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Live From Tour de France, European Rugby, Lions Tour, Royal Birkdale, Champions League Final, Super Bowl LI FutureSport: 2018 Olympics coverage plan • Sports Venue Tech Summit: The VR buzz Football Summit: Rights holder innovation • SportTech 2017: Timeline for IP and UHD

PLUS: SVG Europe Sponsor Update for 2017

14 - 19 September RAI, Amsterdam


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IN THIS ISSUE 04 From the Chairman

Odd years are supposed to be quiet! Welcome from David Shield, IMG, SVP Global Director of Engineering & Technology

06 Opening Comment

52 Live from Murrayfield

Access to the action is crucial says SVG Europe Executive Editor Fergal Ringrose


Michael Burns reports from the European Rugby Finals in Edinburgh

10 Next Generation Audio

Engineers and consultants ponder impact of NGA, writes David Davies

14 FutureSport

Discovery and Eurosport reveal plans for Olympic coverage, by David Fox

20 Live from the track

Philip Stevens reports as ITV Sport takes over horse racing in the UK

24 World Ping Pong

36 Sky Sport Summit


Exploring the brave new worlds of Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality. By Birgit Heidsiek

40 Football Production

Federations and leagues talk tech in Munich. Fergal Ringrose reports

44 London Marathon

BBC and CTV tell Philip Stevens about the OB challenges

48 Joshua vs Klitschko

How Sky Sports produced the classic heavyweight bout. By David Fox

SportTech Journal is produced & published by the Sports Video Group Europe SportTech Journal Š 2017 Sports Video Group

Arsenal home The Emirates Stadium was the location for our June event

68 British & Irish Lions

Is VR even better than the real thing? Fergal Ringrose finds out

Fergal Ringrose spends two days with UEFA and BT Sport in Cardiff

62 SportTech 2017

Fox Sports discusses preparation for Big Game with Ken Kerschbaumer

32 Sports Venue Tech

56 UEFA CL Final

Live from Ally Pally as CTV puts AirBox through its paces. By David Davies

28 Super Bowl LI


Innovative remote production from NZ by Sky Sports UK. By David Fox

74 Tour de France

Stage 7 into Nuits Saint George with NBC. Fergal Ringrose was there

80 The British Open

CTV OB takes next step in golf workflows, reports Ken Kerschbaumer

86 SVG Europe Sponsor Update

SVGE sponsors discuss developments in 2017 along with innovations planned for IBC2017. Compiled by contributor Ian McMurray

132 Sponsor Index and Sponsor Thank You 136 Closing Comment

SMPTE 2110 and HDR take lead in race to 2018, writes SVG Editorial Director Ken Kerschbaumer






CHAIRMAN David Shield IMG, SVP Global Director of Engineering & Technology, Chairman of the Advisory Board

Odd years are supposed to be quiet…


eptember 2017 marks the end of the first year of my stewardship of the SVG Europe Advisory Board. To me it has seemed as busy as ever although I never did subscribe to the myth that the years between Olympics and Football World Cups are ‘quiet’! As the former chairman, Peter Angell left SVG Europe in a state of rude health. He continues to support SVG Europe on the initiatives he started and I hope you will be able to meet him at the Sports Production Awards on 14th September. We are seeing record attendances at our events from both the membership and our increasing number of sponsors. Without a doubt, these events provide panels, presentations and networking opportunities of the highest quality. So what of the preceding 12 months? With the Olympics and Paralympics barely over, we enjoyed coverage of the Ryder Cup that was more comprehensive than ever — although sadly not the result for which we Europeans might have wished! In the UK BT Sport and Sky Sports completed a full season of Premier League games covered in 4K UHD, whilst HBS has just completed the Confederations Cup in Russia offering UHD HDR and every combination up from 1080i SDR. There will be much debate over the next 12 months about what format will come to dominate the UHD offering. The Lions tour of New Zealand provided great excitement for British and Irish rugby fans and a chance for Sky Sports to use remote production of their unilateral to great effect. More recently, we were treated to a real feast of sport with the final of The Open clashing with the excitement of England winning the ICC 4

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, EDITORIAL Ken Kerschbaumer ADVISORY BOARD MEMBERS Jennifer Angell VER, Director, International

BY DAVID SHIELD SVG Europe, Chairman; IMG, SVP Global Director of Engineering & Technology

