Mobile Studios Streams Wallenda Walk with TriCaster


Discovery Channel turns to Mobile Studios and NewTek TriCaster to deliver live coverage of Nik Wallenda’s death-defying walk. Viewers throughout Latin America had a front row seat to watch the tightrope legend walk 1,500 feet above the Little Colorado River.

Nik Wallenda’s walk across the Little Colorado River gorge near the Grand Canyon on June 23 not only was a major first for the high-wire artist, but also a significant ratings coup for Discovery, which ranks the event as one of its most highly watched special events ever.

Some 13 million people tuned in to see Wallenda, a seventh generation member of the world-famous Flying Wallenda Family, walk and pray his way across the 1,400-foot expanse, overcoming the high winds gusting across the canyon and averting certain death should he have fallen to the bottom of the gorge 1,500 feet below.

The event also drew significant international attention – Discovery Brazil, Discovery Latin America, and Discovery Mexico broadcast the spectacle live to viewers.

Together with Spanish-language Discovery en Español, which serves Spanish-speaking residents across the United States, these channels played an important role in helping Discovery maximize its revenue opportunities by expanding its audience for the event, and delivering commercials in Spanish and Portuguese.

From a business standpoint, Discovery counted on what it calls its “money reels,” that is commercial run lists customized for each international channel, as well as Discovery en Español - to give advertisers more options to reach their desired audiences and to drive greater revenue opportunities for the network.

Production workflow
While the tightrope walk over the Little Colorado River happened on the Navajo Nation near the Grand Canyon, the feeds for Discovery’s Spanish- and Portuguese-language channels were produced some 2,300 miles away in Miami at the Discovery Latin America headquarters. Primarily a post-production center, the headquarters isn’t typically equipped for live production, especially not one requiring simulcasts of the same event, with narration in two different languages and custom commercial run lists for multiple markets. read more...

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