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Live from Tokyo Olympics: CBC Efforts Brings Production Teams Closer Together

30/07/2021

Live from Tokyo Olympics: CBC Efforts Brings Production Teams Closer Together By Ken Kerschbaumer, Editorial Director

Friday, July 30, 2021 - 8:20 am

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Events like the Olympics always given the CBC a chance to bring together its Montreal team, which serves the French-speaking Canadians, with the Toronto team which serves English-speaking Canadians. And while the pandemic may have lessened the number of personnel in Tokyo to 140 it isn't dampening the spirit.

(l-to-r) Sanjay Rana, Francois Messier, Sylvain Archambault, and Sylvain Taillefer of CBC.

We have crews coming from Montreal, Toronto, and all across Canada when an Olympics come, and we become one family and that is what we're seeing, says Francois Messier, CBC/Radio-Canada Team Leader. There is a feeling of collaboration between the teams and it's amazing. It's really a feeling of family.

Messier says the team in Tokyo consists primarily of reporters who are in the mixed zones as well as personnel to support commentary from the aquatics and athletics venues. CBC News is also being supported.

Sanjay Rana, CBC, systems technologist, says that two 10Gbps circuits are used to send a multi-viewer of all the available OBS feeds to Montreal and Toronto. The team there then selects the 20 feeds they want sent over the Zayo network in JPEG-2000 at 120 Mbps.

Two main broadcast control rooms in Montreal and Toronto are involved and the broadcast alternates from one control to the other between the different programs as part of a COVID protocol.

Then we have one or two pre-control rooms, and two main broadcast control rooms and one for the morning show, he adds. There is also a sub mix for aquatics and athletics which are both mixed remotely.

Viewers back home are getting 23 hours a day of Olympic content on the main networks and then there are sub channels as well featuring long-form events like tennis, soccer, and golf. Bell and Rogers are also getting content out to viewers via TSN 1 and 2 and Sportsnet and a distribution deal with Amazon hits the OTT market.

We were supposed to have two studios here, but it was decided to keep those back in Canada, says Messier. Our main hosts are back home but we have a green screen studio here for athlete interviews that is a cheaper way than Discovery but it's our version of the Cube.

Also, in Tokyo are 16 LiveU units, 12 for the ENG crews, three for news, and one that is installed with Team Canada in the athlete's village. CBC Technical Producer Sylvain Archambault says a camera, LiveU, and a robocam with a mic stand gives athletes a chance to step up and take part in interviews.

One interesting aspect of CBC's operations is that the French-language team in Montreal moved into a new building in early 2020 that uses ST-2110 IP for signal transport. But the English-language broadcast center in Toronto is still HD-SDI. Sylvain Taillefer, CBC, technical engineer, says ST-2110 is used for audio in the voice over booths but the rest of the facility is in SDI.

As long as we stay 1080i HD SDI is fine, he says.

With the Beijing Olympics only six months away much of the CBC's future advancements will be seen at the 2024 Games in Paris. For now, the focus is on getting through the Tokyo Games safely while also serving sports fans in Canada.

This is my fourth Olympics and we've had some changes in the team, but we are always working towards same goal and it's fun to do that every two years, says Rana.

Or as is the case this year, every six months.
LINK: https://www.sportsvideo.org/2021/07/30/live-from-tokyo-olympics-cbc-ef...
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