Women’s World Cup against India at Lords. So I believe we can claim that our production techniques are continually developing in ways that benefit audiences, and it is not just the big events where this happens. Host Broadcasting of major events continues to evolve along the model of the World Cups, Euros and Olympics, where federations appoint a host broadcaster rather than relying upon the domestic licensee to provide a World Feed. Wimbledon has followed the Australian Open in announcing that from 2018 it is forming its own entity,Wimbledon Broadcast Services (‘WBS’). Meanwhile, World Rugby has engaged International Games Broadcast Services (‘IGBS’) as the host broadcaster of Rugby World Cup 2019 in Japan. Clearly there are many reasons why federations believe this is advantageous, not least the increased control it affords. But as many public service broadcasters struggle to maintain costly sports production divisions I believe this trend will continue. Part of the SVG Europe raison d’etre is to discuss the solutions we collectively bring to bear on the production challenges that confront us. I hope you will participate fully in the 2017 Sport Production Summit and Sport Production Awards that precede the IBC exhibition in Amsterdam. Don’t forget that we exist for the benefit of the membership so your opinions matter to us. Feel free to put forward your ideas and suggestions for future sessions to any of the advisory board or editorial team of SVG Europe. I look forward to meeting you all at the Sport Production Summit, the Sport Production Awards and the post-Awards Networking Party. Enjoy the show!

Project Services — Broadcast

Peter Angell Lagardere Sports,

Manuela Baraschi Sky Italia, Head of Sport

Konrad Bartelski OTL, Consultant Daragh Bass NEP Broadcast Services UK,

Andy Beale BT Sport, Chief Engineer Julia Boettger Sky Deutschland, Head of

Senior VP Media Production Production & Operation

Technical Project Manager Operations, Sky Sports

Riccardo Botta Sky Italia, Director —

Jonny Bramley BBC Sport,

Production & Creative Hub Executive Producer

Robin Broomfield Sky UK, Technical Manager Alan Burns OBS TV, NEP Broadcasting

Services UK, Managing Director Brian Clark NEP Major Events, Sales Director Charlie Cope BBC Sport, Technical Executive Tony Coxon European Tour Productions, Head of Production Paul Davies All England Lawn Tennis Club, Head of Broadcast & Production Nicolas Deal UEFA, TV Transmission Manager John Dollin Arsenal Football Club, Senior Systems & Operations Manager Hamish Greig CTV Outside Broadcasts, Director of Engineering Duncan Humphreys Stream TV Networks, Head of Production Steve Jenkins President, NEP UK & Ireland Barry Johnstone CTV Outside Broadcasts, Managing Director Jens Cornelius Knudsen TV 2 Norway, VP Production News and Sports Timo Koch 3K Media, Director Michael Koegler ORF, Head of Directors Sport Dean Locke Formula One Management, Executive Director, TV Production Ronald Meyvisch Euro Media Group, Chief Technology Officer Dan Miodownik Host Broadcast Services, Chief Content Officer Nick Moody IMG Media, Head of Premier League Productions Nick Morgan Premier League, Head of Production Roger Pearce ITV Sport, Technical Director Emili Planas Mediapro, CTO and Operations Manager Alessandro Reitano Sky Deutschland, Director Sports Production Inga Ruehl Sky UK, Account Director, Sport & News Marcin Serafin Ekstraklasa Live Park, Head of Operations GP Slee Broadcast Rental, Owner David Tippett Sunset + Vine, Head of Development Henk van Meerkerk Fox Sports NL, Head of Production Anna Ward Premier League Productions, Head of Production Phil White IBC, Director of Technology & Events Joachim Wildt Sports Media in Transition, Director Tom Woods Woods Communications, President


svgeuropeupdate OPENING COMMENT

Greater access to the action BY FERGAL RINGROSE Executive Editor, Sports Video Group Europe


