At the end of this years’ Open Golf Championship , CTV not only celebrated 30 years in the remote OB production business but also, its’ 25th consecutive year serving as technical services provider for US broadcasters.
The first job was to help ABC Sports deliver the 1988 Open to viewers in America. Over the years, CTV has become the major force in golf coverage in Europe: in 1990, it took over technical facilities for the British Senior Open. In 1992 it joined forces with European Tour Productions (ETP) to provide coverage of their European events. In 1997 CTV was awarded a long term contract by ETP to exclusively cover European golf and consequently CTV built a fleet of OB trucks specifically and exclusively for golf coverage. Throughout its association with its production partner IMG, CTV has accomplished many impressive technical feats whilst providing coverage at the Open Championships such as going all digital, going all HD and expanding the coverage to fully unilateral production
“You can see how far we have come since the launch as we have moved away from trucks and get into a purpose-built environment” says Barry Johnstone, CTV OB managing director. Indeed, for the 2013 Open being played this year at the Muirfield golf club in Gullane, Scotland, ESPN’s production settled in a completely cabin-based environment (that was integrated and constructed by CTV OB) instead of trucks. In fact the two trucks originally used in 1988 would fit inside the control room of the new broadcast center
This brand new broadcast center included the main control room and iso area. Hamish Greig, CTV OB technical director, says the challenge "was not just building the structure but a new technical infrastructure", with a new front bench and replay area, but also technical means for audio and intercoms operation. And then all of those facilities needed to have communication and signal connectivity to three studios. Some of ESPN’s operations, however, are still based in OB units: Sportscenter is operating out of CTV OB 1HD and ESPN ITV is operating out of 9HD and MVT 1.