The NFL broadcasts up to sixteen games per week, with each game averaging more than three hours in length. It all adds up to 50 hours of game footage that needs to be reviewed, bookmarked, filed, retrieved, and edited into NFL Replay, a 90-minute highlights program that airs on Sunday nights on the NFL Network.
To deliver a comprehensive recap of the day’s games, producers want to include all the great clips that took place only hours earlier. However, capturing clips from more than a dozen games is a time-consuming project when one person has to press play on a satellite up-link while another person (across the country) has to press record at the same time. The NFL needed a secure and efficient method to digitally transfer clips between its studios in California and New Jersey – a significant challenge when dealing with large, High Definition (HD) content.
After game footage is shot, it is converted from film into digital video and tagged with metadata to make the content easy to catalog and search. This content is often combined with other archival footage and becomes accessible by the production staff at NFL Network, NFL Films, and other partners.
Using Signiant, NFL Films footage from each game can be uploaded to a secure, shared, digital storage folder to be reviewed and edited by NFL Network employees. These clips are then securely sent across a high-speed, Wide Area Network (WAN) spanning almost 3,000 miles.
For NFL Replay, game highlights are transferred from NFL Films to NFL Network in California where editors can then search metadata tags attached to each clip, make selections, and assemble edited sequences, within a tight four hour deadline.
The edited content is then placed in a shared access folder, where it is automatically transferred back to New Jersey for broadcast at 7:00 pm EST. For the NFL Network, moving HD content from coast-to-coast in an accelerated and secure fashion makes working within tight deadlines possible.