ne of the unique aspects of Sports Video Group’s editorial approach is our ‘Live From’ coverage. In this Journal, as well as a look back at our own events during the last calendar year we are also pleased to bring you a selection of our highest-profile ‘Live From’ reports. Where the opportunity presents itself, our editors and writers spend time on-site at At Tour de France Stage 7 in Nuits Saint George, Friday July 7: (L/R) SVG Europe’s Fergal Ringrose with Tom Woods, President, Woods Communications and Alan Burns, Managing Director, NEP Ireland major sporting events, bringing our readers insider-views of the broadcast production process. Whether we’re team of writers never takes this privilege for granted. Sometimes, the looking at camera-coverage plans or graphics or specialty cameras new technologies and production innovations we are granted access or replays — or the inner workings of Technical Operations Centres to — whether in UHD or AR/VR or IP or immersive audio, or in many at major international events — we spend time with the key people other areas — are world-first introductions that will go on to make involved and get up close (as close as is feasible during live on-air headlines across both business and mainstream media. events like golf Majors and cycling Grand Tours) to tell SVG Europe And we’re there first: with the key factor that senior people across stories of production and technology innovation. broadcast, OBs, service companies and equipment vendors take the To do so, we are entirely dependent on (a) receiving TV accreditations time out of their intense live-production schedules to explain what’s and (b) the goodwill of senior managers to spend time with us in going on and the significance of what we are seeing. compounds to explain the challenges they are facing in producing the It is our responsibility as SVG writers on location to (a) clearly television coverage of sporting events we all enjoy at home. understand what we’re seeing and (b) report it in a way that’s I would like to take a moment here to personally thank all the accessible to all our readers across the sports production spectrum. people in all the organisations we have worked with over the last year That is not always easy or straightforward, if we are being introduced who have taken the time to welcome SVG Europe reporters to busy to something that perhaps an engineering team has been working on sports events and explaining how they are set up and what kind of under-wraps for 18 months. The guys involved know it backwards, as innovations they are introducing to enhance their coverage, getting they’ve been developing and testing; but that doesn’t mean it’s easy to closer to the action. grasp if we’ve had no prior information or NDA briefing. This is important. Most sports fans who attend major events are Often these innovations feed directly into our own events: we see unaware that there is a TV compound right alongside the stadium a ground-breaking innovation at a football final or boxing world title (usually pretty well-hidden from view!) containing sometimes over fight and ask the key stakeholders if they will come and explain what one hundred vans and trucks of all shapes and sizes all involved in happened to the SVG community at our next scheduled event. the broadcast process. Production trucks, tenders, cable trucks, uplink This completes the ‘SVG circle’, in my view: because we have seen vans, cabins all squeezed into a tight space behind the stadium — with something brand new at first hand, for the first time, we can understand cables everywhere, underfoot and overhead. how important it is to the community and with the agreement of the The professionals who work in these compounds, some of whom stakeholders involved we’re able to bring that innovation from the field who have been on the road in live sports for years or even decades, to the podium. know the lie of the land. They know the drill, they know where So a sincere Thank You from me, on behalf of the SVG Europe team, everything is in the compound, and they know each other. It is an is appropriate. Thanks to all those who have granted us access to the intense atmosphere. action in 2017. We look forward to bigger and better challenges to To attend at these events for SVG Europe is always a privilege. Our come in 2018! 6





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Engineers and consultants ponder the potential and ‘real world impact’ of NGA BY DAVID DAVIES


or a key panel session at the recent, inaugural SVG Europe-Dolby Next Generation Audio Summit, a number of broadcast sound engineers, systems integrators and consultants analysed the production challenges set to be heralded by the mass adoption of NGA technologies. Moderator Roger Charlesworth — who is an independent consultant and executive director of the US-based DTV Audio Group — was joined by panellists including: NEP UK head of sound Paul Fournier; TSL Products product director Pieter Schillebeeckx; and BBC principal technologist Simon Tuff. Tuff was among those to highlight the problems 10

Next Generation Audio Summit

for audio caused by TVs “becoming more beautiful and thinner and thinner” and the possibility that “the magnificence of the pictures [could be to the loss] of the audio.” Perhaps to help address this potential imbalance, the BBC has undertaken a number of NGArelated experiments — “the first toe in the water being a 2011 trial on Centre Court at Wimbledon, where we presented two sound options: a stereo court atmos and a single mono commentator feed.” The response from those who experienced the trial was that it was “divided equally between those who wanted more audience and those who wished for more commentator”. While experiments around the tournament have continued, the BBC has also joined a Europe-wide project known as Orpheus. This European research project is dedicated to improving the management of audio content, and will develop, implement and validate a new end-to-end object-based media chain for audio content. The approach will see immersive content represented as a set of individual assets together with their metadata describing their relationships and associations. Not surprisingly, the importance and complexity EUROPE SportTechJOURNAL AUTUMN 2017


