Sony Pixel Power calrec Sony

Last-Minute Changes Don't Ruffle the Feathers of Sky Sports' PDC World Darts Championship Coverage

12/01/2021

Last-minute changes don't ruffle the feathers of Sky Sports' PDC World Darts Championship coverage By Adrian Pennington

Monday, January 4, 2021 - 12:24

Print This Story

Welcome to the Worlds, but not as we know it, says Andy Holmes, senior production manager at Sky Sports, wearing a mask and talking over Zoom from the TV compound and Great Hall of Alexandra Palace in London at the half-way point of the PDC World Darts Championship finals.

In a normal world, Sky Sports would have begun planning the production of the pinnacle of world darts in late August, outlining what, if anything, needed to change from 2019. COVID laid that to rest.

We've had to think on our feet about the other events, not just darts, we were doing at the time, which pushed thoughts of the Worlds back slightly because we didn't know what state production was going to be in, Holmes says.

In all honesty, 27 November to 18 December was a complete blur. But everyone has been brilliant. There have been no prima donna attitudes

Sky Sports' darts production team was also busy producing events like the Grand Slams behind closed doors but with spectator restrictions about to be lifted these plans were scrapped.

At the end of November, the UK government relaxed rules to allow fans into venues. For the Worlds that meant 1000 fans were to be allowed into Alexandra Palace, down from the usual 3000. We met with the PDC [Professional Darts Corporation] and revised our plans accordingly.

Socially distancing and other health regulations were still a priority for Sky Sports and its staff. The biggest change was in the position of the studio.

We couldn't have it anywhere where our crew would interact with the public so we had to relocate it to stage right with a very acute angle looking down to the stage. It was the only position for us to be free of public access and yet enable safe access for our staff.

COVID-19 changes part 1

Traditionally this studio is large enough to comfortably fit one presenter plus three guests along with four production crew. Sky Sports tasked global event contractors Trans-Sport with designing and building a new studio with double the capacity to accommodate one presenter plus two guests and a sound technician. It's an enclosed space with fresh air ventilation incorporated via ducting from the outside world.

The three regular studio cameras were replaced with Aerial Camera Systems-supplied SMARThead 2 remotes with Sony HDC-P50 cameras remotely operated from the OB compound.

Two front of stage cameras were already remote-controlled by a touchscreen. As in previous years, these were Mark Roberts Motion Control (MRMC) SFH-50 IP-controlled pan tilt heads operated backstage. However, a six-speed slo-mo was also converted to an ACS SMARThead 3 system with P50 for remote operation.

The rail-cam didn't need changing since the operator sits backstage and not in the venue, says Holmes.

The only operated camera in the venue was a Jimmy Jib. We worked with the PDC to ensure the operator remained at a safe distance from any fans.

Augmented audio has been the biggest success in terms of creating tension and drama inside what is an empty space

There were two Sony 4300s backstage which would normally work in close proximity. Again, one of these was remoted using an MRMC SFH50 carrying a Sony HDC 4300 and Canon CJ20 lens. This head was controlled using a remote control Panbar head.

Another four locked-off and remote positions were mounted on the truss above the stage. One of these was purely for the spotter' who sits in the OB truck and acts as the eyes and ears of the director, for instance giving an informed opinion as to where the player will throw next and giving a heads-up to the director (who is also vision mixing).

Pre-COVID, the Worlds would have been a 24 camera, 16 camera-person operation, Holmes explains. We went down to 18 cameras and reduced the number of operators to seven.

Some cameras were easy to cull. Even with limited fans, it was decided not to deploy the usual Batcam wired solution for overhead crowd shots. Nor was there deemed to be a need for handheld roving radio cams.

COVID-19 changes part 2

All of this was in place ready for the tournament opening on 15 December . Then the UK government's coronavirus restrictions changed. Overnight, the PDC World Darts Championship went behind closed doors.

Suddenly we had no fans, says Holmes. This meant that our presentation position wouldn't work. There was this huge gap where the audience should be. So, with our directors Sean Randle and Jools Holmes and with the PDC, we went back to the drawing board. We gave Trans-Sport another huge task. Within 24 hours they had loaded up their trucks, driven down here and installed a walkway centre stage for the players to enter the arena - which before and with fans they were not allowed to do.

