CP Communications ‘Returns’ to the Golf Course for Aramco Team Series
- 29 November, 2021
USA: When the pandemic put a full stop to sports and live event production, CP Communications parked its mobile trucks and shifted its focus to REMI and in-studio production - a business that continues to grow for the company. The return of live sports now has CP Communications treading familiar territory with events such as the MLB All-Star Game, NBA Finals, and - most recently - Aramco Team Series New York, an internationally televised and globally streamed professional golf event.
CP Communications, a specialist in RF and IP-based content acquisition for professional golf events, was hired by event producer Olhmeyer Kusserow Group (OKG) to step in on short notice due to COVID-related restrictions for international production teams. Within two weeks, CP Communications had a turnkey crew and technology plan for the hilly Glen Oaks Club on Long Island in October. CP Communications drove its flagship HD-21 production truck to the course with 50,000 feet of fiber, eight RF cameras, eight RF effects microphones, two RF talent microphones, and course-wide communications. The company also coordinated RF frequencies for live coverage, using special temporary authority, or STAs, from the FCC to acquire spectrum.
“It felt like old times,” said CP Communications CEO Kurt Heitmann. “We have years of experience providing full video and audio coverage of big golf events for major broadcast networks, and the ability to turn around a turnkey system and crew on minimal notice for live productions of any size. When the OKG team came calling, we were ready and eager to step in to help them bring this event to viewers worldwide.”
CP Communications Vice President of Sales and Marketing Aaron Segarra adds that one of the more challenging elements of covering golf is perhaps unexpected.
“Ensuring high-quality video and audio production is essential for any live televised production, but with golf the more challenging elements is clean communications,” he said. “We established a Hytera network with 40 two-radio radios and four channels each of inbound and outbound communications. That is where we really shine for golf, and it is so important given the number of acquisition points and production sites positioned around the course.”
CP Communications acquired and distributed all content over RF for delivery back to HD-21, where MultiDyne VF-9000 video fiber-optic transport frames received and processed the signals. CP technicians managed and switched the feeds in HD-21’s master control center before handing off to OKG, which provided the World Feed and other live broadcast services to TV networks and OTT services. That included four channels of video and multiple channels of audio distributed to the host broadcast facility in Germany.
“Golf is one of the toughest sports to produce, and CP Communications gave us very close to full coverage from tee to green across all holes on a hilly course that is challenging to cover,” said Chris Ohlmeyer, Executive Producer and Managing Partner for Olhmeyer Kusserow Group. “They executed a plan that allowed them to cleanly capture and run signals RF over fiber, while also supporting our own hard cameras over the same infrastructure. They came through with a professional operations and support team on short notice while also keeping us within budget. These were tall orders with only two weeks from first contact to tee off.”