It is strange to speak of meeting a living legend in the same breath as witnessing live tennis action captured via a remote production hub somewhere in Melbourne. Yet in the past month, I had the opportunity to see history of vastly different kinds unfold on either side of the Equator.
Down under, local broadcaster Seven Network took the remote approach to broadcast Federer’s age-defying feat of winning the Australian Open and the rest of the matches. An incredible 80 odd feeds were transported between three sites in Melbourne on a self-managed dark fibre for this.
Remote production is increasingly gaining traction for live sport. If it can be done in Australia, it can also be done here in the UAE, which is the centre of several major sporting events that are broadcast live. We are talking about huge savings if the telcos and broadcasters can come to an understanding. All details revealed in this issue.
Twenty days later, it was time for the annual BBC Worldwide Showcase. In “the largest international TV market to be hosted by a single distributor”, I found myself sitting next to David Attenborough. The nonagenarian has lent his famous voice to Dynasty, a fivepart series that presents animals battling like the modern-day Carringtons and Colbys. Only there are no clever edits, makeup and directorial flourishes.
Executive Producer Mike Gunton spoke about how the team followed the animals for four years. Four painstaking years of letting the drama play out in nature as the animals must prove their leadership and maintain their dynasty.
You could feel the tense silence in the air as we watched some pivotal moments from the footage. All of us wanted to know what came next. We were privy to several conversations afterwards, and I promise to share this in great detail with you in the next issue. For now, suffice to say I have returned home with a newfound respect for what the BBC does.
In the meantime, just as we were going to press, we heard of the collaboration between Netflix and OSN. They say keep your friends close and your enemies closer. But is this a bit too close even for frenemies? Time to ponder! Until next time…