For this year’s NFL Pro Bowl, the league teamed up with EA Sports to deliver a virtual event featuring current Pro Bowl contenders, celebrities, and past NFL players. Instead of a live in-person event, the competitors faced off against one another in Electronic Arts’ Madden NFL 21 video game on January 31st.
A few days after the Pro Bowl, EA’s broadcast team also produced the Madden Club Championship, which featured a prize pool of $750,000, the largest in Madden NFL esports history. The event concluded on February 5th with a series of epic Semifinals and Finals matchups.
To make these events possible, EA worked closely with Ross Production Services (RPS) using a remote production workflow. In the early months of the pandemic, EA relied exclusively on cloud-based platforms for its virtual events, but it shifted its strategy in October of 2020. Around that time, it partnered with RPS to create a workflow in which 40 of EA’s crew members from around the United States are able to remotely access production equipment located at RPS’s facility in Wallingford, Connecticut.
Instead of relying on a cloud-based setup, this new workflow allows EA’s crew to utilize physical hardware, including a Ross Carbonite production switcher and a variety of other Ross equipment. This enables EA to boost the quality of their events using better transitions, improved audio, and more – things that are much easier to achieve when using physical equipment rather than the cloud. RPS also provided EA with access to crew members and talent, who are located across the United States.
For more information on Ross Production Services, click here to visit their website.