United Relies on RTS Comms for MTV EMA Anniversary

Broadcasting specialist UNITED provided television images and sound for worldwide broadcast of event

Airing in more then 160 countries and territories, the 20th anniversary of the MTV EMA awards took place on November 9th in Glasgow. With performances amongst others by U2, Alicia Keys and Ed Sheeran, the 2014 edition of the MTV EMAs set a new record with millions of viewers worldwide and 389 million mentions across social media platforms. To ensure a seamless broadcast of the live event, the organizers relied on Hilversum-based broadcasting specialist United. For the high profile event, United brought in five OB trucks and an additional audio truck.

“When it comes to prestige and size, the EMAs rank right at the top of the list”, comments Bolke Burnaby Lautier, Manager Operations Sports and Events with United. “With millions watching, you simply can’t have anything go wrong.” Crucial to a positive outcome is the quality of communications between the individuals involved. In all six trucks deployed United therefore relied on intercom systems from RTS.

Using RTS equipment, United ensured that the anniversary edition of the MTV EMAs was broadcasted to 160 countries


Acting as a rolling control room, the nerve center of communications on board United’s flagship HD-capable OB14 is RTS’s top-of-the-line matrix ADAM (Advanced Digital Audio Matrix) with a 144 x 144 port configuration and a large number of RTS keypanels. “The ADAM is great,” comments Lautier. “It supports up to 880 ports and so allows the large communication matrix we needed on site. With the redundant power supplies and redundant controllers, we can additionally be sure that the system will be active at all times before, during and after the production.”

Intercom network: All five OB trucks, the audio truck as well as employees inside the venue were brought into communication


In Glasgow, the OB14’s matrix was linked to the RTS intercom systems of the other OB trucks as well as to a number of cameramen. Integration of two additional ADAM-M mid-size modular matrices into the system was facilitated using TBX-Tribus cards with up to 256 audio channels per each of the three fiber links. “Using TBX cards is a great advantage on site”, says Lautier. “We can easily extend and customize the system to the size we need it.” Inside the venue it was again RTS providing communication with 25 keypanels and wireless channels linked to the main matrix in OB14.

The result, according to Lautier, was outstanding. “On the big day we delivered a flawless performance – thanks to a perfectly trained team and the efficiency and reliability of RTS equipment.”