Unlocking the Future of Remote Sports Production through Cloud, Automation, and Collaboration
Written By: Peter Clarke (Video Engineer), T.K. Gore (Global Head of Sports Partnerships, Content, and Business Development), Desiree Pappenscheller (Business Development)
In the world of live sports production, three topics stand out as the key to unlocking unprecedented growth opportunities: cloud, AI automation, and collaboration. Innovations in these areas have the potential to fundamentally reshape the industry.
The recent SVG Remote Production Forum held in Los Angeles shed light on the driving forces behind the rapid transformation of remote sports production. What became abundantly clear is that the future belongs to those who embrace new technologies.
Collaboration: The Ultimate Asset
Jeff Jacobs, Senior Vice President of Production at NEP, encapsulated the industry's spirit when he proclaimed, "Collaboration is our No. 1 asset." He cited a recent simple, but impactful collaboration between NEP and FOX Sports, where they shared camera hardware for consecutive events in Atlanta. This collaborative mindset signifies a profound departure from the industry's traditional norms.
Jacobs went on to emphasize that the modern NEP is far removed from its predecessors. A remarkable statistic underscores this point: more than half of the 2,500 live events produced by NEP now fall under the category of "connected productions," showcasing the power of collaboration and remote production.
A New Era of Remote and Hybrid Production Workflows
Remote production is undergoing a seismic shift, driven by factors such as accessible high speed internet, robust streaming protocols like SRT, and cloud based studio production solutions. These advancements have opened up previously uncharted avenues for sports productions of all sizes.
The advent of remote and hybrid production workflows has ushered in a new era in live sports event production. These workflows have introduced a host of possibilities, including innovative approaches to storage, on-premise and cloud-based archiving, enhanced artificial intelligence capabilities, best practices in metadata management, and streamlined media asset management and planning.
There is a growing consensus in the industry that remote production and in particular cloud based production not only can save operational expenses and the health and well being of production staffers, but also allow for serving audience segments through alternative productions.
Devon Fox, Sr. Director of Live Events and Special Projects, NBC Sports Bay Area, made a keen observation in how remote cloud production has made a positive impact in “less travel” and improved “work life balance” for the humans who work in production. “It helps lengthen careers.”
Production Assistance from AI and Automated Systems
The Automated Production, AI, and the Future of Sports Production panel explored cutting-edge technologies poised to automate production tasks and foster deeper audience engagement. Throughout the discussion, the panelists underscored the industry's pressing need for collaboration, emphasizing the integration of interoperable, best-of-breed solutions into established workflows.
T.K. Gore, Global Head of Sports Partnerships, Content, and Business Development at Kiswe, presented an insightful perspective during the AI panel. He shared, 'We are working on an AI reference architecture for plug-and-play components, fostering seamless collaboration and the integration of these innovations into both production and distribution workflows, all in the spirit of cooperation.' Gore was joined by Fox Sports’ SVP of Production Operations, Dustin Myers, Pixellot’s President of North America, David Shapiro, and Kristian Hernández, SVG’s Senior Editor, in this forward-thinking and entertaining panel conversation.
As mentioned on the panel, AI isn’t something to be viewed as a threat or human replacement. Rather a tool to further enhance what can be achieved with smaller and limited production teams.
The future of remote sports production relies on the seamless integration of cloud technology, automation, and collaboration. This dynamic trio isn't just shaping the industry; it's propelling it into an era of boundless possibilities. As we bear witness to the ongoing evolution of remote production, one thing becomes abundantly clear: the horizon is not the limit; it's the cloud, automation, and collaboration that truly expand our horizons.