As thew newest tournament on the PGA Tour of Australasia and OneAsia tours, the inaugural Fiji International 2015 was held at Natadola Bay Championship Golf Course, one of the world's most spectacular courses.
TDC provided all of the technical facilities required to produce the 4-day event for television as well as manage the technical broadcast.
Full course and event coverage
TDC deployed eight ENG style cameras with 40x and 20x zoom lenses, one Ultra Motion camera and four RF cameras with full course coverage.
Location, location, location
The Natadola Golf course whilst beautiful, is situated on the windy side of the Fijian Coral Coast making it a tough course to play.
The course presents a number of challenges from a broadcast perspective especially for radio frequencies (RF). The course is split across two sides of the coast road with holes 1-5 and 10-18 being on the coast side, slowly climbing from sea level to the top of a ridge; holes 6-9 with tees at the top of each ridge; and fairways and greens deep down in canyons and valleys.
The highest point of the golf course is at the clubhouse adjacent to the road that divides the course however, line of site to this high point is non existent from approximately 40% of the course.
An in-depth survey we conducted during pre-production deemed that three RF receive points would be required to enable full course coverage for the RF cameras and roving commentators.
The location for these additional towers, while key to the RF plan, also became key locations for implementation of a full course cable plan using single mode fibre and Telecast Sheds over the traditional method of running SMPTE fibre around the full course to each and every camera position.
Utilising nine cabled cameras on the course, the cameras traveled to 36 positions. Under normal SPMTE cable planning this would require over 40km of SMPTE fibre. By dividing the course into five sections we ran one or two 12 core mil spec ST fibres to locations we called node points. At each location we had a local generator, an all-weather tent, a road case containing the Telecast Fibre to SMPTE converters which enabled us to reduce our SMPTE needs from plus 40km to just 12km. From each of these node points we ran short cables to each of the greens, fairways and tees as required.
All infrastructure stayed for the duration of the event as TDC were able to cross patch all of the cameras as they relocated around the course by using nine short SMPTE cables that ran from the camera base station to a table of ST Fibre to SMPTE Fiber Converters.
The equipment used was integrated into the TDC HD01 Outside Broadcast Vehicle. Broadcast feeds were all delivered as HD SDI to an Uplink provider Globecast.
The inaugural Fiji International singled Fiji's official arrival onto the golfing world stage with the Fijian Government, Fiji Tourism and Fiji's number one golf ambassador, Vijay Singh, all making a push to put their country on the world golfing map.
As the newest tournament on the PGA Tour of Australasia and OneAsia tours, the inaugural Fiji International was a resounding success and the 2016 Tournament is set to be event bigger and better.