Sinclair Broadcast Group’s Expanding Media Network

Sinclair Broadcasting Group has officially rebranded twenty-one Fox RSNs to Bally Sports. The Fox RSNs were acquired from Disney nearly two years ago. The rebranding project was one of the most substantial undertakings in RSN history.

Sinclair now faces the massive venture of building the backend infrastructure for their newly acquired RSNs. The new backend will replace the previously Disney-controlled master-control center in Houston. Total control of the current control center reverts to Disney this year on August 23, 2021.

Sinclair Broadcast Group has constructed a 25,000 square foot operations center at Encompass Digital Media headquarters in Atlanta to house their new backend. Sinclair is also building an entirely new video network, the Sinclair Video Network (SVN), to replace Fox’s Venue Access Network (VAN).

Laying the Groundwork

After finalizing the Disney deal, the Sinclair team visited the Fox RSN master-control center at the Woodlands in Houston. These visits granted more insight and a greater perspective on how to accomplish replacing Disney master-control.

Don Roberts, VP of sports engineering and production systems at Sinclair, took two trips to Houston. While in Houston, Roberts and his team began formulating their plan. They decided they had two potential options. The first option, build a new facility to replicate the processes at the Woodlands. Or approach another organization to partner on the task.

Sinclair chose to partner with Encompass Media to create its new Media Operations Center.

Building the Media Operations Center

Sinclair and Encompass Digital reached out to another media organization, Diversified, to start systems integration. Diversified began the process of building a native end-to-end SMPTE ST 21120 media facility.

Sinclair had previously constructed similar ST 2110 facilities for the Tennis Channel, Bally Sports Florida, and Bally Sports Sun. Success from these facilities empowered Sinclair to seek similar success through an ST 2110 studio in Atlanta.

Roberts determined that the studio would need the proper infrastructure to support 1080p and 4k resolutions while including scalable solutions to support cloud environments in the future. This forward-thinking dynamic spurred Sinclair forward to build an IP studio that will flourish in the future.

Despite this process costing more and taking a little more time than a traditional HD-SDI studio, the futureproof aspects of Sinclair Broadcast Group‘s IP facility have already begun to pay off.

Inside the Media Center

Inside the Media Operations Center lies the primary operating control room that houses the multichannel monitoring room, known as Centralcast. Centralcast is where multitude feeds from the master control are monitored. Fifty-two live-event pods surround Centralcast, with supervisors operating right outside these pods.

Prospering During a Pandemic

Sinclair has met the logistical complications of fully transferring 19 RSNs, the YES Network, and Marquee Sports Network to the new Media Operations Center with aplomb. Sinclair accomplished all of this during one of the most turbulent times in the United States, the Covid-19 pandemic.

Without a doubt, this has been one of the most difficult challenges the Sinclair Broadcasting Group has ever faced, and they performed faultlessly. Learn more about how Sinclair continues to expand their media empire today.

About Sinclair Broadcast Group, Inc. 

Sinclair is a diversified media company and leading provider of local sports and news. The Company owns and/or operates 21 regional sports network brands; owns, operates, or provides services to 185 television stations in 86 markets. Sinclair Broadcast Group is a leading local news provider in the country, owns multiple national networks, and has TV stations affiliated with all the major broadcast networks. Multiple platforms deliver Sinclair Broadcast Group’s content, including over-the-air, multi-channel video program distributors, and digital platforms. The Company regularly uses its website as a critical source of Company information, which can be accessed at www.sbgi.net.

Sinclair Broadcast Group’s Expanding Media Network

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