At red carpet events, industry awards, and movie premieres, you never know which celebrity is going to show up, what they are going to say and “who” they are going to be wearing. So, entertainment news shows compete for the best coverage, interviews and sound bites to share with their audiences in real-time. CBS Television’s Entertainment Tonight (ET) and The Insider have turned to LiveU, the industry leader for live video acquisition, management and distribution over IP, to deliver high quality content and information faster to their broadcast and online audiences.

ET and The Insider have employed multiple LiveU LU500 live video transmission backpacks for field use at major awards events, including the Emmys, ESPYs, Golden Globes, SAG Awards and Grammys. They also used LiveU’s bonded cellular technology throughout Super Bowl week and will be on the red carpet for the Academy Awards later this month.

“Using the LiveU system enabled my Producers, Tape Vault and Online Team back at the studio to monitor, take notes and pre-edit activity that took place on our ET Platform at last week’s Grammy Awards,” said Senior Production Supervisor Scott Barton. At the Grammys, ET had two cameras with LiveU backpacks covering the event: one for the red carpet arrivals and another for backstage activity.

“After testing several video solutions, we chose LiveU for its reliability because it provides, by far, the best operational advantages and an exceptional support network,” said Dan Henry, Executive In Charge of Production at Entertainment Tonight and The Insider. “With the competition of reporting on the same events, getting unique content to our audience first is critical. LiveU speeds our workflow and allows us to provide the ultimate event and breaking news coverage for our audience.”
He added that the lightweight LU500s (about 2.2 lbs.) were initially intended for covering major events in the field; however, because the LiveU solution enabled so many options for covering live events, “we now use the LiveU backpacks all the time, including for short interviews conducted during the day. They’re so much more efficient and have done great things for our news division.”
Senior Producer Erin Johnson pointed out, “At ET, we’re all about breaking celebrity news as reporting a story first commonly translates to more viewers. When we’re out on a red carpet and getting a celebrity interview, we don’t want a delay in turning it around to our audience.
With the LU500, we have the flexibility to either stream live content directly back to our studio or use the store and forward feature to send it back for production when there is less urgency. That’s a valuable advantage for us.”
Noting that ET and The Insider currently use three LU500s for broadcast production and two for online, Henry explained the additional operational flexibility afforded by the LU500.

“The LU500 provide multiple options for sending information back to the newsroom ASAP. We are able to use content for our broadcast world as well as for streaming directly to the digital world.  This really helps us get news stories with great video content online before anyone else can.”

“ET tells us that the LU500 affords further flexibility during field events when transmitting information after the fact,” said Avi Cohen, LiveU’s Co-Founder and COO. “Previously, they would have to drive to a satellite uplink feed point and pay to use that service. Now an ET producer simply returns to his or her hotel room and uses the internet connection there to transmit. That has resulted in substantial savings for ET.”

Johnson adds, “In my role as senior producer, being able to watch these interviews in real-time saves a great deal of time. Rather than waiting for content to be driven to the studio or uplinked via satellite, I’m able to make editing notes as the interviews are happening and plan my day around that interview.

“I literally cannot imagine doing my job without LiveU. It’s definitely a vital resource that we rely on every day to make sure our coverage is as good as it can be.”