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Next Generation Audio Summit

of the necessary metadata was a vital thread of the conversation. Moving into the next generation world “just isn’t going to fly without the metadata; you need to be able to convey that throughout the workflow. Another important aspect is that it needs to be synchronised with the audio and the video.” Standardisation is a critical part of the process, but “there is a lot of very important work” still to be done there, noted Fournier. By way of example, he pointed to the current SMPTE 2110 standards project, which whilst hugely beneficial is “focused on transportation matters, with some consideration of synchronisation”. (For those unfamiliar with the initiative, SMPTE began work on SMPTE 2110 in January 2016 with the aim of developing a set of standards to specify the carriage, synchronisation, and description of separate elementary essence streams over IP for the purposes of live production, based on the VSF Technical Recommendations TR-03 and TR-04.)

Workflow challenges

There was also some detailed discussion of the implications of NGA from a production viewpoint. Tuff remarked: “As a sound recordist you end up with a lot of stems that are going to be fed out, and alongside these streams there has to be a mix made that the production

people are entirely happy with…You then need to be able to put out all these streams and let the listener decide what they want to hear.” As a facility provider, noted NEP’s Fournier, “we have to be led by the broadcasters… we don’t ‘deliver’, if you see what I mean, we only deliver to their specifications.” One of the great challenges going forward will be accommodating “the difference between the creative intent and how the [production and technical personnel] operate the machinery,” said Tuff. “We don’t yet have functional workflows and processes [for NGA], so part of the challenge is knowing where the interfaces are and where one bit [of the workflow] hands onto the next.” Although sports is bound to be a primary driver of NGA adoption — variously to accompany 4K/UHD and/ or other premium content — Tuff noted that the “other key genre is live music”. NGA is “not going to take off ” particularly rapidly, but broadcasters have generally been quick to recognise the “immediate benefits”. Nonetheless, there was a general feeling among the panel that NGA heralds a host of exciting opportunities for broadcast applications across the board — so the next few years promise to be highly exciting as the audio component starts to rival the dynamism of its visual counterpart.

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FutureSport 2016

Left to Right: Dominic Baillie, Simon Farnsworth and Fergal Ringrose at FutureSport 2016

Discovery and Eurosport reveal plans for Olympic coverage BY DAVID FOX


urosport has become the home of the Olympics in Europe, as part of a deal between its parent company, Discovery Communications, and the International Olympic Committee for the TV and multi-platform rights in 50 European markets for four Games, from 2018 to 2024. “Discovery is now developing its strategy to bring every moment of the 2018 Olympic Games to more viewers across all screens, looking at migration to IP and cloud for content management and distribution,” said moderator Fergal Ringrose, SVGE’s Executive Editor, in his introduction to Discovery’s session at FutureSport 2016 on November 30. “Sounds like we’ve got a big job, doesn’t it? I didn’t realise,” responded Simon Farnsworth, SVP, Olympic Technical Distribution, Discovery, to laughter. He oversees content aggregation and will manage the transport of content from the Olympic venues to Discovery. 14

The rights begin with PyeongChang for the 2018 Winter Olympics, but the deal excluded UK and French rights for 2018 and 2020, and also excluded Russia. However, Discovery has since agreed a deal with the BBC, where it will sublicense rights to the BBC for 2022 and 2024, in return for pay TV rights for the UK for 2018/20. It has since done further sublicensing deals with broadcasters in Europe, including the Netherlands, Finland, and the Czech Republic. “We don’t want to break the Olympic family, we really want to add to it and bring our own twist, whilst also learning from what has been done already,” said Farnsworth. “No one has ever held the rights in the way we hold them. Historically the EBU has done sublicensing deals, but we will broadcast content across all platforms, whether it’s TV, online, mobile, radio, and that presents us with a fantastic opportunity,” he said. “It really raises the brand value of Eurosport over the next ten years, which is a fantastic opportunity for us, both from a corporate standpoint and a technology standpoint.” However,“the Olympic sports are not new to Eurosport. We’ve been covering Olympic sports for a long time, so it really fits in with our brand.” Eurosport will be Olympic broadcaster in Germany, Norway and Sweden, where it has free-to-air services. “We will go really hard in Germany. We will try to get it on more screens than ever before, and it presents a fantastic opportunity for us in that market. We already EUROPE SportTechJOURNAL AUTUMN 2017

