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NEP The Netherlands provides the complete technology for the Ziggo Sport channels, with an end-to-end workflow developed by NEP and built in-house, to seamlessly fit Ziggo’s workflow. The solution includes teleport, MCR, studios, Cloud Production, live and post production facilities and offices. Ziggo Sport is located in NEP Studio 11, in the heart of the Hilversum Media Park.
Last May Liberty Global, the parent company of Ziggo Sport, selected NEP The Netherlands to build, operate and maintain the complete playout and technical production for the open Ziggo Sport channel, available exclusively for Ziggo subscribers, and a pay-TV service called Ziggo Sport Total, which consists of six channels available through TV distributors in the Netherlands. There are also five OTT internet channels/streams for broadcasting the Formula 1 Grand Prix. For the more than 12.000 hours of downlink facilities coming from the NEP LiveCenter (MCR) on an annual basis, offered to clients like Ziggo Sport and Eurosport, NEP The Netherlands also installed eight satellite dishes.
In the recent past NEP was responsible for the capturing process for its clients with trucks, studios and related technical facilities, but began to see the need for an end-to-end solution. NEP now provides solutions from sourcing to distribution, with all parts of the broadcast chain involved.
Karel van der Flier, CCO of NEP The Netherlands states, “We call this glass-to-glass—from the lens at the venue to the customer at home—and we looked to provide a managed service. It’s of little value providing just bits and pieces of a service. By offering a managed service and letting NEP focus on the technical parts, the client can concentrate on content, rights and so on.”
Following remote editing (2006) and Cloud Production (2015), Ziggo’s infrastructure is also fully included in NEP’s private cloud. The technical infrastructure is built in NEP’s data center, and after a thorough renovation, in the offices, technical rooms and studios.
Within the studio itself, which has an area of 6.000 square feet, three sets are provided to accommodate the various programmes that complement the remote broadcasts. It is used for continuity, sports news, Ziggo’s talk show Peptalk, and the Formula One programme, as well as other daily scheduled productions. Augmented Reality (AR) is going to play an important role in the Ziggo programming, and many programmes are a combination of AR and virtual reality. Within the studio NEP built a large green screen area where people can stand in an AR environment. For a number of AR programmes, NEP is utilising its own AR system for a daily show that has a great deal of creativity within it and which can easily be integrated in the production workflow.
“We are very impressed with all the new spaces, gadgets and techniques," said Will Moerer, Vice President of Ziggo Sport. "Here at the Media Park we have everything at hand, and our own new studio and (office) spaces are supported 24/7 by the highly professional NEP team.”