Fox Sports Taps OpenDrives for Data Management Architecture

OpenDrives software and hardware ­­is expected to reduce the data management footprint of Fox Sports live broadcasts.

Callum Cyrus

November 23, 2021

2 Min Read

Fox Sports is modernizing the data architecture for its live sports broadcasting output using software-led storage technologies from OpenDrives.

The storage product facilitates the plethora of video cameras and microphones demanded by modern events programming, preparing footage for production at Fox Sports’ central unit in Los Angeles, California.

To manage and scale distributed data projects, the OpenDrives platform combines massive data storage banks with localized and cloud-hosted software interfaces.

It’s marketed as a portable and turnkey installation. OpenDrives also says the platform has IP-based open protocols which integrate easily with third-party vendors including Google, Western Digital and Signiant.

In addition to processing existing video footage, the new storage architecture is expected to help Fox Sports ramp up sports broadcasting output for future 8K high-definition TVs.

The setup enabled the network to increase the data transfer throughput of its NASCAR 2021 coverage and was also in use for the National Football League’s season kick-off, where it halved feed processing rack space.

Having satisfied itself with the data architecture’s benefits, Fox Sports will look to scale it for the World Cup in Qatar next year, relaying 90 feeds over 8,000 miles to Los Angeles. 

“The 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar is going to be our biggest effort yet,” said Kevin Callahan, vice president of field operations and engineering at Fox Sports, “This has put tremendous demand on data transfer to ensure Fox Sports continues to deliver the best viewer experience possible – OpenDrives’ efficient, flexible software and hardware solutions have proven critical to helping Fox Sports achieve this.”

Fox Sports’ central video editing hub was recently renovated to integrate connectivity and allow production staff to see live feeds from sports events in the same way as the outdoor broadcast team.

By strengthening production to match play-by-play feeds more closely, Fox Sports believes its ability to manage social distancing needs and tackle worker burnout has been enhanced.

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