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Trends in sports broadcasting

Studio setups are changing, and that's a good thing.

As a sports videographer, busy schedules are awesome… But when your equipment is traveling from game to game, you’re at high risk of losing a memory card or 2. 🥴

Over at Sports Video Group, they know the struggle. Enter: Cheqroom. I had a great chat with Brandon Costa about how Cheqroom reaches a lead score in the equipment management game.

Watch the full interview here:

When I went to an SVG, Sports Video Group, event in the fall of 2023, 2 major developments immediately became clear: video production setups are becoming smaller and more on the go. Let’s dive a little bit deeper.

Sports broadcasting has become more compact and mobile

Previously, studios were built for an entire season, whereas now they look at it game by game. Temporary studios for short-term use. This also impacts the equipment used. Before, production teams arrived with large trucks, while now they simply come with mobile flypacks.

What is a flypack?

A flypack is a portable system of AV equipment used for on-the-go video production and broadcasting. It is a mobile production unit that enables flexibility in different locations for live event coverage or broadcasts. The term stems from the fact that the equipment can be easily transported and swiftly set up, making it ideal for events such as sports, concerts, or news broadcasts.

A typical flypack includes components like video switchers, audio mixers, cameras, and signal processing equipment.
The aim is to have a transportable system that matches the capabilities of a larger production setup.

Flypacks allow production teams to uphold high-quality standards in diverse environments, offering a practical solution when a permanent studio setup is not feasible. However, we see that this is becoming more and more the preferred way of working.

You can have it customized, or build it yourself. When visiting Corey Protin in Gradient’s New York office, we asked him about his favorite piece of gear and that was, without a doubt, the flypack he built by himself. Check it out here:

So, that’s the trend we’re seeing. Everything is becoming more and more compact and mobile, making it way easier to control everything. And with everything going over the internet nowadays, footage can be broadcast from a van right outside the stadium or a small room temporarily set up as a studio.

Remote video production is here to stay

This probably won't be very shocking to you, but the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated a LOT of things. In film and video production, it sped up the use of remote collaboration tools, enabling teams to function effectively while being physically apart.

Broadcasters are no longer present with the entire team in a fixed studio but use smaller, temporary studios.
Some crew members can even be in a completely different location to operate certain things. For instance, the person responsible for on-screen graphics can literally do this from his own home, or even a nice sunny beach.

At LiveX, they’re innovators in live streaming and leading in the industry with doing live streams operated remotely from their office or an OB Van. They’re constantly innovating and pushing the boundaries of what’s possible with technology. For example, they’ve been covering the NYE Times Square ball drop for over 10 years now, a lot of which is covered fully remote. From the OB van, from their 10th Avenue office, and/or the Green Bay, Wisconsin studio. Moreover, they are using their own remote tools, such as the Production Bot, which is a portable live encoding system, and this remote PTZ kit.

NYE Ball Drop by LiveX

Inside LiveX’s control room during the famous Times Square NYE Ball Drop. (Copyright ©️ 2022 LiveX)

Want to dive deeper into remote setups? Here’s everything you need to know about outside broadcasting.

More compact and more remote

Two short takes on trends that we’re seeing more and more in the broadcasting industry. Everything will become more mobile, smaller, and easier to ship. With a flypack, you can build a day studio in a matter of minutes. It also helps with safety. By not leaving your gear onsite anymore, you’ll automatically worry less about equipment being stolen.

Something that won’t change quickly is the fact that broadcasters have to move from one place to another to cover news. And when it comes to transporting your AV gear, it's crucial to prioritize safety and security. Not sure where to start? Here are 6 top tips to help you safely transport your audiovisual gear!

More major changes coming for the traditional media landscape

These are just changes regarding the gear setup, but it’s clear that the traditional media landscape is on the verge of a lot more major changes. Not only setup-wise but also in the way of the content, delivery, production, and advertising. A new world where AI has been given the lead role.

In my opinion, the future of remote video production heralds a transformative era where AI and cloud-based technologies enable unprecedented efficiency and creativity. As the CEO of a B2B SaaS company specializing in equipment management, I see these advancements not only optimizing production workflows but also democratizing content creation, signaling a major shift in the traditional media landscape.

In the meantime, why not start with what you have today? How are you currently managing your gear? And do you know where your gear is at all times? With Cheqroom, you’ll have a clear overview of your gear: who is using it, when’s the return due date, and how many times has it been flagged broken over the past 6 months? Cheqroom means bringing together all the necessary data for making informed decisions.

Try it out, and request a demo today!

Written by Vincent Theeten Mar 14, 2024