Warner Bros. Discovery delivers sports coverage excellence with graphics by Vizrt

Video – Modal backup

This is a busy year for Warner Bros. Discovery (WBD) Sports Europe. Reaching 130 million viewers in over 20 languages every month already, alongside a growing demand for sports content worldwide, it is about to be even busier.

Producing high-quality sports coverage year-round can be a challenge. This is why, according to Kevin Sandford, European Broadcast Graphics Director at WBD, it’s important for the team to work with the best tech providers and trusted partners.

We want to work with the market leaders to make sure we can deliver a really good, resilient, effective product; by using Viz Artist and Viz Trio,says Sandford.

Customizable, cost-effective, and collaborative graphics

WBD uses graphics design tool Viz Artist, and advanced playout control application Viz Trio, for a variety of sports: from tennis and cycling, to snooker and superbikes. Depending on each sport, the team creates a specific graphics design for its coverage.

We use full frame graphics, lower thirds, pop ups. Also, some boxes to showcase other sporting events happening on Eurosport, or to show other feeds happening within the sport, says Kirby Talines Carmona, Graphics Operator at WBD

We use full frame graphics, lower thirds, pop ups. Also, some boxes to showcase other sporting events happening on Eurosport, or to show other feeds happening within the sport, says Kirby Talines Carmona, Graphics Operator at WBD

Viz Trio’s flexibility in controlling graphics widens production possibilities for WBD. This feature-rich solution makes it easy to design and organize graphics and integrate live data into on-air templates.

Operators can also personalize their Viz Trio workspace with the detachable panels in the interface to build their preferred view of playlists, templates, pages, and tab fields – truly adapting to how each individual production works.

Supporting creativity with flexible solutions

Combining Viz Trio and Viz Artist makes it even easier for graphic designers at WBD to expand their creativity and create stunning templates.

Viz Artist offers a range of creative possibilities at one’s fingertips: from essential lower third titles and design packages, to photorealistic virtual sets and augmented reality objects. The WBD team uses between 20 to 30 scenes to create the graphics templates, which are then adapted by journalists for live coverage in all Eurosport markets. Using the same elements and scenes ensures that production can be done in the same way for both digital and linear channels, thus providing viewers with consistent coverage, regardless of whether they are watching on television or on a mobile device.

I work with Viz Artist on a daily basis. We develop everything that’s requested by the publishing teams for the broadcast: CG, full screen, DVE,” says Pauline Hans, Senior Graphics Designer – DEV 3D at WBD, who is specialized in designing AR scenes in Viz Artist.

For instance, recently covering the Tour de France, the team’s graphics designers set up the stages for the bikes. They wanted to engage and draw the viewers into action, strategy, and drama so the designers used data-driven overlay and AR graphics that included all elevations, kilometers, names of the climbs, and specificities of each stage.

Upgrading skills with Viz University

To make the most of the technology available, WBD Sports Europe staff used Viz University, getting educated and staying updated with the latest tools to facilitate and perfect the creation of data-driven graphics.

I used the Viz Trio Viz University course to help me learn how to use the system. What I like about Vizrt is that it’s easy to use,” says Talines Carmona. He adds that, in addition to the operational ease-of-use, Vizrt tools make it easy for operators to share their work with fellow colleagues.

Available for any Vizrt customer and freelancers who wish to sharpen their skills, Viz University offers courses on graphics design and operating. Viz University courses offer detailed video tutorials, real-production examples, and practical exercises for the designer to apply the right skills and knowledge for their production journey.

The end result? An efficient workflow, excellent scenes, and unlimited creativity.

According to Pieyre-Laurent Mailly, Engineer Graphics Devops at WBD, with Viz Trio and Viz Artist, the WBD team “can create graphics and deploy them very easily to all our European markets. Then, the operators in these markets can easily use these templates and change the parameters, change the languages, change the text. All done very smoothly.”

With teams in London and Paris, WBD Sports Europe will cover a lot of action happening close by. A huge undertaking for any sports broadcaster, the Summer Games present a quadrennial challenge, but it’s not the only sports focus this year.

It’s a huge deal for us because it’s a home Olympics,” says Sandford.“We have all of our usual big highlights as well, the cycling Grand Tours, the tennis Grand Slams. So, I think it’s going to be a busy 2024.” To handle the commitments slated for this year for WBD Sports Europe, working with a trusted technology provider is key to success.