I used to work at TV stations and would occasionally get to do a remote sports event, like you describe. I still follow the what goes on in that industry, even though I don't work in the TV industry anymore.
There are usually at least 3 semi-trailers used for remote sports broadcasts. It depends on how big the event is. What I describe here is the typical setup for an ESPN CollegeGameday show (I've been to 5 of them, including having a complete tour backstage).
The largest trailer houses the production equipment, and is divided into at least 4 areas:
1. The director's area, where the producer, director and technical director sit and switch the various cameras and audio, or video tapes (commercials, instant replays) in and out of the line-out.
2. The audio booth, where the audio engineer sits at his console
3. The entrance foyer to the trailer
4. A video editing area, for post-production editing and where the technician runs the playback and slow-motion machines.
5. If the trailer is large enough, there may be a separate area for a small (very small) studio. OR, it may be used to house video equipment in racks.
The next trailer is used for the satellite transmission equipment -- it has a large dish antenna and the transmitter equipment in racks inside. Sometimes a diesel generator is attached to this trailer. The trailer is smaller than a standard 40-foot trailer and is almost always custom-made.
Finally, another 40-foot semi trailer is used to hold the cameras, lenses, tri-pods, booms, cables (lots and lots of cables), microphones (but they don't take up much space), lights, and stage equipment (scaffolds, platforms, etc.)
If there is a lot of staging equipment, then other storage trailers will follow, as well.
Oh, and for the CollegeGameday show, there is the "Bus", too -- a Class-A motorhome. It has storage areas, too, and a nice viewing area inside, plus a kitchen.
The production company almost always uses local skilled labor from local TV stations to setup. This involves putting up stages, camera platforms, lights (if necessary), and running miles and miles of cables. Sometimes they use local cameramen to man the cameras, but sometimes they fly in their own cameramen.
Setup usually starts on Thursday afternoon for a Saturday morning event, but if they get enough guys to do the job, they can start Friday for a Saturday afternoon game/event.
Here is an interesting anecdote I tell people, concerning this very subject. When I worked remote sporting events while at college, I worked as an assistant under the chief engineer (so I was considered a production engineer). Once the cameras were turned on, they had to be setup. The only problem was, the chief was color-blind so, he would do most of the preliminaries and when it came time for the final color balance, I would go into the arena and memorize the prominant colors, then go back to the console in the truck and make the necessary adjustments.
If you have any other questions, e-mail me through my profile.
Answered By: tlbs101 - 4/14/2008