TSL wires up Seagulls’ ground
Proof that stadium TV systems aren’t just reserved for the top flight: Brighton & Hove Albion Football Club’s promotion to the Championship (UK second division football, basically) coincided with a move to a brand new stadium and the installation of a television system designed and integrated by broadcast systems integrator TSL.
“This was a requirement from the Club’s Board, to build the fan experience,” said Tim Dudding, production manager at Brighton & Hove Albion. “This is a stunning new stadium and hopefully, our match day output makes the fan experience even better.”
When a game is not being covered by a major broadcaster, Tim and his team create their own package of entertainment. The ground is fully cabled in fibre, installed by TSL, and five cameras are rented in from Presteigne Charter for each game. They are routed through an Autocue server for instant and slow motion replays, and to a Ross production switcher which creates the final output for giant screens inside the stadium and large LCD displays in all the public areas.
As soon as fans start to arrive the screens show packages of interviews and highlights from previous games, cut on the Avid editor installed by TSL as part of the system. From half an hour before kick-off a host on the pitch, covered by a wireless camera as well as from the stands, whips up the atmosphere. “The feedback from fans about the pre-match build-up has been incredibly positive,” said Dudding.
“We became involved early on in the construction of the new stadium, because the club was keen to create its own production capabilities,” explained David Phillips, Managing Director of TSL. “They wanted to really add value for the fans on match day, and also create collateral for other revenue streams like online video and souvenir DVDs. The coaching staff also like the idea of being able to review every game.
“We designed a system that gave them the sort of advanced features that football fans expect to see, like multiple replays from different angles, and dynamic graphics,” he continued. “The key was to come up with a solution which would deliver all the capabilities they want, in a highly reliable form which could be operated by a small team and fitted the budget.
“The result is highly successful technically and is already proving extremely popular with the fans,” he concluded. “I am certain that we will see many more football clubs – and other sports stadia – going down this route.”