Game Time for IMG College
On any given Saturday during college football season, IMG College's Audio Division can have as many as 30 concurrent broadcasts feeding any number of our 2,200 affiliate radio stations at once. All live, and each as unpredictable as the next. In fact, over the course of a year, we'll produce 35,000 hours of live college sports programming.
Each broadcast is fed live into our 47-studio complex at IMG College's headquarters in downtown Winston-Salem. On game day more than three dozen studio hosts, board-ops, and technical producers are grabbing highlights and audio from games across the country to share with our listeners. On one side of the aisle might be a UCLA broadcast; directly across could be a Georgia broadcast.
In 2007, Chris Ferris, VP of audio, built and opened an incredible new facility serving as a great base for our operations. When I started in 2010 they were still working from a very analog environment, which at the time served the company - then known as ISP Sports - well. Shortly thereafter, amid a merger with IMG Worldwide, we were in need of growth and more flexibility. A lot had to change, and quickly.
Our goals were simple: IMG Audio had to consolidate its resources and develop a more efficient and flexible environment, while improving to the highest quality of audio. With 30 studios already in place, we approached the project in two phases. First, was to update our current TDM routing system, which we were close to outgrowing. We needed to move to a plug-and-play environment. The second phase was to add a second set of studios to accommodate our new networks.
Studio console and network equipment requirements were simple: ease of use and reliability. Should the unexpected happen, we needed to be able to move audio across the network or change things on the fly. Our previous routing system had a huge point of failure in being solely dependent on a PC to run the system. We needed something that could continually function, despite an occasional failure. As part of this undertaking, I met with Jay Tyler of Wheatstone along with Shannon Nichols at BSW. After only a few meetings, it was clear Wheatnet-IP and an AoIP network was our future.
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