FOX sports broadcast all 64 World Cup games live across the United States from their state-of-the-art set featuring four unique stages, each having a beautiful backdrop of the West Bay illuminated skyline of Qatar’s capital.
CTME were proud to have delivered their cutting-edge studio’s AV requirements across the impressive space which span across 148ft x 33ft within two stories. The onsite build started on October 22 and ran 24/7 until FIFA went live on 20 November 22.
Our AV solutions consisted of 500sqm of LED controlled by multiple Novastar H9 splicers and Barco E2 screen management system to manage over 22 million pixels. We further supplied a bespoke lighting package which consisted over 700 lighting fixtures for the incredible studio that broadcasted to over 16 million viewers for the finals.
CT also managed all of the daily systems and operations, providing critical support for FOX Sports 24/7. A team of 6 engineers were working on a rota to ensure all the requirements were met.
Irum Ashraf CTME’s General Manager expressed, “Our journey with FOX sports started in 2021 when we first met with XXX from FOX studios… (What the relationship was and how we were awarded the project, what their vision was and how they wanted us to execute it.)
Dhyaan Parikh, Senior Project Manager expressed, “The requirement from FOX was very specific. They had delivered multiple projects but at smaller scale, but for the World Cup they wanted to pull all the stops out with multiple stages, LED, and exclusive lighting across the studio to really create the wow factor. Being a 360 supplier, we knew from the offset that CT would be a perfect match for this job. We had many meetings to discuss the requirements in depth. We understood the design and were able to advise FOX on solutions that would be cost effective yet keeping up with the latest technology. It was a true partnership from the very beginning.
Parikh continues, “The team at FOX wanted seamless corners at irregular angles throughout the studio. We worked with our supplier InfiLED to create bespoke fabricate frames for our new ART 4.6 in touring frames with a 45 degree chamber. We supplied panels to the set manufacturer in the USA so that they could create a test build and check how it would all fit together. The build was technically challenging as they required us to build screens in a complete enclosed area inside a pentagon, with 5 seamless corners. The structural supplier was in the USA and our screen was in the Middle East. In addition, the structural company worked in fixed mod truss sections that were manufactured in feet and inches, and our LED panels were manufactured in meters. It was integral that everything fit exactly as neither the LED panel or the mod truss could be cut.”
“In addition, the first time this would be tested would be on site, so all the drawings had to be perfect, otherwise there was a risk that it would not fit.
With over 12 months of extensive planning, and weekly online meetings running up to the install, a massive backend team to help with the logistics and crew on site CT ensured a seamless delivery,” explains Parikh.
Parikh went on to say, “A week before the studio went live daily testing was done to ensure perfect delivery. The LED was controlled by multiple systems due the specific pixel pitch required by the client. The desk LED was powered by Brompton SX40, the LED floor was powered by ROE EVision and the remainder of the screen was on Novastar processing. To manage all the pixels, we required a reliable back-end system. We turned to the Novastar H9 system. They not only managed the processing of the Novastar product, but it also managed the splicing and canvases, for the floor LED on EVision and the desk LED on Brompton. In addition to manage the multiple inputs and PiPs from the client, including VizRT, Unreal Engine and disguise VX1 and VX2. In addition, we utilised a Barco E2 screen management system.”
For the entire studio CT supplied a custom-made lighting package consisting of over 700 active features using our latest fleet of new Ayrton, Robe, SGM and Elation fixtures. The lighting was controlled by the latest GrandMA3 with over 23000 parameters and 55 universes. The fully customized system was a great tool to meet the creative needs. With so much floor space and the enclosed studios, we also supplied x2 GrandMA full size and x2 GrandMA Lite.
Sam Connolly CTME’s Head of Lighting and Power commented “It was a wonderful project to be a part of, we worked very closely with the team at FOX. Our team installed over 700 fixtures into the studio using the latest lights on the market. We had done extensive planning to ensure a smooth delivery. Our engineers were on site to ensure replacements could be made fast if required. We also needed to make sure we had sufficient control over the network and to do this we utilized the latest luminex range of products and had multiple Araneo points to monitor the network. This was very crucial as FOX were broadcasting live to US for every match. This was a great experience for us and it was a huge pleasure to work alongside Fox.”
To ensure a month-long delivery was seamless CT supplied engineers for video, switching, and disguise as well as lighting to manage and repair any lighting fixtures.
Andy Reardon CTME’s Managing Director comments, “The aim for CT was to deliver the largest temporary and most unique studio for the FIFA World Cup on behalf of FOX sports. Having a large infrastructure in Qatar with the latest equipment, facilitated a perfect delivery. Our teams worked incredibly hard to ensure each deadline was met and we couldn’t be happier with the outcome. We are thankful to FOX for engaging us on this journey and we look forward to continuing this partnership.”