SIS Live inks major horse racing deal, unveils OB 5 unit

UK: It’s a bit of a SIS Live week this week, as the company has agreed a five-year, multi-million pound deal with racecourse operator, Arena Leisure Plc, to provide OB facilities at all its racecourses in the UK. Also, the next addition to its line-up of new-generation trucks, OB 5, has also been unveiled. The 13.5m x 3.9m vehicle is, naturally, fully HD, 3G and 5.1 capable, and had its first outing last Saturday, covering the EPL game between West Bromwich Albion and Liverpool for the BBC’s Match of the Day.

The Arena deal, beginning 15 May, covers over 350 race meetings a year, including the famous Ladbrokes St Leger at Doncaster. Arena Leisure is the busiest racecourse operator in the UK, with seven courses that comprise Doncaster, Lingfield Park, Royal Windsor, Southwell, Folkestone, Worcester and Wolverhampton.

SIS Live will provide an enhanced and improved OB service to Arena Leisure, with a full review of coverage at all its racecourses. New camera positions will be added, including start cameras to capture all of the action from the off, and higher quality coverage with the latest multi-format cameras, initially in SD but with a planned progression to HD broadcasting in the future.

SIS Live’s OB feeds will be provided to Arena Leisure for its on-course TV coverage as well as to the stewards for integrity purposes. In addition, the feed will be used by SIS Live’s parent company, Satellite Information Services Limited (SIS), as part of its television services to bookmakers, broadcasting live horseracing and other sporting events to 10,000 bookmakers in the UK and the Ireland. SIS Live currently provides SIS with extensive uplinking facilities and dedicated OB services to cover around 400 race meetings a year. The deal with Arena Leisure, means SIS Live will now provide the OBs at 800 race meetings with over 5,000 individual races a year.

The coverage will also be used by At The Races, the dedicated horse racing channel that is a joint venture partnership between BSkyB and Arena Leisure Plc. It will also be used by GBI Racing, the joint venture company of RMG (Racecourse Media Group) and At The Races, which offers exclusive international rights to all 60 UK racecourses, allowing customers to view the races as far afield as South Africa, Turkey, Italy, Singapore and Australia.

OB 5 joins the fleet

Meanwhile, OB 5 joins 13 other HD OB units, as part of SIS’ fleet of new-generation vehicles, which as well as being future-proofed for 1080P/50 for progressive transmissions are also ideal for 3D signal processing.

OB 5 can easily be configured as a two-truck solution and can be integrated to work with SIS’ latest HD VT vehicles. OB 5 will be used to cover football, including the Scottish Premier League, and also major national live events. It is already lined up for both the Royal Wedding and Glastonbury Music Festival.

“It’s very quick to deploy and ideal for events where the production team needs to go in, rig, shoot and then be away by the end of the day.,” says the company. “It’s designed to be completely programmable, with all screen, router and talkback configurations being immediately recalled.”

The truck has three main production areas, with a primary control desk, together with two secondary desks, allowing room for 12 people. The combined engineering and VTR area at the rear of the vehicle can carry up to 20 cameras, as well as four slo mo and four radio cameras. On board are six EVS LSM disk recorders. When operating with the second HD VT truck, there will be additional capacity for another 10 EVS operators, two production co-ordinators and an engineer.

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