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IABM Awards 2020 – Most Successful Virtual Event

Mon 04, 01 2021

Freeman & Sound and Vision Entertainment – NFL Draft 2020

For the first time ever, the annual meeting of NFL franchises to select newly eligible players for the upcoming season was held via video conference as a result of worldwide travel restrictions. Instead of the planned spectacular live event in Las Vegas, all team selections took place virtually, with league broadcasting picks taking place from the commissioner’s basement as well as various other locations. This historic Draft was broadcast live by NFL Network and ESPN from April 23 – 25.

Freeman, Brady Belavek of SAV and engineer Dave Ragains of Show Machine were hired to handle all production communications between the NFL, the networks and all production staff. Freeman, along with Belavek and Ragains have been providing the communications solution for the NFL Draft for over a decade, but never in a virtualized setting.

Belavek said, “When the decision was made to virtualize the Draft broadcast, we were tasked to come up with a reliable and secure remote communications solution that would enable a large number of production staff to operate from their homes while still being able to communicate on the production intercom freely over many channels. What turned out to be one of the biggest challenges was managing ISP connections in individual’s homes and offices, not to mention the security requirements from the NFL, who were understandably concerned about cyber security threats.”

Nominated by Clear-Com, whose Eclipse® HX digital matrix system along with LQ®-R4W8 was the chosen intercom solution to support the large network of remote Agent-IC® intercom app clients required for this broadcast.

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