Fox Sports recent MLB at Field of Dreams production – an homage to the classic baseball movie – featured two aerial production drones capturing the action in HDR.

The broadcast, which was watched by 6 million people, was a regular MLB game between Chicago White Sox and the New York Yankees as well as a tribute to the 1989 film.

LiveU and T-Mobile played an integral role in the live production, enabling the two aerial production drones to output High Dynamic Range (HDR) over T-Mobile’s 5G network using a single 5G SIM card in LiveU’s LU800 production-level field unit and a LiveU 5G modem.

Field of Dreams Fox drone

Field of Dreams: Drone captured HDR action

“For the MLB at Field of Dreams Game, we collaborated with T-Mobile and LiveU to provide HDR drone coverage, which was integral to the special live production,” said Brad Cheney, VP of Field Operations & Engineering, Fox Sports.

“The robustness we received from the T-Mobile 5G network using a single 5G SIM card in the LU800 exceeded our expectations and was a solid part of our broadcast. Great imagery comes from aerial and moving cameras, which lent itself to the special live program we were able to deliver.”

The event claimed many firsts, including the first MLB game produced in HDR using aerial production drones.

“We were thrilled to have our technology support such a memorable live event. Anytime a crew is producing live content from a remote location such as the field in Iowa, connectivity can be a challenge,” added Mike Savello, VP of Sales, Americas, LiveU.

“The LU800 performed flawlessly with a boost from the T-Mobile 5G network and LiveU 5G modem to transmit high-quality drone footage. The capability helped Fox Sports get the image out to the world quickly.”

“5G drones are connecting us in new and better ways to our world, including bringing sports fans closer than ever to the live action on the field,” added Bryan Fries, VP of Technology Ecosystem Development at T-Mobile. “With the ultra-fast speeds of 5G, large amounts of data can quickly be transferred between the action on the field and the drone, delivering it in real-time to sports fans.”

Production workflow

The workflow included two LU800 field units with two 5G sim cards inside each connected to the drones streaming back to the production truck. Additionally, two LU800 field units were used for secondary transmission and two LU300 HEVC field units distributed live video to Fox News and Fox affiliates via LiveU Matrix, the company’s cloud video management and distribution solution.

“LiveU is part of our workflow. It’s not an add-on. We use LiveU cellular bonded solutions for secondary transmission path of all MLB games,” noted Cheney. “The MLB at Field of Dreams Game production has set the bar for future special events. We are excited to integrate drones and other emerging technologies into our broadcasts.”