Established in 2001, Taj Television India Private Limited (known as TAJ TV) was the former distribution arm of Zee Entertainment Enterprises and the owner of India’s TEN Sports network.
TEN Sports is a popular sports network operating multiple channels across the Asian subcontinent, including TEN Cricket, which it launched in 2010. In a deal worth $385 million, Sony Pictures Network acquired TEN Sports and TAJ TV from Zee Enterprises in 2016.
TAJ Television was looking for a specialist company to provide technical production solutions to facilitate TEN Sports’ coverage of cricket matches played across Asia. TEN Sports had secured the rights to broadcast footage of Sri Lankan, Sharjah and Pakistani cricket between 2004 and 2008, as well as the production of the 2004 cricket played in India.
Gearhouse Broadcast drew on its experience working on major cricket tours and other world class sporting events when approaching this project. The Gearhouse Broadcast team had previously provided innovative broadcast solutions for clients covering the Australian and South African cricket teams’ visit to Sri Lanka, for instance, as well as facilitating coverage of India’s ground-breaking tour of Pakistan which had been the first in 14 years.
For Gearhouse Broadcast to ensure everything ran smoothly during this long-running project, all logistical elements required detailed forward planning. There was generally only a one-day gap between One Day Internationals for example – a gap during which equipment may have needed to be de-rigged, sent to a different ground on the other side of the country and rigged again. The tight timing between matches sometimes necessitated the chartering of planes to transport kit and crew - for instance, from the North to the South of Pakistan overnight. Additionally, in various areas throughout the region, road infrastructure was not always reliable, another factor Gearhouse Broadcast needed to take into account.
Gearhouse Broadcast’s team of experts carefully selected each component from among the latest and best equipment available at the time, concentrating on providing reliable and sturdy, flexible, cost-effective solutions.
Gearhouse Broadcast provided EVS XT servers for each of the cricket tours as part of a full production flyaway unit, which also included Sony BVP-950 camera’s, VTR’s, routers, mixers and monitors.
During the South Africa vs Sri Lanka tour, 4-channel EVS LSM-XT’s were used. For Pakistan vs India 6-channel EVS LSM-XT’s were used. As well as equipment, Gearhouse Broadcast also provided technical back-up support. Additionally, engineers were available on a guarantee basis, as and when they were required.