Remote Production | Technical Solutions

Remote Production

Remote Premier League

The Brief:

We were set the task of extending the remote production model implemented on Sky’s Football League and F1 to cover live Premier League football. With the aim of achieving our Sky Zero initiative goals by further reducing our carbon footprint at outside broadcasts and increasing crew and financial efficiency, we had weeks to build a bespoke remote production facility for the 2020/2021 season following the temporary use of the Football League setup during ‘Project Restart’ (the return of live sport).

Understanding The Requirements:
We worked closely with Sky Sports’ Football production teams to identify the long-term requirements for producing Premier League at scale from our Sky Studios facilities, as it differed in scale and shape from the production for Football League matches.

The teams were able to ascertain the required scale of control rooms for match coverage, presentation of the programme and ‘instant replay’ requirements, plus a significant increase in graphics and analysis used day to day.

The Solution:
With the requirements understood and the spaces identified, we collaborated with our internal design and implementation teams to draw up the facility that would be built.

One of the first tasks was to develop the main control room, which was achieved by upgrading our largest control room, PCR 4, to be a UHD/HDR facility with Dolby Atmos audio. This would anchor the facility technically and provide a home for the programme presentation production.

Then the project progressed onto identifying a suitable space (PCR34) to build out the match cut control room alongside a dedicated Atmos sound control room, where the main match coverage and world feed of every live game are produced.

And adjacent to the match control room, two large replay room spaces were constructed and deeply integrated into the Sky Studios media workflows, with each capable of accommodating 10 EVS Replay operators and 4 members of the production team.

To ensure Sky’s live Premier League coverage continues to have some of the best on-screen tactical analysis seen in the UK, we installed additional render engines and upgraded analysis systems.

The Launch:

Less than 5 months from inception, the facility was live on air in October 2020 after a herculean effort by the whole team. In the summer of 2021, the switch was ‘flipped’ for the launch of Sky’s Premier League coverage on Sky Q and Sky Glass in HDR.

"For 28 years, Sky’s PL coverage was delivered in a traditional broadcast set-up with OB trucks on site. However, COVID-19 accelerated the process of our PL coverage becoming remote and mid-pandemic, SPS played a vital role in this changing, with us calling on every corner of logistical and technical expertise across the department. Now, most of our PL coverage is fully remote from Sky Studios – and it’s great to have a bigger SPS involvement than ever before."
Laurence Cawsey

Senior Director, Sky Sports Football