Visual Impact has been awarded a £1.5m contract to supply camera kits to all freelance crews working for Sky Sports.

The deal is part of the broadcaster’s plan to take Sky Sports News to file-based HD production.

Each of the ordered kits will feature Panasonic’s AJ-HPX3000G P2 camcorder, a mobile player/recorder, a microphone and an SD/HD SDI option board.

Equipment rollout will start in June, ready for the 2010/11 Premier League football season.

Panasonic provided kit for Sky’s appraisal process. UK sales manager Nigel Wilkes said: “Visual Impact’s scale and technical capability means it will be able to provide the service and support that the contractors need.”

Sky has also picked up a Quantel Enterprise sQ integrated production system that will be used for producing Sky Sports News.

The new set-up includes seven sQ servers, 84 sQ Cut journalist desktop editors and three sQ Edit Plus craft editors.