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FutureSport 2016

hold free-to-air licenses in Germany through Eurosport 1 and D-Max, and it allows us to really raise the brand profile of Eurosport in Germany,” said Farnsworth. “We’re using IP technology where it makes sense, and we’re using a hybrid of technology within the IBC itself and the production facilities back home in Europe — so, IP between those, IP between some of the venues, remote production concepts within the IBC and at home,” explained Dominic Baillie, Chief Technology Officer, Olympics & Sports, Discovery, who is responsible for developing and implementing the long-term Olympics and sports technology strategy, spanning event production, linear TV and digital media activity across 55 countries in more than 20 languages. “When we get to Tokyo 2020, we’ll lean more towards home production, where most of our technical staff will be remote, and just talent and enthusiasts will be presenting the games in Tokyo.”

Distribution from PyeongChang

Getting the content back from the Olympics will be complex,“because Eurosport will be utilising about seven production sites across Europe, as well as a huge presence in PyeongChang, and we’ll have two 10gig circuits to bring back from PyeongChang, fully diverse, that will be a truly



hybrid IP network,” said Farnsworth. “It will carry live video, file transfer, corporate IT and corporate WAN, and on top of that we’ve already started building a 10gig Eurosport WAN linking all of our European sports production sites — which is not only for the Olympics. It will allow us to scale beyond the Olympics.” It is important that it’s extremely robust, particularly as post production will be vital for PyeongChang, given the live events will finish about 3pm (CET), “so when you’ve got primetime European slots we need to be able to be able to turn around very quickly, so the reliability of that network is going to be very crucial.

“The biggest challenge immediately is audio. We’re looking at 16 languages for PyeongChang and 49 plus in Tokyo” DOMINIC BAILLIE



FutureSport 2016

“We’re also replicating a media asset management system in PyeongChang back in Europe, so we’re constantly transferring files between the two, and then using that Eurosport WAN to get that content out to those regional production sites as quickly as possible.” It is also looking at an Ethernet-based system between the venues “to again give us the production flexibility to scale up and scale down.” For example, if a Norwegian competitor does really well at curling, Eurosport can concentrate on that without needing to buy in any more circuits.

people can do at home in their own systems and facilities the better. Plus, in 2020 we’re looking at a completely different landscape for television,” where it will be focusing more on viewer experience, and the events that matter most to people in different countries. This will require a cloud-based infrastructure, “which allows us to expand and contract with major events and create unique events for our viewers, so 2020 is a different game for us.”

Remote v studio production

“The biggest challenge immediately is audio, for us. We’re looking at 16 languages for PyeongChang and 49 plus in Tokyo. Any broadcast manufacturers will tell you that having more than eight or 16 channels of audio is a bit of a challenge,” said Baillie. “How we make sure that the content that we have spent all this time gathering, all those key moments for those key markets are shared amongst the group, making sure that they are able to find those things and communicate them effectively, and how we manipulate the data that we do have, to provide the best searching for their content — those are the immediate challenges. “Co-ordinating seven production sites across Europe in different languages is going to be culturally a challenge, but you flip that and you say what the Olympic Games does do to us is present us with an ideal opportunity to really raise the professionalism in all of those sites, because what we don’t want to do is just scale up for the Olympics. This is a long-term investment that Eurosport has made.”

“We’ll have some studio control at venues, we’ll do some remote production from venues with studio control in the IBC, we’ll have some channel control at the IBC and some channel control remotely, but I think what’s really important in all of this is to ensure the reliability of the network,” he added. “Robustness and resilience is key, but also to have what I call sensible workflows, because you can develop some really complex workflows that actually aren’t practical.” “If you think about the challenge we have with PyeongChang, where we have largely Winter sports, where we have eight to ten major markets that are interested — that is their Olympics.When you look at the Summer [Olympics], you’ve got 49 or 50 markets and we’re going to try and localise all of those,” said Baillie. “If you think about the scale of people that we’d need on site and the size of the IBC to be able to meet that, it’s just colossal. So, we’re lead down the path of the remote production idea, and the more that

Challenges ahead

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AUTUMN 2017 EUROPE SportTechJOURNAL6/23/17 4:41 PM


ITV Sport Horse Racing 2017

A wet start to the racing contract at Cheltenham on 1 January

Horse racing in the UK changes stables: ITV Sport in the saddle for next four years BY PHILIP STEVENS