They installed an LED screen to one site and at the end of the walkway built an open presentation platform. We moved the studio cameras, re-cabled them and re-rigged and had to install extra lighting. Everything was in place for the first session.

Commentary set-up

We would normally use a single 8ft commentary booth with two commentators and comms box each, Holmes explains.

We'd have multiple commentators working in pairs, swapping out after each match. In a COVID world this would not be possible, so to enable us to achieve the same level of commentary safely, Trans-Sport constructed two 8ft booths, adding a Perspex window so commentators could visually interact. Each booth had three comms boxes, lip mics and headsets, so each individual commentator had their own allocated kit.

Normally, the commentary booths would be located in the venue, however, with the event due to have crowds Sky Sports moved the booths into the TV compo
LINK: https://www.svgeurope.org/blog/headlines/last-minute-changes-dont-ruff...
See more stories from svg

Most recent headlines

21/01/2021

DHD Audio RX2 XC2 Audio Mixing System Goes On Air at NRJ Norway

DHD Audio announces the completion of a new audio mixing system for Oslo/Lillehammer-based radio broadcaster NRJ Norway. Supplied and integrated by Soundware No...

21/01/2021

Maxon Announces the Acquisition of Japanese Distributor Business

Today, Maxon announced it has completed the transaction to acquire the business segment of its Japanese distributor that services Maxon's community and busi...

21/01/2021

All Typed Up Helps Audiences Engage with Media

All Typed Up, a well-established provider of transcription services to clients across the full range of service sectors, now offers a range of media subtitling ...

21/01/2021

KRK Welcomes a New Generation of Subwoofers

KRK announces the latest addition to its range of studio gear with a new generation of powered subwoofers. Coming spring 2021, the new series of KRK Studio Subw...

21/01/2021

New Adder ZeroU High Performance IP KVM Brings Increased Customer Connectivity Choice

Adder Technology, a global leader in connectivity solutions and high performance...

21/01/2021

NAMM 2021: Korg Wavestate SE

Special Edition features aftertouch keyboard Having already unveiled three new synths at NAMM, Japanese synth stalwarts Korg have just announced a new versi...

21/01/2021

Ross Chooses Matrox SMPTE ST 2110 NIC Cards to Power XPression Graphics Engine

Ottawa, Canada, January 20th 2021 Ross Video is pleased to announce that XPression, the company's real-time motion graphics engine, has integrated Matrox ...

21/01/2021

Maxon Announces the Acquisition of Japanese Distributor Business

Maxon Announces the Acquisition of Japanese Distributor Business data-src=https://creativecow.net/wp-content/uploads/avatars/263018/5fa08c562aaf4-bpthumb.jp...

21/01/2021

The Audio Engineering Society Welcomes Jonathan Wyner as President

The Audio Engineering Society Welcomes Jonathan Wyner as President data-src=https://creativecow.net/wp-content/uploads/avatars/263018/5fa08c562aaf4-bpthumb....

21/01/2021

Undercurrent Labs Uses Blackmagic Design Workflow for New 8K Live Streaming Robotics Lab

Undercurrent Labs Uses Blackmagic Design Workflow for New 8K Live Streaming Robo...

21/01/2021

Eventide Receives NAMM's Milestone Award for 50 Years of Innovation

Eventide Receives NAMM's Milestone Award for 50 Years of Innovation data-src=https://creativecow.net/wp-content/uploads/avatars/263018/5fa08c562aaf4-bpt...

21/01/2021

Austrian Audio Expands Availability Across North America

Austrian Audio Expands Availability Across North America data-src=https://creativecow.net/wp-content/uploads/avatars/263018/5fa08c562aaf4-bpthumb.jpg......

21/01/2021

Broadcast Solutions sees fast growth in Nordic countries, adding Kim Gaardvik as Sales Manager Norway

Broadcast Solutions sees fast growth in Nordic countries, adding Kim Gaardvik as...

