The 2018 VIVO Indian Premier League (IPL) marks the first season for Star Sports, following its acquisition of the global IPL media rights for US$2.55 billion for the next five seasons.
For the broadcasting of the 2018 VIVO Indian Premier League (IPL), Star Sports has tapped NEP and Tata Communications to empower remote production between the match venue and Star Sports’ facility
NEP Broadcast Solutions, a division of NEP Group, and Tata Communications, have successfully completed the remote production and broadcast of the VIVO Indian Premier League (IPL) for Star Sports, an Indian sports broadcaster, also a subsidiary of 21st Century Fox.
The tournament comprises 60 matches taking place over 50 days in nine cities across India: Mumbai, Delhi, Jaipur, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Chennai, Indore, Mohali and Pune. Customised feeds are featured in each fixture, including commentary in six languages, which even went up to eight languages for the final.
To address the challenges from the back-to-back schedule of events, the long distances between match locations as well as the need to localise content for different regions, Star Sports worked alongside Tata Communications and NEP to centralise many of its core operations, and manage them remotely from its production hub in Mumbai.
This remote production initiative marries NEP’s expertise in the centralised broadcast of live events and Tata Communications’ video distribution capabilities. Star Sports’ production crew, along with NEP’s engineering team — including cameramen, sound assistants, talent producers and the production management team — were on-site at the venues, while the production personnel, such as the director, vision mixer, audio engineers, EVS operators, producers and graphics team members, worked at the central Star Sports facility at Urmi Eastate in Mumbai.
And with NEP’s new flight pack Broadcast Lite, the team was able to distribute eight unilateral camera feeds and 15 HD host feeds, along with associated AES audio feeds, back to Star Sports’ Mumbai hub.
Saeed Izadi, president of NEP Broadcast Solutions, concluded: “The teamwork displayed by the team of Star Sports, NEP and Tata Communications demonstrates how leading organisations working closely together can drive innovation in the broadcasting industry. We’ve successfully introduced cutting-edge remote production technology in other parts of the world, and were proud to support VIVO IPL 2018 with our capabilities.”