“Our intention is to shape coverage in a way that creates as wide an appeal as possible while still satisfying the sport’s core audience” ROGER PEARCE, ITV SPORT, TECHNICAL DIRECTOR 20


n January 2016, it was announced that ITV had secured the rights to show nearly 100 days of horse racing each year in the UK. The contract, which started on 1 January 2017 and runs until December 2020, sees all the main meetings, such as the Cheltenham Festival, the Crabbie’s Grand National Meeting from Aintree, the Investec Derby Festival from Epsom Downs, Royal Ascot and QIPCO British Champions Day from Ascot, Qatar Goodwood Festival, Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival from York and the Ladbrokes St Leger from Doncaster on ITV’s main channel. In all, a total of 41 fixtures will be shown on that channel in 2017, while a further 60 will be broadcast on ITV4. A magazine preview programme is also transmitted each Saturday morning on ITV4. The coverage marks racing’s return to ITV for the first time in 32 years. Presenter Ed Chamberlin introduced the New Year’s Day meeting from Cheltenham, while expert analysis and comment came from Sir Anthony McCoy, Luke Harvey and Mick Fitzgerald, with contributions from Olympic gold medallist Victoria Pendleton and weather expert Lucy Verasamy, and commentary from Richard Hoiles. Oli Bell was at the Scottish Musselburgh course for the second meeting of the day. “In being awarded this contract, our aim is to bring horse racing to a broader audience,” said Roger Pearce, Technical Director for ITV Sport. “And that means the

production team will explain the intricacies of the sport, as well as bring the action in a exciting and dynamic way. The previous incumbents did a great job but our intention is to shape our coverage in a way that creates as wide an appeal as possible while still satisfying the sport’s core audience.” Pearce says that the coverage at Cheltenham was a fantastic start, but it will evolve and further innovations will appear as the contract advances. Leading the production team is BAFTA-award winner Paul McNamara. “He also is our executive producer and senior director and represents very much the ITV Sport creative vision,” declared Pearce. “He has put together an editorial and production team that ensures the viewers will benefit from that vision.” Alongside McNamara will be a producer for the race coverage and another for the morning magazine show. In addition, two other producers will be responsible for creating feature material. From a technical perspective, ITV Sport will utilise the existing BT fibre connections available at most courses. But a new contract with BT that starts in July will see increased connectivity, including IP capabilities.“We also have BT SNG trucks at every venue as part of our delivery commitments to ensure we have diverse back up. On top of that, we are also looking at low bit rates and internet back up — but we are not there yet.” EUROPE SportTechJOURNAL AUTUMN 2017

ITV Sport Horse Racing 2017


OB facilities for the contract are provided by NEP Visions. Just one scanner is used for both race coverage and presentation, although there may be times when a second vehicle is needed. “When we first looked at the requirement our initial thoughts were to handle it like football where there is a world feed, and then an add-on for presentation,” explained Pearce. “But the production team felt it would be better for the overall programme if everything came out of one truck.”

MOOV, ChyronHego and Piranha Graphics in the frame

Those graphics are being provided by MOOV with a dedicated graphics solution employing some of the latest systems from ChyronHego. “Our first challenge was to provide a bespoke graphics vehicle,” said MOOV’s managing director, Duncan Foot. “Our solution was to kit out a bespoke Mercedes Sprinter van with two dualchannel ChyronHego Mosaics, several PCs for data handling and graphics control software. The vehicle had to be remodelled to fit in four members of staff and monitoring of multiple sources. The vehicle was designed and fitted out by our newly created in-house special projects team.” MOOV’s second challenge involved providing a virtual system that can work at a range of racecourses across the country, using multiple cameras and video sources. “We selected the ChyronHego Virtual Placement (VP) system with two camera inputs — one of which is switchable from a router panel, a virtual video wall and associated input and also a fill and key direct from a graphics source allowing us to place conventional graphics in the virtual world.” The VP system is set up with standard scene tracking as well as Anchor Tracking, allowing operators to accurately position the furlong markers and finish line on the wideangle finish camera without the need for expensive hardware add-ons. “We chose ChyronHego Paint to be used to telestrate on the action, transferring clips across the EVS network for improved workflows. Racing Client data software from Piranha Graphics completes the graphics solution,” said Foot.

