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NFL Game in UK Broadcast Using Calrec Console

On October 28 in London, NFL broadcaster Fox Sports teamed up with UK outside broadcast specialist CTV’s flagship OB9 HD truck (pictured) to broadcast the New York Giants vs. Miami Dolphins game in front of a sellout crowd of 90,000 at Wembley Stadium. Broadcast live across Europe on Sky Sports and in the U.S. via Fox Sports, it was the first NFL league game to be played in the UK.

“Fox Sports Network and the NFL treated this league match as they would a match played in the U.S., so there was no compromise in the way the operation unfolded,” says CTV’s International Business Director Bill Morris. “Fox traveled with its full announcer, talent and reporting team, as well as a core crew of U.S. operators from its regular NFL team. The sound supervisor immediately felt at home in OB9, and he was thrilled to see the Alpha, as it is identical to the one he had been using on various shows in the U.S.”

Calrec states that every NFL game in the U.S. is covered by a Calrec console. Independent research by the Sports Video Group claims Calrec audio consoles are installed in 48 percent of U.S. HD trucks.

“The NFL and Fox Sports contacted CTV some months prior to the game,” Morris adds. “From the first survey in the summer to the transmission on October 28, planning was conducted daily. Audio planning was critical, as NFL audio is acquired in a completely different way than most UK sports. Similarly, the NFL communications network is the most comprehensive and complex I have encountered in a sports operation.”

The pitch-mic array used parabolic mics that are rarely used in Europe. Four and a half meters in diameter, two handled parabolic reflectors coupled with RF transmitters were strapped to audio assistants, who ran the sideline following the plays. Along with a substantial array of FX mics, these were submixed and sent as aux feeds to the Calrec in OB9. Announcers, presentation positions, reporters and a large array of GPI graphics FX triggers were added into the resultant 5.1 mix.

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