21/01/2021

WRAL Voters Choice Awards Go Virtual for Winner Announcements with Live Watch Party

The Voters Choice awards exceeded my wildest expectations. Despite not being abl...

21/01/2021

Legrand | AV Teams with BrightSign and InReality to Offer New Safe Space Solutions

Legrand | AV Teams with BrightSign and InReality to Offer New Safe Space Solutio...

21/01/2021

Utah Scientific Congratulates George Wicker on His Retirement and Welcomes Return of Michelle Maurice as Southeast Regional Sales Manager

Utah Scientific Congratulates George Wicker on His Retirement and Welcomes Retur...

21/01/2021

Netflix Passes 200M Global Subscribers

LOS GATOS, Calif.-There are now more than 200 million people across the world who subscribe to Netflix. Per the streamer's Q4 2020 shareholder letter, Netfl...

21/01/2021

Pebble Taps Pavitt and Timur for Key Positions

WEYBRIDGE, SURREY, U.K.-Pebble has promoted Alison Pavitt to the position of director of sales and marketing, while Yucel Timur becomes director of operations....

21/01/2021

Ajit Pai Departs FCC

WASHINGTON-Ajit Pai has officially submitted his resignation as chairman of the FCC, bringing an end to his 12 years with the commission. During his dozen years...

21/01/2021

CBS Sports Updates PGA Tour Production for 2021 Season

NEW YORK-CBS Sports is preparing to tee off its 64th consecutive year of covering PGA Tour golf, which will include a number of new elements being added to its ...

21/01/2021

DTS Rule Change May Add Millions of New OTA Viewers

WASHINGTON-Broadcasters potentially stand to gain millions of NextGen TV over-the-air viewers thanks to FCC rule changes and clarifications released Jan. 19 tha...

21/01/2021

Congress Intros Resolution Honoring Capitol Riot Journalists

WASHINGTON-Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (D-Ill.), along with 42 other House members, have introduced a resolution that honors the journalists and news staff who, ...

21/01/2021

FCC Gives C-Band Earth Stations Deadline to Verify Operations

WASHINGTON-Any incumbent C-band earth station antennas that are currently listed as no longer operational or have not responded to the FCC or C-band operators h...

21/01/2021

On the Hardwood: After Assisting Fox Sports Sun, Miami Heat Retrofit Control Room for Games in AmericanAirlines Arena

On the Hardwood: After Assisting Fox Sports Sun, Miami Heat Retrofit Control Roo...

21/01/2021

Dome Productions, TV2Go International Celebrates IIHF World Junior Championship Success

Dome Productions, TV2Go International Celebrates IIHF World Junior Championship ...

21/01/2021

Sky and Kick It Out form ground-breaking partnership to champion inclusion and combat discrimination

Sky pledges 3 million investment package (Mix of cash and Value in Kind support...

21/01/2021

Riteas RT: Tortha Bhord um Chaighdein Eagarthireachta RT

T s cinnte ag Bord um Chaighde in Eagarth ireachta RT nach raibh sceitse faoi Dhia a bh ar Chl r Comhaireamh S os O che Chinn Bliana RT , ar sceitse aoire b...

21/01/2021

RT PUBLISHES HIGHEST PRESENTER EARNINGS FOR 2017, 2018 AND 2019

RT PUBLISHES HIGHEST PRESENTER EARNINGS FOR 2017, 2018 AND 2019 RT REDUCES HIGHEST PRESENTER EARNINGS BY 15% IN 2020 RT today publishes the fees earned by ...

21/01/2021

AVL and Rohde & Schwarz announce strategic vehicle-in-the-loop collaboration

AVL and Rohde & Schwarz announce strategic vehicle-in-the-loop collaboration Rohde & Schwarz and AVL have intensified their collaboration with the integration...

20/01/2021

Take Your Penta to Catalina

Tekst: Take Your Penta to Catalina DADman v. 5.4.5 is here! And it is compatible with MacOS Catalina (10.15) - as well as previous versions, including: Mojav...

