NEP Connect’s (formerly known as SIS LIVE) uplink division provided 15 of its SNG/uplink trucks to support the delivery. NEP Connect was involved in two months of extensive planning ahead of the programme working closely with the Sat Ops team in order to achieve the best solution for Sky Sports News.
The event was broadcast between 7am-7pm, with each NEP Connect SNG truck designated to transmit from 5 or 6 locations during the course of the day. Each truck was assigned a region where it would film and transmit an insert from either a football or training ground before moving on to the next location. Each vehicle had an engineer provided by NEP Connect, working with a Sky Sports News reporter, a camera operator and a fixer throughout the day. The fixer oversaw each live transmission before moving on to secure the next live position, ensuring there was no traffic or transport issues on the way.
As you can imagine, to arrive at each location and transmit on schedule was a huge challenge so logistical management and planning was key. NEP Connect owns and operates the largest SNG fleet in Europe and has extensive experience in this kind of quick-turnaround, fast-deployment broadcasting working regularly, as it does, with major news broadcasters.
Andy Cairns, Executive Editor, Sky Sports News “Wow! This is one of those days that makes you proud to work at Sky Sports News. It’s been a fantastic achievement. A bold, ambitious project that was technically and logistically challenging. But it’s Sky Sports News at its best. Great planning, great teamwork and some great work on the road, on the ground, in the air, in front of camera, in the gallery and around the rest of the newsroom. MCR, sat ops and the engineers on the road deserve a special mention for coping with so many live crosses.”
Viewers were given a unique insight into the pre-season preparations clubs around the UK undertake in the lead up to a new season beginning at Everton’s stadium, Goodison Park, and finishing at the home of Premier League champions Manchester United. Presenter Jim White also travelled the country by helicopter to visit all of last season’s trophy-winning clubs. In total 19 roving reporters delivered the inserts supported by a rolling cast at the Sky Sports News studio including Mike Wedderburn, Hayley McQueen, Natalie Sawyer, David Garrido, Kirsty Gallacher and Julian Warren. Equally important were the many more technical staff which included satellite teams, engineers, control room operators and producers charged with bringing live pictures throughout the day.