Elevating Horse Racing: Carr Shows How Technology Is Democratizing Innovation In Television Production - Horse Racing News | Paulick Report

Elevating Horse Racing: Carr Shows How Technology Is Democratizing Innovation In Television Production

Behind the scenes with Carr-Hughes at the Breeders’ Cup

Nothing is impossible for those with the drive to innovate — even producing two high-profile events halfway across the country at the same time. When tasked with producing Olympic track and field events — one in Oregon and one in Iowa — Jim Carr wasn't sure how he could spread his team across both events. He decided new muxing technology from LTN Global could allow him to try something new: a workflow with remote video feeds from Iowa sent back to his production truck in Oregon, enabling his team to remotely produce both events simultaneously.

With 30 years of experience producing sports events and five Emmys under his belt, Carr knows how to solve production challenges — and he's bringing his passion for innovative production to racing. His team at Carr-Hughes Productions produces the Breeders' Cup Championship and Breeders' Cup Challenge series for NBC, adding elements like virtual fan engagement to make the events even more compelling.

Broadcast production in a changing market

Carr has been an advocate for remote production long before it became a trend. He witnessed the media organizations' reluctance to try new production models and workflows until the COVID-19 pandemic forced their hand. Even the most hesitant media organizations pivoted to new technologies and production workflows to keep shows on air — with surprising success.

“When it comes to video production, I see myself as an innovation incubator. I like to try new technologies and workflows to see how they work in the real world,” Carr said.

This mindset is invaluable for the horse racing industry, which struggles to produce broadcast-quality video content and achieve other production enhancements. I've gotten to know the Carr-Hughes team through our collaboration on special events like Breeders Cup, Pegasus World Cup and many Kentucky Derby prep races. He's worked closely with my team at LTN Global to get reliable, ultra-fast IP network connectivity at race tracks to produce races and events — enabling new ideas like live fan engagement elements. At Breeders' Cup, Carr used our IP network to bring in live video feeds from a horse barn in the UK where people were watching the show. This added an immersive feel to the production, bringing it closer to the fans regardless of their geography.

“It all comes down to having the right technology partner,” he said.

Jim Carr on location

Carr believes IP network connectivity will revolutionize production workflows, driving efficiency and new possibilities. If producers can set up networks and have a VPN on the other end, they'll be able to send camera signals to a studio or a production truck over the network.  This will change the way production works.

Thinking big, acting small

In the past, the big broadcast networks were the main drivers deploying new technologies.

“The lower cost and higher volume of innovation have now democratized it,” Carr points out.

As a result, video production companies and horse racing production teams can deploy new technologies that deliver broadcast quality. For instance, Carr-Hughes works with a Philadelphia-based graphics professional over an NDI network, allowing them to securely transfer the video signals for the graphics to the rest of the production team over the internet.

“We're always looking for better and more efficient ways to produce events and deliver to the networks,” he explains. “Now there's a lot of great technology out there that allows smaller companies like ours to deliver network-quality to the networks to make things happen for our customers.”

For Breeders' Cup television production, this is where the magic happens

Pushing the boundaries of what's possible

Innovation requires experimentation that's often easier to happen on a smaller scale as it isn't always about the next big breakthrough. It can be a case of making the right changes and having the right tools and tech partners to deliver great results efficiently. It's about pushing boundaries and bringing fresh perspectives. With visionary producers like Jim and his team, horse racing can be ready for the exciting times ahead.

Rich Rosa is the Vice President of Business Development for Wagering and Simulcasting at LTN Global Communications. As LTN's horse racing industry lead, Rich partners with  tracks across the country to help them create high-quality productions and find new distribution outlets to raise their profile — and ultimately their wagering handle.  LTN offers centralized production and IP-based transport services to help tracks produce and/or distribute high-quality HD and 4K content.

About LTN Global 

LTN® Global is a worldwide leader in video technology solutions for producers and distributors of broadcast-quality content. Built on the world's fastest and most reliable IP multicast network, LTN's universal media ecosystem unites modular services and integrates with other leading technologies to bring full-video-chain workflows, driving scale from creation and acquisition to monetization and delivery. 

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