The 10th Anniversary edition of the Amgen Tour of California cycling stage race got underway on May 10th with 144 cyclists from 18 elite professional teams from around the world. For ten years, this race has annually hosted Olympic medalists, Tour de France contenders and World Champion cyclists. The 2015 version boasted a challenging eight days of racing which wound its way through the central byways, coastline and mountain tops of California with weather ranging from picture-postcard sunshine to pelting rain and white-out snow flurries. Varied terrain, inclement weather and the movement of an entire television compound over a hundred miles each day presents a challenge unlike any other type of sporting event in the world.
As a part of this immense undertaking, PSSI Global Services provided World Feed production services and all of the transmission services for the multiple television and internet feeds across the globe. Each day, PSSI successfully transmitted multiple paths over an Intelsat domestic satellite which fed NBC and NBC SN, a world feed turned to territories covering all four hemispheres, the source feed for the Tour Tracker on-line app and a daily news feed which went out to broadcasters in dozens of countries.
One of the most critical elements of production and transmission for this multi-day show is communication inside the compound and with the outside world. For this race, PSSI has provided a satellite based communication system which has brought phone and internet services to remote compounds around the state. In 2015, Intelsat supported these communication needs for the first time with their robust IntelsatOne® Prism system. This change dramatically increased the power, flexibility and success rate for all the connectivity not only for the multiple audio-video productions, but for other key race activities.
An IP-phone system enabled by IntelsatOne® Prism, based on Newtec’s multiservice platform – Newtec Dialog®, was used for production and transmission needs in all of the finish cities and was invaluable for sites where even cell phones wouldn’t function, such as the compound at Mt. Baldy nestled at 6,500 feet deep in the San Gabriel Mountains. Without IntelsatOne Prism, mission critical communication including transmission access, network coordination, race data collection and webcast initiation would not have been possible. NBC show content and graphics were transferred from the East Coast, and operational information such as show schedules and race maps were also sent and received using the IntelsatOne Prism web connectivity.
Outside of the compound, IntelsatOne Prism supported multiple ancillary elements of the race and race support. IntelsatOne Prism delivered internet connectivity for use in the VIP area as well as providing the Tour Tracker on-line experience to big screen televisions across the race festival, VIP sections and race finish areas. Internet connectivity was also critical to the function of vendor merchandising services and sales in areas where they wouldn’t have been able to use their automated systems without IntelsatOne Prism.
Cycling fans worldwide kept track of the race as it unfolded thanks to the seamless integration of IntelsatOne Prism into the PSSI Global Services presences. The system was built into a satellite van and PSSI also used a portable unit which was easily and quickly deployed and struck each day. With demand for Internet and phone services starting before dawn and ending at nightfall, speed, ease of use and high functionality were a must.
IntelsatOne Prism was able to provide this day in and day out to help bring this exciting race to fans worldwide. IntelsatOne Prism helped take production support, information distribution and overall communication at the Amgen Tour of California to new heights across a broad spectrum of user devices and delivery systems… This is what Intelsat means when we say #SatelliteEverywhere.
Originally published on Intelsat Blog