After last year’s announcement of an exclusive free-TV partnership with the US National Football League (NFL), Cologne-based private broadcaster RTL Deutschland launched the 2023/24 NFL season with a bang. As part of its preseason, the NFL celebrated its premiere on NITRO, a special-interest channel within the RTL Deutschland network, on August 12th. The event took place in RTL’s brand-new live studio, specially designed for NFL coverage and featuring Leyard Europe LED screens.
Initial work on the new NFL studio started in early February, with the RTL team employing the expertise of internationally renowned multi-disciplinary design firm, Veech x Veech, whose credits also include studios for media companies such as SKY News (London, UK), Red Bull Media House (Salzburg, Austria), and Al Jazeera (Doha, Qatar and London, UK).
Laurin Schmid, Leyard's Sales Manager for the DACH region, worked closely with RTL Project Manager Oliver Reich and the Veech x Veech design team, led by Stuart Veech, on the LED screen choice for the 265m² facility. The primary goal was to ensure the best colour rendering on camera while avoiding unwanted artifacts such as moiré patterns and flickering.
"The preference for Leyard LED solutions by both the Veech x Veech team and the end client is rooted in past positive experiences with our products," notes Schmid. "For instance, RTL has already successfully incorporated Leyard products in four other studios across Germany. This historical context solidified the choice of Leyard as an LED manufacturer for the new NFL studio."
With the design concept accepted, the project was in full swing by April and the installation was completed at the end of July. “A key challenge was ensuring seamless collaboration within the broader team, which included set builders, electricians, and various other crew members, all of whom were working to a tight timeframe,” Schmid continues. “Typically, planning and constructing a high-end studio like this would take around one and a half to two years. But with full collaboration across the various teams, and by taking advantage of Leyard’s Slovakian manufacturing facility, we successfully completed the project on time."
The NFL studio design encompasses an open, 360-degree accessible area featuring four central LED walls. There will be four individuals from the on-air crew, including commentators, experts, community hosts, and presenters, guiding the broadcasts on RTL and NITRO from the studio. The studio’s centrepiece is a large, curved video wall spanning 11.5m in length and 2.7m in height, composed of a 38 by 4 Leyard AT 1.5mm LED panels, which is used by the commentator to provide up-to-date game classifications and analyses alongside the experts.
This type of curved LED wall is a recognisiable feature for RTL’s audience, as similar installations have been executed at the RTL Aktuell and Punkt 12 studios. These installations also make use of Leyard LED solutions, creating an ideal backdrop to captivate viewers with the presented content.
There is a dedicated desk along with a vertical LED wall that is used by the community host, allowing upright display of social media content that mimicks the format viewers are accustomed to on their smartphones. A third desk, featuring two additional LED walls, is reserved for the moderator of each broadcast. The ultra-modern studio incorporates a 6 x 4 panel Leyard AT 1.5mm, a 5 x 5 TVF 1.2mm, and a 5 x 5 TVF 1.2mm LED screen, alongside a 12 x 4 CLI-Flex 1.3mm used as a LED table surface. This comprehensive roster of LED of products enables the display of complex analyses, graphics, and statistics.
“Leyard’s AT Series and TVF Series of fine pitch LED products encapsulate not only the finest quality but also the sustainability aspect, incorporating these two important elements into one of the most cutting-edge TV studios in Europe,” continues Schmid. “Moreover, AT and TVF excel when it comes to on camera performance, which, combined with our unique EverCare™ lifetime warranty, makes it a compelling offering that the RTL team was happy to adopt.”
“With our European infrastructure in place, Leyard's support and service framework leads to much more effective communication between us and our clients," Schmid concludes. "At Leyard, we strongly believe that reliability, quality, trust, and teamwork all need to come together to deliver an exceptional project. In this case, these factors have cultimated in RTL’s development of a remarkable new studio facility that we are sure they will fully leverage for the current 2023/24 NFL season and beyond.”
LED Video Wall
Ultra-flat (29.5mm) LED displays in pixel pitches from 0.9 to 1.8mm
LED Video Wall
Leyard TVF Series is a stackable, front-access fine pitch LED video wall solution in 0.9, 1.2, 1.5 and 1.8 millimeter pixel pitches
Curved LED Video Wall
Bendable displays that combine to create immersive, smooth, concave or convex curved video walls in 1.5, 1.9, 2.6 a…
Select Leyard Europe LED video wall displays come with the Leyard Europe® EverCare™ Lifetime Limited Warranty, which means everything from the sub-pixels to the controller is covered for as long as the video wall is used in a fixed location.