April 4, 2023
DoubleTake: Delivering an Agile Next-Generation IP-based Broadcast Solution
As is well known, Australia takes its sport seriously, including the broadcast coverage of major events. As viewers fragment across rightsholders and platforms with more content, and as production budgets dwindle, agile IP-based production is enabling more events to go to air with broadcast production values.
DoubleTake Sports, supported by technology from Singular, deploy lean, digital-first remote production for the delivery of major international events to linear and traditional broadcasters.
Remote or hub-based production is often seen as a compromise when budgets mean that onsite outside broadcast isn’t feasible. As technologies evolve rapidly, remote production provides a full-featured, budget-friendly option that can actually enhance coverage of an event by making better technologies, crew, and processes available to more events - all with a lighter environmental footprint.
DoubleTake Sports have provided coverage of recent events at a level that wouldn’t have been possible without remote production at ultra low latency, including:
- Tier 1 Rugby Internationals
- Water Polo Internationals
- Major CrossFit events
Event: Rugby Internationals
To ensure top-quality coverage of each match, DoubleTake Sports produced a fully remote outside broadcast of the Rugby World Cup 2023 Qualifier between Tonga and Hong Kong, and a Women's Rugby World Cup warm-up match between Australia and Japan.
Matches of that calibre required advanced production. Across these events, production included up to eight cameras, sideline hostings, venue video screen returns, TMO/video referee (both onsite and remotely in the DTS production centre) and pitch-side medical video review integration. DoubleTake crews delivered these productions entirely remotely, with only the cameras and on-screen talent at the venues, in sub-second latency.
Australia's Stan Sport was the domestic rightsholder. A fully bespoke Singular graphics pack brought Stan Sport's look and feel to life, fed by live match data and a custom API-driven control interface developed by DoubleTake Sports. The matches were also delivered to international rights holders in New Zealand, Japan, Fiji, Tonga, Hong Kong, and Argentina.
Event: Water Polo Internationals
In January 2023, the Australian Stingers and Sharks (women’s and men’s national Water Polo teams) hosted the United States and Japan for a Tri-Nations Test Series in Perth, Australia.
Water Polo Australia and domestic rightsholder Kayo Sports required cost-effective, broadcast quality production, and DoubleTake Sports delivered Water Polo’s most advanced coverage in Australia since Sydney 2000.
From their production center 3,500 kilometers away in Brisbane, the DoubleTake Sports team executed a 7-camera remotely produced outside broadcast that featured manned, roving RF, and remotely-controlled PTZ cameras, in-venue commentary and pool deck hostings, bespoke branded graphics, and a return feed for the venue video screens.
Despite being on the opposite side of the country, all production was at ultra-low latency of less than 0.1s.
Event: Down Under Championship (CrossFit)
The Down Under Championship is a premiere event on the international CrossFit calendar, attracting athletes from all over the world and an international audience to match.
From Wollongong, NSW, the DoubleTake Sports broadcast saw three full days of advanced coverage that featured micro/beauty cameras, PTZ cameras operated the remote production center, live coverage from drones/UAV for external events, in-venue commentary, integration with the in-venue center-hung video boards and AV, custom graphics, and post-event hostings in a dedicated interview set for broadcast and spectators at the venue.
This advanced production was planned and delivered in less than two months, and saw just five production crew at the venue, with the remote production crew delivering the event coverage from 1000km away.
DoubleTake were very early adopters of advanced Singular, quick to take advantage of its multiple benefits, in particular reduction in costs of production and the significant reduction in the environmental impact. By using their experience with Singular alongside a host of innovative production technologies, DoubleTake was able to integrate high-quality match production/OB coverage with traditional on-site requirements of major sports events.
Robert Matthews, Founder and CEO of DoubleTake, commented: “Of its many strengths, the biggest and best thing about Singular is still the flexibility and ability for us to build fully bespoke/custom themes for any client in any look and feel ourselves, and to be able to rapidly deploy new themes or graphic concepts as soon as a creative concept is conceived. Combined with our production center in Brisbane, this project demonstrated the readiness of lean, digital-first remote production for delivery of major international events to both linear and traditional broadcasters.”
Andrew Heimbold, CEO, Singular.live commented: “Partners like DoubleTake recognized the power of the Singular platform very early on, and now they are reaping the benefits. They demonstrate not only the flexibility of the platform that enables them to make it fit their needs, but also the ability to do so without any compromise on quality. While many broadcasters around the world are still talking about full IP remotely produced top-tier live events, the team at DoubleTake are just going out there and doing it. They truly are a leading light in their field, and so it’s no surprise that they are winning more and more projects.”
As Robert Matthews concluded: “If you can produce content to the same standard but at a lower cost and a massively reduced environmental impact, why wouldn’t you? It doesn’t make sense to send trucks packed with hardware and people across the country when we can send only essential crew and hardware on-site and produce the events from our central hub at a higher quality.”
DoubleTake Sports are leading the revolution in the broadcast of elite and sub-elite sports. They are award-winning industry leaders in remote production, enabling a new era of TV-quality production across geographies at a fraction of the traditional cost and with significantly less environmental impact.