Comprehensive coverage: ACS takes specialist camera challenge

For the initial Cheltenham meeting 38 cameras were used, a mixture of fixed, hoist, Steadicams and specialist units. ITV Sport has appointed Aerial Camera Systems (ACS) to provide specialist camera installations at each of the race meetings covered by the broadcaster. “We’re delighted to have been asked to supply a range of facilities to enhance the coverage,” said Matt Coyde, sales director at ACS. “In the coming months, we will be working on a number of projects which will bring even better viewing experiences for the ITV Racing audience.” EUROPE SportTechJOURNAL AUTUMN 2017

One of the innovations introduced at the Cheltenham meeting was use of a wire cam covering the parade ring and shots of the grandstand. “This comprised of a point to point wire system and stabilised head with a Sony P1 camera and wide angle lens running between a temporary tower in the car park where it was operated, up to a mounting point on the old grandstand,” explained Coyde.“This is in addition to our unique self-built Tracker vehicles that provide spectacular moving shots from the side of the race course. For the Cheltenham meeting, we used two such vehicles.” Mounted on the main vehicle, which is a modified 4×4 Land Rover is a Nettman Systems stabilised mount housing a Sony 950 camera with a Fujinon 42x lens and block. The remainder of the camera assembly is located within the vehicle itself. Control of the camera and stabilised mount is handled by the operator working in a specially adapted racing seat in the back of the vehicle. “In addition to the remote controls for the normal pan, tilt, zoom and focus functions, there is a roll control to allow the shots to remain parallel to the horizon — even when the vehicle is travelling across uneven terrain,” said Coyde. The second Tracker operates in a similar way, but uses a Sony P1 camera and Fujinon 42x lens integrated into a Shotover F1 Stabilised Mount. ACS also rigged one of its unique remote SMARThead units fitted with a Sony camera to provide remarkable shots of the horses jumping at one of the fences on the home stretch. This was powered locally off an ACS battery system with a fibre optic link back to the OB where the operator was situated. Signals from the Tracker Cameras, SMARThead and Wirecam were sent back to the scanner using radio links supplied by Broadcast RF. 23


World Championship of Ping Pong

T The World Championship of Ping Pong, Alexandra Palace, 28 January 2017

Live From Ally Pally: CTV puts AirBox through paces BY DAVID DAVIES

he World Championship of Ping Pong — which took place at Alexandra Palace in North London on 28-29 January — provided an opportunity for CTV Outside Broadcast to test the capabilities of its AirBox system. The innovative fly-pack solution can be used in a variety of configurations, offering the chance to house multiviewers, monitoring, camera racking, vision mixing technology, audio consoles and more. For the Ping Pong tournament, CTV deployed the AirBox in streamlined form at the suggestion of Sky Sports, who were keen to experiment with the remote production capabilities of the solution. A small team of CTV and Sky personnel took up residence at Ally Pally on the day before the tournament began, whilst production was carried out back at Sky’s facilities in Osterley. Dan Smith, CTV Unit Manager for the event, guided SVG Europe through the workflow as the production was about to go on air. “We have seven cameras here, covering the ping pong, and are sending the signals back to Sky via NTT encoders. Essentially, we are bringing the camera signals back from the auditorium to the CCUs through a DA, and then feedback the encoders and going out on an IP network back to Sky,” he says. “Within those seven camera circuits we are also embedding four tracks of audio, containing all the

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World Championship of Ping Pong

different audio ISOs — mics, commentary effects mics, etc. They are all embedded onto video and Sky at the other end can de-embed and obtain all the audio sources. “We also have a MADI over IP stream going back to Sky, and all audio sources are embedded there as well. In fact, that is the primary way of getting the audio back at Sky, with the embedded video circuits being the second path of the audio.” The audio desk was used only to produce the IEM mixes and set the levels of the effects mics, but also a mix for the PA system at Ally Pally. The multi-viewers that would often be included in AirBox were not required as all the vision mixing was done back at Osterley. “They had a full team there and were doing the EVS [ingestion] and graphics there,” says Smith. “We also got three circuits back from Osterley to Ally Pally, and on there we get the main programme feed; the auxilary feed that goes to the vision monitors on the floor; and the off-air.” Other variations from the usual deployment of AirBox included the use of two Lawo V_pro8s for video processing.

