UFC 200 had 1.1 million Pay-Per-View (PPV) buys on July 9, 2016, as DIRECTV made history with its first-ever 4K UFC fight broadcasts. The highlight of UFC’s 5th annual International Fight Week, which also featured HD broadcasts on PPV and FOX covering affiliated UFC events, the 4K broadcast brought fans up-close to the Octagon for an intimate view of the main UFC 200 fight card at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, NV. As part of a three-year deal with UFC, Reality Check systems (RCS) provided graphics hardware integration and services for the event, including the design and delivery of two new 4K graphics production systems, four of our Bullet mobile HD graphics workstations, updates to UFC’s HD graphics package and on-site support.
Prior to the event, we devised a new workflow that would allow UFC to leverage its existing 2K graphics package and up-res it to 4K. We built a custom graphics production system comprising two Vizrt graphics engines linked via one main control PC running Vizrt Trio software, a graphics card and video card, which we designed to integrate with a switcher. To get the system up and running, we updated both the control computer and software, so that the Trio operator would be able to switch between the two channels as needed.
Our crew first completed a private test-run of the system at UFC 199 in June. After fine-tuning it prior to the start of International Fight Week, we integrated two of the systems into PPV and FOX production trucks stationed outside the arena. With HD broadcasts also scheduled throughout the week, we also provided an additional four HD Bullet graphics workstations for the trucks. As our engagement with UFC continues over the next three years, we’ll be delivering ongoing updates to both the systems and graphics package.