Nine hours of live coverage saw men’s and women’s triathletes break seven and eight hour marks for the first time

Gravity Media has revealed its work behind the Pho3nix Sub7 and Sub8 triathlon in Brandenburg, Germany, on 5 June.

Kristian Blummenfelt became the first man to go under seven hours in an ironman length triathlon with a time of six hours, 44 minutes, and 25 seconds, ahead of Joe Skipper - who managed 6 hours, 47 minutes, and 36 seconds. Meanwhile, Kat Matthews became the first woman under eight hours with a time of seven hours, 31 minutes, 54 seconds, ahead of Nicola Spirig’s seven hours, 34 minutes, 19 seconds. 

While the event was a full ironman race, it did hacve several rule changes from a normal triathlon - much like Eliud Kipchoge’s successful effort at a sub-two hour marathon in 2019. These changes included allowing a team of pacers, custom equipment, and letting cyclists ‘draft’ behind each other to reduce wind resistance.

Gravity Media deployed 20 cameras, including specialty cameras such as motorcycles, polecams, a drone, and a Gyro-head camera Shotover, all sending feeds to 2 control rooms in its Sydney Production Centre via AviWest bonded technology. All the talkback was delivered with Unity communications via bonded devices.

Other technology included twenty EVS record ports spread across three XT3 servers linked in the control room, seven SRT return video feeds, three GFX engines, multiple edit suites across Australian and Germany, two dedicated highlight loggers, a social media team managing all the social content, and all on screen graphics led by Gravity Media Australia’s design team and produced by Girraphic.

The nine-hour event was streamed live on the Pho3nix Foundation’s YouTube channel, with a peak of 28,880 concurrent viewers. It gained 202,300 logged views after 24 hours, and has now exceeded 250,000. The Pho3nix Foundation’s Facebook live stream has now reached 86,000 views.

Mike Purcell, head of production and executive producer at Gravity Media Australia, said: “This large production showcased a truly global effort combining Gravity Media expert teams in Australia and France, with equipment from all offices including Germany and UK. Over 90 team members contributed to the great success of this project.”

Adam Dodman, studio engineering manager at Gravity Media Australia, explained: “This project required complex engineering solutions. We collaborated closely with the Gravity Media team in France to connect both sites through IP comms and bonded camera technology. Our facility has been designed to cater for both remote productions and traditional broadcast methods. This unique flexibility allows us to be agile for any production be it small or large, anywhere in the world.”

Gravity Media CEO John Newton added: “This event was a great opportunity to demonstrate a “proof of concept” and to highlight what can be achieved through experience and innovation. I thoroughly enjoyed watching the event, technically great achievement, everyone involved should be very proud - well done.”