The new sports production centre for Timeline Television has had a technical fit-out courtesy of Megahertz Broadcast Systems. The new centre, built in part of the International Broadcasting Centre constructed for the London 2012 Games in east London, is home to the new BT Sport channels, going on air in time for the start of the 2013-14 football season next month.
Timeline TV is working as a lead partner for BT Sport, managing the end-to-end design and build of the BT Sport production hub, including building infrastructure and broadcast systems integration. Megahertz has experience in building studios and playout centres in the UK and around the world, and has partnered with Timeline Television in the past.
“With a start date in February and a need to hand over technical systems in June, we knew we needed a systems integration partner who had all the knowledge and experience in-house and would be ready to roll,” said Dan McDonnell, managing director of Timeline Television. “We worked with Megahertz on Racing UK so, although this project is an order of magnitude larger, we knew their philosophy was around delivering solid and reliable systems, on time and on budget.”
Timeline Television project managed the IBC build to house three TV studios, sports production galleries, a master control room, 20 edit suites, dubbing theatre and an audience holding area. In addition, Timeline Television has been awarded a five year managed service contract for technical operations including studios, MCR, post production and end-to-end workflow support. Construction work began in February 2013, with the first of the technical areas handed over to Megahertz in March. Operational areas were available in June to allow rehearsals in July, ready for the on-air date of early August.
All areas in the production studio are linked by a master control room which supervises a large number of lines in and out of the centre. Key hardware for the project is being supplied by Autoscript (prompting equipment), Calrec (audio mixers), Evertz (multiviewers), EVS (servers), Shotoku (camera robotics), Snell (routers), Sony (cameras, production switchers and monitors), Riedel (talkback) and Vinten (camera support equipment and systems).
Jamie Hindhaugh, chief operating officer of BT Sport, said, “At the core of our new studios build is a spirit of collaboration that brings the best of industry and sometimes competitors working together toward a common aim: to make the BT Sport studios a world-class hub for the best ideas and talent. We believe talent attracts talent and our partnership with Timeline Television as a partner has helped us to foster that mind-set.”