On Sunday, June 23, Broadcast Sports, Inc. (BSI) will show the world what it looks like to walk across the Grand Canyon on a tightrope suspended 1,500 feet above the Little Colorado River.
The Hanover, MD-based company will be outfitting high-wire artist Nik Wallenda with a vest equipped with two wireless point-of-view (POV) cameras, one pointed down and one pointed forward, to document his 1,200-foot walk across the canyon. The cameras Wallenda will be wearing are the same ones BSI deployed for the WNBA earlier this month in a head-mounted, ref cam system configuration.
“We have just started exploring the potential applications for our new wireless mini POV camera system,” BSI General Manager Peter Larsson said. “When Wallenda’s team approached us with the idea, our goal was to incorporate two wireless cameras into a wearable configuration that would be comfortable for him and capture compelling shots for the broadcast.”
The tightrope crossing will take place in a remote section of the canyon operated by the Navajo Nation Parks and Recreation and will not be open to spectators. The event will be broadcast live on Discovery Channel starting at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT. To capture every aspect of the walk in this isolated location, BSI will be outfitting six cameras with wireless transmission technology. One wireless camera will be dropped off with Nik by helicopter on the starting side of the tightrope and a second one will be positioned on the opposite side where Nik will finish. A horizontal cable camera will move along parallel to Nik as he walks, a helicopter camera will capture the whole scene from above and the two mini POV cameras Nik will be wearing will show the audience what it’s like from his perspective.
“Our technology is completely scalable both in terms of technology and geography,” BSI’s Technology Development Manager Clay Underwood said. “We are able to operate numerous wireless components in almost any environment. For Nik Wallenda’s tightrope walk, we need to cover the start and finish of the tightrope and every step in between from multiple angles in a remote area in what may be extreme conditions. We’re preparing for all scenarios so we don’t miss a moment of this exciting event.”
For 30 years, Broadcast Sports, Inc., an L-3 Communications company, has been the leading provider of wireless technology and communications systems rental for television broadcasting. Headquartered in Hanover, Maryland, BSI provides HD on-board cameras and wireless audio for a wide range of entertainment events around the world including Formula 1, the PGA and LPGA Tours, Triple Crown, Breeder's Cup, BCS National Championship, INDYCAR, NASCAR, NFL, X-Games, US Open, Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auctions, US National Political Conventions, and Presidential Inaugurations.