20/01/2021

Nokia and Mobily pilot world's first 4G and 5G Fixed Wireless Access network slicing

Nokia and Mobily pilot world's first 4G and 5G Fixed Wireless Access network...

20/01/2021

What if the Brazilian Legends Were Real? Watch the Trailer From 'Invisible City,' Premiering on February 5th at Netflix

Back to All News What if the Brazilian Legends Were Real? Watch the Trailer Fro...

20/01/2021

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau and Joe Cole Star in Netflix Feature Film 'Against the Ice'

Back to All News Nikolaj Coster-Waldau and Joe Cole Star in Netflix Feature Fil...

20/01/2021

More than 11 million watch ITV's The Pembrokeshire Murders launch

More than 11 million watch ITV's The Pembrokeshire Murders launch Biggest new ITV drama launch since 2006 Series sold to 20 countries The launch episode ...

20/01/2021

Further cast announcement for ITV's McDonald & Dodds

Saira Choudhry, Rosie Day, Nitin Ganatra, Nicholas Goh, Siobhan Hewlett, Sarah Parish and Rhashan Stone join the cast for the third and final film of series two...

20/01/2021

Date of 2021 NTAs announced

Date of 2021 NTAs announced Britain's most popular TV awards show, the NTAs, have today announced the show will be rescheduled to take place live on Thursd...

20/01/2021

Kazmedia Puts Grass Valley Cameras Front and Center for HD Studio Capability

MONTREAL - January 20, 2021 - Grass Valley today announces that Kazakhstan Media Center, Kazmedia, has selected its HD-enabled cameras as part of a comprehensiv...

20/01/2021

TechnipFMC plc announces filing of Current Report on Form 8-K disclosing certain information contained in the...

Press release | January 19 2021 TechnipFMC plc announces filing of Current Rep...

20/01/2021

Avid Launches Making the Media Podcast to Explore the Forces Shaping Media and Entertainment with Unique Group of Industry Leaders

Avid global broadcast and media evangelist Craig Wilson to host bi-weekly podcas...

20/01/2021

Go Shop's CNY MOOMOODA campaign offers prizes worth RM23,888

Go Shop's CNY MOOMOODA campaign offers prizes worth RM23,888 Date Released:20 Jan 2021 Share Tweet Shop with Go Shop this Chinese New Year (CNY) and ...

20/01/2021

HITZ reports 12% increase in local music on the station

HITZ reports 12% increase in local music on the station Date Released:20 Jan 2021 Share Tweet HITZ, Malaysia's No.1 English station is pleased to ann...

20/01/2021

Program Astro Tutor TV 30 Hari Menjelang SPM' Bantu Calon SPM

Program Astro Tutor TV 30 Hari Menjelang SPM' Bantu Calon SPM Date Released:20 Jan 2021 Share Tweet Media Pack Mulai 23 Januari (Sabtu) ini, calon ...

20/01/2021

Partnership with leading POS software provider Zucchetti Switzerland

Partnership with Leading POS Software Provider Zucchetti Switzerland Arvato Systems liefert Managed Cloud Services f r Zucchetti Arvato Systems provides clou...

20/01/2021

The Audio Engineering Society Welcomes Jonathan Wyner as President

Posted: Tuesday, January 19, 2021 --...

20/01/2021

NAMM 2021: KRK upgrade subwoofers

Fourth-gen models boast extended LF Always looking to improve their monitors, in 2019 KRK upgraded their Rokit range of nearfield monitors to fourth-gen sta...

20/01/2021

NAMM 2021: Daking add transformer option to twin preamp

Mic Pre II now available with Jensen transformers Premium console and outboard makers Daking Audio have unveiled a new transformer option for their Mic Pre ...

20/01/2021

Free Ampeg sim from Plugin Alliance

SVT-VR Classic now available Plugin Alliance have released a new single-channel version of their Ampeg SVT-VR bass-amp emulation plug-in. The Ampeg SVT-VR i...

20/01/2021

January 20, 2021

Transient forgetting' controlled by dopamine circuits, scientists find Memory-retrieval block revealed; pauses thought without abolishing long-term memories...