Over 90km of cable, 150 talkback panels, 93 Sony cameras and 50 EVS machines being used to broadcast tennis competition

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NEP and host broadcaster Wimbledon Broadcast Services have revealed the work going into broadcasting the tennis tournament.

NEP is providing OB trucks, including Ceres, Venus, and Pacific, and utilising IP technology equipped to handle the increasing demand for high-definition and high dynamic range (HDR) content. More broadcasters are utilising 50p HDR technology than in previous years.

Centre Court and Court No. 1 continue to be available in UHD HDR, after the standard was brought in last year.

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Over 90km of cable, 150 talkback panels, 93 Sony cameras and 50 EVS machines have been installed, with over 500 crew onsite to produce the tournament. In addition, Fletcher, a specialty capture division of NEP, is reintroducing its AI-powered automatic camera system, named Totally Realtime Automated Camera Engine, or TR-ACE, to capture the action on seven out of the 18 courts in 1080p SDR. TR-ACE utilises image recognition and LIDAR technologies to autonomously track players on the court, allowing a single operator to handle and oversee the entire camera system.

Mediabank, NEP’s media asset management tool is being utilised to elevate content management and distribution by providing remote access to match highlights, press conferences and other video clips for ingest, management and distribution to rights holders. A 10G link to Mediabank in Oslo is supplied from IMG via NEP Connect. 

OBStv, a division of NEP Ireland, supported the qualifying matches with two dedicated OB trucks, providing edit and ingest facilities for the host coverage at Wimbledon. NEP Edit & Ingest are providing over 130 EVS products for The Championships and 1PB of central storage. This includes media asset management for over 10 onsite and remote rights holding broadcasters.

Creative Technology, an NEP Group Live Events company and longtime provider to The All England Lawn Tennis Club and WBS is managing 106 LED displays across both events, including screens for Aorangi Terrace (“Henman Hill”) and the new Southern Village screen. In addition, CT London is overseeing the in-house IPTV system for 2,000 televisions around the venue and has recently installed an immersive projection experience in the players’ tunnel.

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For the qualifying competition, CT collaborated with SMT to stream all 18 courts using UHD cameras and court microphones, providing feeds with scoring graphics for local broadcast and distribution to the main Wimbledon estate. 

New technology for 2024 includes fan engagement screens in Wimbledon Park and the upgraded No.1 Court Wimbledon Shop. Finally, NEP has launched an official technical operator training program onsite. The 15-day program includes training across various departments including cameras, audio, and vision.

Sam Broadfoot, technical project manager at NEP UK, said: “Each year, our collaboration with WBS reaches new heights, and The Championships 2024 is another chapter in our longtime partnership, one where we’re delivering an in demand HDR viewing experience to audiences around the world.

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“The relationship we have built with WBS is truly exceptional, and it drives us to push the boundaries of broadcast technology and innovation. This year, we’ve installed over 90km of cable, 150 talkback panels, 93 Sony cameras and 50 EVS machines. We’re extremely proud to have over 500 dedicated crew members onsite, all working tirelessly behind-the-scenes supporting WBS to bring The Championships to screens and platforms everywhere.”

Georgina Green, senior broadcast & production manager at The All England Lawn Tennis Club, said: “Our partnership with NEP continues to bring unparalleled technical excellence. Their dedication to quality & innovation ensures Wimbledon Broadcast Services is world leading in host broadcast production. Their broad portfolio of systems and products means they are always challenging us with new & improved solutions.”