Buffalo Bills Go The Distance With LiveU
Buffalo, N.Y.-based sports and entertainment company Pegula Sports & Entertainment (PSE) prides itself on building fan experiences for professional sports teams including the Buffalo Bills (NFL), Buffalo Sabres (NHL), Buffalo Bandits (NLL), and Rochester Americans (AHL). Live video has become the main driver allowing the teams to expand their reach and engage with fans on another level.
Throughout the year, the PSE production crew produce two live radio/TV simulcast shows five hours a day, five days a week — The Instigators (NHL show) and One Bills Live (NFL Show). During NFL and NHL seasons, the teams produce game-day, pre- and post-game shows for the Bills and Sabres broadcasts on MSG WNY. All shows originate from One Buffalo Studio located at the ADPRO Sports Training Center in Orchard Park, NY. When the teams are on the road, that’s when things get a little tricky.
“Connectivity was always a challenge for our Buffalo Bills on the road produced live shows,” said Steve Asposto, PSE’s senior director of broadcast operations/engineering. “Sometimes costly hard line service, engineering time and resources required to wire cameras in a venue plagued our crew and made it challenging to reliably bring that content to our viewers while away.”
LiveU Wireless At-Home Production featuring the company’s hardware-based HEVC portable transmission solution removed those production roadblocks and allowed the PSG crew to take the multi-cam shows on the road, while producing the broadcast transmission from the Orchard Park One Buffalo Studio.
“We can receive up to four channels simultaneously without wiring all the cameras to a central location for distribution to the home studio, which is a common limitation of other Remote Production Solutions on the market,” said Asposto. “Our camera operators can freely roam to the coach’s bench, locker room, or virtually anywhere without worrying about connectivity thanks to the LiveU HEVC solution.”
The technology gives Bills fans inside access to behind-the-scenes action and interviews that wouldn’t have been possible to get on the road before.
PSE uses the LiveU HEVC solutions for ancillary content for their daily live shows including Buffalo Bills and Buffalo Sabres practices and/or press conferences from both stadiums.
The LiveU Wireless At-Home Production model helped cut down on operation costs right away. “We no longer need to send any engineering staff to remote locations since our camera operators can handle transmissions independently,” said Asposto.
The PSE team travels with the team, which means that they are usually pressed for time post-game. In the past, the crew would need to send back recorded footage from the team bus while en route to the airport for the live show. “This was unreliable in the past, but has worked flawlessly using the LiveU,” added Asposto.
“We plan to use LiveU for the upcoming mandatory Bills minicamp later this month. We also plan on getting many live hits from the NHL Draft in June from Vancouver for our Instigators show. And once again we will be producing our Bills simulcast show from our training camp in Rochester, NY this summer,” Asposto said.
The production crew is also planning a new streaming-only live Bills post-game show this fall.