whilst in 2017 it will be used to “deliver Singles matches from all courts in all tournaments, as well as all Doubles from the Masters 1000 tournaments. So it is becoming a really big thing for us.”
The mass deployment of SMART Production is also assisting ATP Media to ensure “the consistency of our production across our events – it’s very important to us, and we know that it is also very important to our broadcasters as well because it featured very prominently during a forum event we held last year.”
Mark Brown, SMART Production Technical Producer for Hawk-Eye, described it as a “very collaborative relationship” and outlined the crucial involvement of Gresset in finessing the system for the ATP Media events. “Dominic spent a lot of time teaching the machine, so to speak,” he said. “How the camera moves is very important [in order to be able to deliver effective coverage]. Dominic is a director of very significant experience and he spent a great deal of time with the Hawk-Eye teams to help them understand where the bar is and what needs to be done in order to convey the narrative of the match.”