FEED Spring 2022 Web

In the summer of last year, a production partnership between The R&A, IMG and LiveU unleashed a whole new perspective on covering golf – even in the remote corners of Scotland

riginating from Scotland, golf initially consisted of players attempting to hit a

smaller events are unable to justify a large-scale OB operation. “Our technical team at IMG had been aware of LiveU for some time. Initially, we suggested involving them to explore if it would be possible to use their technology for The R&A’s Amateur Championships.” This resulted in a multi-camera, remote production delivered by IMG, using a combination of flagship LU800s and other LiveU units. The coverage was streamed by The R&A across its digital platforms. “Our main concerns surrounded connectivity, since the courses are based in remote coastal areas of the UK. We used the initial amateurs event as a test – and the coverage worked far better than we had imagined,” Lacy continues. “Following this, The R&A wanted to use the same operation for the Curtis Cup. However, this meant covering multiple matches at the same time, over three days, requiring a far larger operation.” During the Curtis Cup, each of the 12 camera operators used a LiveU field unit, transmitting sharp video over cellular. A point-to-point Wi-Fi ‘mesh’ system was built to offer signal support and redundancy. Feeds were received over 250 miles away, in a gallery at


pebble over sand dunes using a bent stick – or a club. It has clearly evolved throughout the centuries since then, turning into the glamorous and wildly popular sport we see today. It’s safe to say that the technology for streaming and documenting golf has also improved substantially since the pebble-and-stick days. This was emphasised last year at the Men and Women’s Amateur Championships, followed by the 41st Curtis Cup. IMG was first formed on the golf course back in 1960, starting with a handshake between Mark McCormack and Arnold Palmer. “Since that legendary deal, IMG transformed into the founding father of sports marketing – but it also gave birth to its massive relationship with golf,” describes vice president of IMG Productions Tim Lacy. “Typically, for The R&A and European Tour, we do a huge amount of live, full-OB coverage, which can entail up to 100 cameras. These are very complex productions, required for marquee events such as The Open. But The R&A also run some amazing smaller tournaments that get very little broadcast exposure.” As Lacy continues, these

IMG Studios. Over three days of competition, more than 25 hours of coverage was remotely produced and broadcast live on Sky Sports Golf, Sky Sports Mix and NBC’s Golf Channel. “Signals were unbelievably good,” emphasises Lacy. “This success of the coverage has opened up exciting opportunities – not only for us, but for other sports rights holders exploring new and innovative ways of remotely producing live coverage. “At IMG, it was groundbreaking – not just in what it achieved, but what it makes possible. The door has been thrown wide open for a cost-effective, sustainable live production model in golf.”

IN FULL SWING Catch highlights of the 41st Curtis Cup over on the FEED website


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