NEP UK has agreed a new deal with the All England Lawn Tennis Club to provide the technical broadcast delivery for Wimbledon for the next four years.
The new deal runs from 2023 to 2026.
During this year’s event, every match across all 18 courts was televised for the first time, including Centre Court in UHD High Dynamic Range. Eleven of the courts at Wimbledon were crewed by camera-operators and seven used a hybrid of operators and NEP’s Tr-Ace System. Broadcast coverage was provided by NEP UK utilising fully redundant IP technology.
NEP UK also provided both host and unilateral coverage to the BBC, and other broadcasters for Wimbledon.
The company employed over 100 camera positions, and 40 EVS servers to record and replay every match. The feeds were then distributed by NEP to all RHB onsite, and passed to IMG and EBU and other rights-holding broadcasters around the world.
To facilitate global coverage of the event, NEP used its own online media distribution platform Mediabank, available to all registered press and RHBs.
Sony 3500 Cameras were deployed across the site to capture all the action live in UHD from the courts. All courts were delivered in 1080 SDR 709 with Centre Court also available in 1080p HDR 2020. NEP’s two flagship units Venus and Ceres were used on Centre and No.1 Court.
NEP used Fletcher Group’s Tr-ACE system to ensure robotic camera heads could track all the action on the court. The Tr-ACE system uses a mixture of image recognition and LIDAR technologies to automatically track the players on court, enabling just one operator to control all the cameras as well as mix the show at the same time. The Tr-ACE technology allows the operator to simply tap the person of interest on the screen and then select if they want a wide, mid, or close-up shot of the player selected – from there, the pan, tilt, zoom and focus functions are all automatic.
Creative Technology, a sister company of NEP, was onsite during the event to run the full audio RF operation; with staff using talkback, in-ear monitors, and radio mic coverage across the 14-acre site to ensure that it all ran smoothly. As well as fulfilling the audio coverage, Creative Technology also looked after the screens operating across Wimbledon.
In order to make this year’s production as green as possible, NEP used rechargeable batteries for radios and IEMs and removed any single-use plastic onsite, with NEP/Wimbledon branded water bottles provided to employees.
The company said it is aiming to complete a carbon-neutral delivery of the event and all NEP staff have participated in albert’s Sustainable Production training. NEP UK recently achieved its ISO 14001 Certification for environmental management.
Richard Lancaster, technical project manager, NEP UK said, “It has been an incredible privilege to work with Wimbledon Broadcast Services to deliver the technical broadcast facilities and delivery for the world’s most prestigious tennis tournament. NEP is proud to have worked in partnership on the technical implementation and delivery for more games than ever before.”