Cricket is back on the BBC after over 20 years
Whisper has won two contracts with the BBC and England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) to help bring the sport back to the public-service broadcaster after a 20-year hiatus.
As part of the first deal, Whisper will deliver peak-time cricket highlights. These began on 8 July, and run through a multi-year contract including domestic Test matches, ODI matches and T20 matches from summer 2020.
In addition to this, Whisper is creating online highlights and clips for the ECB through 2020. This includes all Tests, ODIs, and T20s for both the men’s and women’s international sides.
A large amount of planning has had to go into creating a safe working space during the Covid-19 crisis, with engineering manager Andy Underhill from BBC Sport and technical director Jon Fay at Whisper leading the work.
Timeline is assisting with the delivery with use of its Technical facilities at its Ealing Broadcast Centre. These include a large production gallery to allow social distancing and safe working conditions for crew and also utilising a number of flexible production pods for a mixture of edit suites, EVS, IP Director, Hawk-Eye and logging staff.
The facilities also benefit from multiple BT Tower Lines, TATA circuits and is now connected to the NEP Connect Anylive network, with remote video and audio feeds from the ground being sent back and mixed in the gallery. Return feeds to the commentators and presenters are also being sent via the Anylive network.
Meanwhile, CTV are providing the host OB for Sky Sports and supplying BBC with presentation cameras and commentary facilities. Hawk-Eye and Alston Elliott Graphics have operators on-site at Timeline’s Ealing gallery and are controlling equipment at the cricket grounds.
All this work has allowed fans to see the England team in action while stuck at home under lockdown measures. An entertaining Test series against the West Indies saw the men’s side win 2-1, with all players and coaching teams operating in a ‘bio-bubble’ to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.