Project: US Open Tennis Championships
Gearhouse Broadcast was awarded a prestigious multi-year contract with ESPN to provide technical facilities for both the host and domestic broadcasts at the US Open Tennis Championships which started with the 2015 tournament in August.
Gearhouse has worked with ESPN on providing unilateral coverage of other events and this is the next stage of that relationship as it seeks to take coverage of the US Open in a new direction.
ESPN tasked Gearhouse with providing all broadcast facilities at the event which took place at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York. This required delivering not only host signals but also ESPN’s domestic and international feeds from all seven courts.
Facilities provided by Gearhouse was to all nine production rooms on site servicing a total of 72 cameras across the seven host courts with 24 unilateral cameras feeding the domestic broadcast. Inside the main production control room, Gearhouse installed four Grass Valley Kayenne video production mixers, five Sony MVS-6530 production switchers and seven fully networked Lawo audio consoles. On site was also a 32-server strong EVS network of XT3 live production servers. During the tournament facilities were looked after by a support team of 60 people from Gearhouse Broadcast.
Gearhouse Actis also provided services at Flushing Meadows including RF facilities on five Sony PDW700 host cameras – one mounted on a Steadicam system on the main court and four roving cameras giving coverage on the remaining courts.
In a city like NYC where spectrum availability for RF frequency space is already crowded, the addition of five radio cameras, ten wireless mics and extensive radio talkback facilities needed to be carefully planned. The ability for Gearhouse to efficiently plan the RF solutions with Gearhouse Actis well in advance of the event was key to the successful implementation of the free-moving cameras.
“Tennis is a huge part of what we do at Gearhouse Broadcast and to have provided facilities at all the sports’ major tournaments is a real testament to what we offer,” said Kevin Moorhouse, coo of Gearhouse Broadcast. “It’s great to see that ESPN wanted to use our facilities to put its own topspin on the tournament’s coverage. We have a great on-going relationship with them and we were keen to help support them serving up great sport coverage to both a global and American audience.”