LightViper Provides Digital Audio Transport Systems for NBC and ESPN at U.S. Open Championship

FiberPlex, Inc., the audio
fiber optic supplier to the broadcast sound production industry, provided multiple
LightViper digital audio transport systems 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.
The “plug n’
play” LightViper fiber optic audio systems at the Open were utilized by CP
Communications. 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,” says Heitmann. “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!”

An indomitable Tiger Woods
won the event 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.

“We can’t keep the
LightViper systems on the shelf — they’re always out on sports and large venue
jobs — we have six systems and just added another four to our inventory. It’s
really great when your clients have no complaints whatsoever about audio
quality. It’s even better when you can relax and know that this critical gear
won’t crash n’ burn,” adds Heitmann.