Racecourse Media Group produced, distributed and broadcast the Dubai World Cup this year, with technical support from Timeline Television. BroadcastPro ME takes a closer look at how the worlds richest horse racing action reached more than 100 territories worldwide UK-based broadcast technology company and service provider Timeline Television teamed up with Racecourse Media Group (RMG) […]
Racecourse Media Group produced, distributed and broadcast the Dubai World Cup this year, with technical support from Timeline Television. BroadcastPro ME takes a closer look at how the worlds richest horse racing action reached more than 100 territories worldwide
UK-based broadcast technology company and service provider Timeline Television teamed up with Racecourse Media Group (RMG) to provide a complete broadcast solution for the 20-fixture Meydan horse racing season, including the Dubai World Cup Carnival and the Dubai World Cup races and finals.
This was the first time that RMG, a multi-faceted rights and production business, produced and distributed the event. RMGs direct-to-home channel, Racing UK, has shown the Dubai World Cup races every year.
This year, RMGs distribution network saw the Dubai World Cup reach more than 100 territories worldwide. It was shown live in Australia, China, Japan, the UK, Ireland, France, North America, the Caribbean, Russia, Singapore and the MENA, as well as in all of Eurosports 70-plus international territories.
Timeline facilities and crew supported RMGs production, course coverage and client broadcasters needs in delivering the racing action live to audiences around the world.
Commenting on the partnership between Timeline TV and RMG, Seb Vance, Director of PR and Communications at Racecourse Media Group, says: Timeline seamlessly transposed their expertise and operational excellence from Ealing to Dubai, hitting every deadline we have set with confidence and authority.
Timeline TV installed two large galleries for the crew to produce the world race feed live on-site. The race gallery provided the core race coverage through a suite of cameras and augmented the coverage by exchanging feeds with state broadcaster Dubai Media Inc (DMI). This output provided the World Race feed and was also used for the big screen and CATV (community access television) system on the course.
10 wired cameras plus four RF handheld cameras and two miniature RF cameras one for the horse reporter and one for the stalls handler were provided. Also deployed were two RF stalls cameras and two robotic mini cameras.
DMI deployed 40-50 cameras at different locations in and around the race tracks in Meydan. These included both wired and wireless cameras from Sony. The state broadcaster also provided aerial footage to other broadcasters operating from the course. There was a helicopter with Sony Cineflex to capture aerial footage and two SUVs followed the horses with a Cineflex camera each.
Adnan Nazmi El Afandi, OB Vans Manager at DMI, says that every year, the state broadcaster introduces something new and technically interesting to cover the event, which is watched across the world.
We used two 12-camera OB vans on-site to capture footage for Dubai Racing Channel. 22 lens, 40, 86, 95, Ikegami Hi-Motion camera and wireless cameras including the super loop camera. Super loop cameras with wide-angle lenses were used to capture 1000 FPS shots.
El Afandi explains: We received camera output in the OB van and provided camera feeds to other broadcasters. Timeline used our aerial footage from the event, which we sent via 100m video cable between our OB van and Timelines gallery.
Giving an overview of the technical infrastructure, Adrian Kingston, Outside Broadcast Project Consultant, Timeline Television, says Timeline TV used the existing fibre, SMPTE Triax and multi-quad audio equipment at the venue, to facilitate a comprehensive RF operation for talkback, radio mics and radio cameras, in addition to the usual cabled cameras and facilities.
Our philosophy is to install powerful core components such as the vision mixer, matrix, audio mixer and talkback matrix, and then employ that power through control systems to deliver a flexible and effective solution. We can then deliver a seamless workflow for our clients allowing for complex and flexible operations to be delivered to friendly and manageable interfaces, which in turn reduces the number of operators required, explains Kingston.
The systems integration was done by Timeline, using system integration engineers and the operational engineering team.
This method was particularly important on this installation as the timescales were very short, so integration, acceptance and operational readiness had to work in parallel and seamlessly. Principally, this is the reason the team came out of the UK, as there was no time to explore available talent locally, comments Kingston.
A key aspect of this operation was video footage for the race officials. A Hawkeye Smart Replay system was deployed for the stewards, allowing full flexibility in reviewing video content for rule infringement.
We provided a solution for the stewards and Emirates racing authority, on-course TV requirements and the world feed. The Dubai World Cup feed to be distributed across the world included the races as well as the world programme with studio and other inserts, says Kingston.
Matrix, Vision Mixer and Sound Desk provided the backbone of the operation, while RF miniature cameras were used to capture more of the action.
Audio was another important aspect of the production, according to David Harnett, Sound Guarantee Engineer at Timeline TV. He explains that audio requirements for the event included crowd effects and race effects, captured using Sennheiser MKH416 microphones. RF handheld microphones were used for interviews, presentations and studios.
The race output provided broadcasters with the racing footage, which they could insert into their own programming or add to their own presentation to produce a full programme. The second gallery added a full Parade Ring studio operation with further analysis, comment, editing and pre-made inserts, delivering a complete programme for RMG and other clients. RMGs programmes were fronted by presenters Nick Luck, Angus McNae, Rishi Persad, Oli Bell, Scott Hazleton and Zoe Cadman.
According to RMGs Vance, the presentation was enhanced by the use of a broadcast touch screen from CartBlanche Technology.
The screen was flown over from the UK for in-depth pre- and post-race analyses. Stationed by the paddock at Meydan, it was used by presenters Angus McNae and Nick Luck, he says.
For post-production, two Avid edit suites on location in dedicated purpose-built rooms were provided. The final footage was transmitted through the fibre link to Jebel Ali up-link earth station to satellites and downlink to locations in the UK.