The first Commonwealth Games took place in Canada in 1930, where 400 athletes from 11 countries competed in 59 events covering six sports. Hosted in Glasgow, the recent 2014 games raised the stakes to 4,947 competitors from 71 nations and 261 events – all broadcast to an estimated global television audience of 1.5 billion.

The ten days of intense competition saw 140 Commonwealth Games records broken. Although none fell on the table tennis table, Nigeria’s Ojo Onaolapo made his own history when celebrating his country’s bronze medal success by dropping his shorts and lifting his shirt.

Since first being included in the Manchester 2002 Games, table tennis has invited fierce competition. Sharing the Scotstoun Arena with the competition’s squash events, the table tennis matches took place in two 2,500 seat ‘show courts’, and a further eight match courts. The broadcast of these matches was in the hands of Arena Television, with Audio Guarantee Engineer David Harnett taking charge of the company’s OB14 mobile – and its Lawo digital mixing and routing systems.

Harnett joined Arena TV around three years ago having previously worked on Lawo consoles, which he regards as ‘very intuitive’. OB14, meanwhile, has come to sports broadcasting from use on Arena TV’s music events.


The Lawo console in OB14 was used as a hub to provide central routing for both of the ‘show’ tables – dubbed Table Tennis 1 and Table Tennis 2 – with one DSP core used as central router for both. Specifically, there was a 56-fader Lawo mc266 MkII console serving Table 1, with a Studer Vista digital console hooked up as a submixer to cover the action on Table 2 – both tables being in use simultaneously and requiring their own audio feeds.