Rogers Sportsnet

The Customer

Today, Rogers Sportsnet is considered Canada's #1 sports Network and Live Sports Television provider. Launching in 1998 as "CTV Sportsnet" a joint venture between CTV, Liberty Media and Rogers Media. Rogers became the sole owner of Sportsnet in 2004, renaming it Rogers Sportsnet. The Sportsnet license comprises of four 24-hour programing services. SN Pacific, SN West, SN Ontario and SN East. In 2010 Rogers began to extend the Sportsnet brand beyond the original networks with the launch of Rogers Sportsnet ONE. And in 2011 they re-branded its premium international sports channel Setanta Sports Canada as "Sportsnet World". Rogers Sportsnet is the current national cable rights holder and broadcaster of the NHL and Major League Baseball. Rogers Sportsnet also carries a large amount of soccer programming. It has been the Canadian broadcaster of the Premier League since 1998 until the 2018/2019 season. It is also the national rights holder of the FA Cup. To accommodate the massive volume of programming content that Sportsnet broadcasts, the facility includes a remote production control room, along with four standard broadcast control rooms used for Television Broadcasts.

The Challenges

The challenges that Rogers Sportsnet faced were many. First, they required a platform that would integrate with the existing mobile replay systems in order to efficiently transfer files to and from mobile units to the control room for Live Television studio use.

Second, Rogers wanted a replay platform that could dynamically scale to meet the size of any in-studio and remote production. The studio and remote production team needed the ability to perform multiple tasks that would help the efficiency in the control room in an always changing and evolving environment.

Third, viewers are accustomed to high quality sports broadcasts with engaging replays, in-depth analysis and cutting edge highlight packs. Rogers Sportsnet needed a replay platform that would be able to provide the tools that operators required to execute these requirements, often in a very short turnaround time.

Finally, Rogers Sportsnet employs a large number of staff and freelance operators with varying degrees of experience to accommodate it’s ever grown live production line-up. What Sportsnet needed in a replay platform was an interface that would provide a shallow learning curve for new operators while at the same time provide advanced tools that would allow experienced operators to paint a perfect story.

The Solution

First, the ability to adapt and integrate with existing replay systems for content exchange is utilized by DreamCatcher’s distributed transcoding model. Rogers was able to import and export content from their mobile units to their studio system at a faster rate than ever before, making the turnaround time for content output almost instantaneous. The DreamCatcher solution provided un-paralleled content ingest capabilities that Rogers tested and benchmarked prior to purchase.

It's really improved the efficiency in the control room, in that were able to multi task and time multiple things at once.
Monica Lozneau, Associate Director Live Events Rogers Sportsnet

Second, the DreamCatcher platform was specifically designed in a modular approach to provide a resource pool that clients can dynamically allocate for different requirements. Rogers takes advantage of this design to allocate resources for each production as needed, changing the size and parameters of their control rooms on-demand.

Creating a replay platform that was familiar for the operator to use was the next approach Evertz took in facilitating the Sportsnet control rooms.

It was very helpful for us when Evertz setup demos at their facility to have everybody come out and bring their files and try the workflows and see that the DreamCatcher could perform just the same as what they were used to on the trucks.
Brian Learoyd, Sr. Mgr Engineering Rogers Sportsnet

The DreamCatcher platform provides a familiar controller design that makes mastering of the system seamless for existing operators and the intuitive touch interface provides new operators with a low threshold for learning the platform.

We definitely sympathize with operators and production staff that are used to certain interfaces and workflows, but we feel that our familiar controller design and intuitive touch interface provides a very simple learning step for new operators and existing operators to learn our technology.
Nima Malekmanesh, Product Marketing Manager & Sr. Engineer DreamCatcher Evertz

Sportsnet now has the ability to turn around content for any of their Live Event Productions or in house Studio shows in an incredibly fast pace. This allows the Sportnet production teams to track all of the developing stories simultaneously, giving the in home audience the most enjoyable viewing experience offered.

When you're doing something that's a living, breathing thing that's always changing and evolving. To know that you can accentually pull off anything with DreamCatcher, you'll be in good shape.
Daniel Fernandes, Producer Live Events Rogers Sportsnet

The advanced highlight editing tools, graphical organization tools, zooming and split screen features are utilized by Rogers to provide an A level production value for their studio shows. DreamCatcher is now an essential part on every major broadcast at Sportsnet.

The Future

Finally, Rogers Sportsnet required a solution that would provide them with a simple migration path to new formats and standards. To execute this The DreamCatcher platform comes with no licenses and fully ready to support 4K-UHD, HDR, SMPTE-2110 with minimal impact on overall design. Rogers now has a system that can be modified to support their needs well into the next decade!

Every Broadcast we put on the air the next one is always better. So for producing shows were multiple things are happening at once and you're just trying to follow the story, DreamCatcher really gives you the option to go wherever that story is.
Daniel Fernandes, Producer Live Events Rogers Sportsnet