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Promoted: How working from home boosted motorsport TV coverage

Televising major motorsports events has always been a massive operation, requiring many cameras, tonnes of equipment and people to travel around the world. However, breakthroughs in technology and fibre connectivity recently have meant that a broadcast revolution has been happening in Formula 1, MotoGP and World Rally Championship; the ability for the series to produce their live coverage from their home base, thousands of miles away from the event.

The key to remote production is the low latency and high bandwidth of the fibre connection, provided by Tata Communications, which means that more and more production roles can be performed back at base, without any loss in quality.

This not only allows the series to do more, offering fans more comprehensive broadcast coverage, it is also highly cost efficient and reduces the carbon footprint. It has a human benefit too, as it means that many technicians can spend more nights with their families over race weekends and fewer nights away from home.

The work began in Formula 1, with a number of functions including the operation of pit lane and on-board cameras being carried out remotely at F1’s remote operations centre in Biggin Hill, near London.

Several of the major broadcasters active in Formula 1 have also partnered with Tata and adopted the facility to do remote operations for their individual productions.

In MotoGP the Dorna production team have evolved remote production as their relationship with Tata Communications has matured. They produce 18 hours of broadcast output from every Moto GP round and as many as 30 of their operational staff stay home. The international broadcast feed is still produced on site, but many functions including management of the 120 on-board cameras, graphics production and the press conferences are performed at Dorna’s base in Barcelona.

WRC has already had a major breakthrough in being able to carry 30 hours of live coverage from each rally – but from next season, building on the remote operations work done in F1 and MotoGP, the plan is that they will switch to full remote production of the WRC broadcast output from their hub in London, England, with feeds coming in from cameras on stages and in rally cars in forests thousands of miles away.

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