Cloud Production | Technical Solutions

Cloud Production

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Sky Virtual Production Suite

The Brief:

We were tasked with delivering a cloud production solution to keep Sky Sports’ live programming on air with presenters and crew working from home. As a result of the pandemic, we had 2 weeks to design, build, and handover a complete solution, including: a new virtual production infrastructure; integrated graphics; post production infrastructure; operational workflow; training, and support.

The Solution:
Instead of taking our broadcast kit out of existing facilities and delivering it to our employees’ homes, we opted for a fully remote virtualised solution that utilised equipment available at home, such as PCs, tablets, mobile phones, as this was the safest option for all of our people.

Within the first week, our Director of Operations & Technical Operations worked with our Technical Management team to test and develop the first version of Sky Virtual Production Suite (VPS), centred around vMix software, to offer live programming created from individual homes.

The following week, we went live with the ‘Cricket Watchalong’, with our Technical Supervisors operating from their sheds and bedrooms. From there, other Sports and flagship shows, including Soccer AM, got involved.

Then the project moved onto producing original programming for different content areas, such as Portrait Artist Of The Week, and supporting other business areas by offering exciting one of kind events for our Sky VIP members.

As programming demand has increased, Sky VPS ‘Live’ (vMix, Singular/Hyper, Bee-On, VizRT,, LiveU), ‘Master Control’ (AWS, Sienna Cloud NDI, SRT Open Source), ‘Streaming’ (Wildmoka) and ‘Automation’ (HP RGS) have been built to form the complete Virtual Production Suite.

The project has expanded across multiple crafts such as Vision Mixers, Sound & Multi-Skilled Operators, and the original team has trained across crafts, supported them through the launch, and helped take on multiple programs a day.

The Launch:
Launched on 10th April 2020, Sky VPS has since been on air up to 9 hours a day, seven days a week. The overall success and speed of the project’s development have already made it a pivotal part of our BAU operations.
The Team:
James Clement 
- Director of Operations
Kevin McCue - Director of Technical Operations
Mike Lethem 
- Technical Management
James Monks, Jonathan Craggs, Darren Du Preez, Jono Taylor, Kelly Taylor
 - Technical Supervisors
Alex Mahdjoubi, Philip Light, Ugo Ruiz
 - Sound
Kwame Addo, Rebecca Scott
 - Multi Skilled Operators
Liam Titley, Faith Alexander, Tim Hooper, Glen Enright, Jim Annaly, Marc Jones, Neil Ruddock, Jordan Parchment, Adam Townsend, Gemma Byrne, Amanda Addison, Harry Wilder, Alex Brown, Nick Small, Lauren Ferdinand, Brandon Dyke, Oliver Taylor, Will Woods, Paul Cartwright, Rebecca Houston, Tom Storey - Graphics
Adam Noble, Chris Thornton, Emma Torres, Eve Collier, Harvey Prescott, Honor Mayr, Kwok Wong, Adam Charlottes, Lisa Berry
 - Vision Mixers
Ben Burdon, Jaron Brandy, Sherida Denny, Charlotte Healy, Sarah Thornley 
- Studio Management
Charlotte Toms
 - Production Coordinator
"We collaborated with SPS to create a ‘VPS events’ model and over the course of 8 months, we have used this model for the majority of our virtual events. SPS have been integral to the planning & success of these events and has enabled us to meet our stakeholders’ key objectives."
Jodie Manches

Head of Events, Sky Corporate
"SPS were incredibly visible and attentive to all of the production needs and they were able to provide the technological support to make us feel like we were right back in Sky Studios. SPS were flexible and agile in adapting to changes and additional requirements."
David Randall

Producer, Sky Sports Golf