New broadcast centre for SuperSport

African sports broadcaster SuperSport is now operating from a new broadcast centre in Kenya. The four-studio facility, with supporting control areas and post-production suites, is shared with entertainment MNET and features a range of equipment, including Sony cameras and EVS, Final Cut Pro and Avid systems.

The complex is based over two buildings and features a full file-based production chain. SuperSport is using the studios for presentation of its coverage of sports events in east Africa. Nine suites are used for post-production, offering FCP, Avid and Pro Tools workstations. The centre also houses two galleries and two quality control areas. Designs are now being drawn up for central distribution, master control and uplink facilities.

Systems integration was carried out by C2S, which is part of the WTS Group. Facilities were built and tested at the company’s premises in Leeds, UK, before being transported to Kenya for final installation. Among the features of the file-based system are a touch-screen router, designed by C2S, and EVS IP Director for control of material. The four studios offer 12 camera channels, eight of which are being used by SuperSport.

The sports broadcaster is based in control room one, which can accommodate up to 18 production staff and offers five VTR/SSD machines, an eight-channel EVS XT3 connected to two IP Director seats, two channels of graphics, a dedicated audio area and workstations for two producers. This gallery also houses the eight Sony HD camera channels.

Commenting on the project, Jonathan Lyth, systems manager of C2S, says: “Challenges in this project came from logistical considerations and the building refurbishments, which were underway at the same time. In any project there will always be limitations of some form, be it access, speed, timing, communication, technology or personnel, and these need to be prepared for. We were able to pre-assemble parts of the system in our Leeds workshop prior to shipping to Kenya, which meant we needed less time on-site and could stay out of the way of building works.”

Andre Venter of SuperSport adds: “C2S Systems built a similar studio complex for us in 2011 in Lagos, Nigeria, for SuperSport coverage and MNET’s drama-serial Tinsel. It made sense to commission them again for this Kenyan project. The team has a talent for working under restricted conditions and we’ve always found they rise to a challenge. The build was completed on time and production commenced in early June. We’re very happy with it.”

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