ANNAPOLIS JUNCTION, MD--FiberPlex has announced that multiple LightViperdigital audio transport systems were recently provided for the live ESPN and NBC Television broadcasts at the recent U.S. Open Championship played June 9-15 at Southern California's Torrey Pines Golf Course. An indomitable Tiger Woods won the largest and most prestigious golf event of the year, taking home a purse worth more than $1.3 million. ESPN, which shared coverage of Monday's dramatic 19-hole playoff with NBC, garnered a 4.2 rating and was seen in more than 4 million households, making it the most-watched golf telecast in cable television history.
U.S. Open coverage on ESPN.com mirrored its broadcast success. ESPN.com (Thursday, June 12 to Monday, June 16) generated more than 5.1 million web visits. Monday's playoff alone generated nearly 2.4 million visits and 10.7 million page views. Also, ESPN's WAP (wireless Web) site averaged more than 2 million unique daily visitors to golf content during the tournament, generating nearly 3 million page views.
The "plug n' play" LightViper fiber optic audio systems at the Open were utilized by CP Communications, an Elmsford, NY-based production communications equipment and services rental firm that provides video, audio and fiber communications systems to the broadcast, theatrical, live event, film, corporate and other entertainment industries.
Kurt Heitmann, senior VP of marketing CP Communications and sister company Total RF Productions, explained his firm's use of the LightViper:
"We furnished our clients, ESPN and NBC, each with two complete 32X8 LightViper fiber optic audio systems in our 'booth kits.' The audio run from the golf course to ESPN's SportsCenter golf set was around 5,000 ft., nearly a mile away. From this location, ESPN also handled their 'ERT' regional TV webcasts. There were approximately 40 hours of live coverage during the 5-day event, and all four of the systems performed flawlessly with not one glitch. We deployed two systems for NBC EFX coverage with even longer fiber cable runs, about 10,000 ft. to the 18th green and 12th green. These were used for EFX mics and stand-up mics. Everything was 'glass' at this event, video and audio. We estimated there was a total of 250,000 feet of fiber between all the video and audio runs. I can't imagine the headaches trying to handle an event like this with old copper snakes. It would be like going back to the Stone Age!"
The main ESPN announce set at the U.S. Open Championship in Torrey Pines, California. LightViper fiber optic audio transport systems handled the on-air as well as webcast sound for the 5-day signature event that was the most-watched golf telecast in cable television history.