AVS Brings Fresh Perspective to Breeder's Cup
Wednesday, 21 November 2012 11:40

The Breeder’s Cup, one of horse racing’s most prestigious events, returned to Santa Anita Park for 2012 - and AVS was there.

After a six-year absence, the broadcast returned to NBC Sports, who was committed to creating a Triple-Crown level production of the event.  The broadcast consisted of 8 ½ hours of coverage Friday and Saturday on NBC Sports Network as well as a one-hour Breeder’s Cup Classic broadcast on NBC Saturday, which was the first primetime airing of the event. 

For the 29th running of the Breeder’s Cup, NBC looked to AVS for all of their wireless needs.  For the November 2 and 3 broadcast, AVS provided four Link L-1500 transmitters for the hand-held cameras, one AVS wireless P1 package for the Steadicam, one Link system at the starting gate, 15 channels of audio and comms.

While prominent in Europe and Dubai, infield camera cars are a rarity in US horse racing broadcasts.  Due to the unique layout of Santa Anita Park, which includes an infield track, NBC asked AVS to supply their custom-designed Range Rover camera vehicle, outfitted with a roof-mounted Cineflex V14-HD gyro-stabilized gimbal for the infield follow shots.  NBC used this shot extensively in both the live show and for replay analysis segments and considered it the highlight of their broadcast.  The shot of the horses coming to the wire was set against a backdrop of tens of thousands cheering fans in the beautiful Santa Anita grandstands.

With Santa Anita Park located at the base of the stunning San Gabriel Mountains, NBC also looked to AVS to provide aerials for the event.  AVS mounted another of their Cineflex V14-HD gyro-stabilized camera systems on a Robinson R-44 helicopter and transmit the feed to the truck via Link PTX point-to-point transmitter.

In addition to supporting NBC’s broadcast, AVS provided two stand-alone systems to HRTV for their in-house broadcasts as well as one system for Metrovision, which was broadcasting for French television.

With AVS using 10 channels in the 1.4, 2.0, 6.5 and 7.0 GHz spectrum, as well as the amount of local media expected to be at the event, frequency coordination was critical.  AVS worked closely with AFTRCC, FCC and Howard Fine, the local frequency coordinator, to ensure they had the protected spectrum necessary for another successful broadcast.