IN THE MEDIA
Sinclair Prepares for Future with IP-based New Media Operations Center
Diversified helps deliver future-ready SMPTE ST 2110-based media operations center to support Sinclair’s RSNs
After successfully rebranding the 21 Fox RSNs acquired from Disney almost two years ago, which alone was among the largest undertakings in the history of the RSN business, Sinclair faced the added challenge of building the backend technical infrastructure to support the new Bally Sports—all during a global pandemic. Partnering with Encompass Digital Media to house the new media operations center at their Atlanta HQ, Sinclair turned to long-time partner Diversified to help design and build the 25,000-sq.-ft native end-to-end SMPTE ST 2110 facility.
“We certainly could have built an HD-SDI facility,” says Don Roberts, VP, sports engineering and production systems, Sinclair Broadcast Group, “but we needed to put an infrastructure in place that would support 1080p, 4K, and HDR someday and also build for growth and for potential cloud environments and playout workflows. It made sense for us to build an IP facility.”
While the logistical challenges of transitioning so many RSNs to a new media operations center in just a few short months would be complex under normal circumstances, conducting this multi-network, multi-venue transformation across the country during a pandemic presented larger and unprecedented hurdles for the team.
“In the years I’ve been doing this,” says Roberts, “I’ve never seen anything like [the working dynamic] created by COVID. Between us and Encompass and Diversified, I have never worked with a group of people that are this connected despite being physically disconnected. Everybody’s hitting on all cylinders all of the time. and it could not have gone smoother than it has so far. There will be issues like there always is, but we will get through them. I could not be more proud of the people that are working on this team.”