the encoders and decoders are located there. Two strands of fibre go out to BT and then pass into the network. They are also doing standard video transmission, with Cameras 1 and 2 both containing four tracks of audio each. So if the network fell over [Osterley] would still receive two camers with eight tracks of audio between them — meaning that a limited show would still be possible.” On the auditorium floor, the seven-camera rig included six locked-off units and one beauty camera.An RF camera was used to capture action across the entire floor, which included one ‘show court’ as well as a number of smaller tables between which attendees could move freely. Sony HDC-1500s were predominant in the set-up. Speaking as the two-day, 16-hour broadcast on Sky Sports 2 got underway, Smith said that the system had proven to be “straightforward to set-up and configure, and shown that it can be modified quite effectively to handle remote production. The original idea [for AirBox] was that it serve as a simple de-rig kit with minimum engineering and staff. However, it is evident that it is flexible enough to handle these other applications.” Sky production manager Trevor Fegan confirms that Disaster recovery the broadcaster was “keen to explore the opportunities CTV and Sky put in place a comprehensive recovery path presented by the AirBox, and it’s proven to be a very “with BT out [in the car park] doing the IP connectivity.All effective choice for this project.”


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Super Bowl LI Houston, Texas


The front bench in Game Creek’s Encore unit will be at the centre of the sports world on Sunday night

Fox Sports’ Mike Davies discusses final preparation for Big Game in Houston BY KEN KERSCHBAUMER

New camera systems promise to take Super Bowl coverage to the next level


he excitement is building among Fox Sports team members as they finalise production plans and look to roll out a few technical innovations that will raise the Super Bowl production bar, something that happens every year for an event that rotates among Fox, CBS, and NBC. At the helm this year, Fox Sports plans innovations that could become a mainstay for future Super Bowl broadcasts. “It’s a showcase, a stage,” says Mike Davies, SVP, Technical and Field Operations, Fox Sports,“and, the way technology is going, it will always feature some new things.” The technical advance that will have the biggest impact on the production is the use of more super-slo-mo systems and high-resolution cameras than have ever been used at a Super Bowl. Sony HDC-4300 and P43 cameras will be operating in 4K mode in key locations — goal line, end line, sidelines — so that the production team can zoom in 28

for high-resolution close-ups. And two Sony HDC-4800 cameras are on hand for super-slo-mo coverage. “We even have a super-slo-mo camera to capture fan reactions,” says Davies. “Super-slo-mo is great for the game coverage but also for capturing the emotions, like a grimace or a wink.” Fox Sports is also taking pylon cameras to the next level with a simple change: the cameras will be angled at 45 degrees rather than perpendicular to the lines. “What we like about it is that you can see more of the field. We can potentially do a replay that goes from one camera in the pylon to the next,” says Davies. “And, now that the cameras are HD, it’s shocking how good they are.” The most eagerly anticipated innovation is Fox’s Be The Player enhancement, which will use technology provided by Intel. Last year, Intel acquired freeD, a technology that had a role in the CBS Sports broadcast of Super Bowl 50. The freeD system last year comprised 36 5K cameras installed around the stadium to capture the action from all the angles. Those multiple angles were rendered to create a replay that allowed viewers at home to see a single moment from all angles; a virtual camera would swing around the point of focus. The camera installation gave Fox and Intel a chance to continue to experiment At NRG Stadium, Fox Sports is taking the technology to a new level, deploying 38 cameras. Each camera will be connected via fibre (more than five miles of fibre in all) to a dedicated server in Intel’s onsite production room, which will house a half dozen Intel staffers and a dedicated Fox Sports producer. EUROPE SportTechJOURNAL AUTUMN 2017


Super Bowl LI Houston, Texas

Simultaneous camera data are processed together, composing every point in the stadium into individual volumetric pixels (or ‘voxels’), which are used to build a true three-dimensional reconstruction of the scene. In addition to the individual camera servers, ‘management servers’ provide the computer power to build the replay packages, which display a 3D reconstruction of the play and can be paused, zoomed in or out, and viewed from anywhere on the field. “Once the Intel team understood that we were somewhat permissive as to how things looked, that got things turning. As it turned out, it not only looks really good but can be turned around pretty quickly,” says Davies. “We benefited from faster processing and other good stuff, but we are really pleased with how the workflow was ironed out.”

8K will be deployed to catch missed action

Another first at Super Bowl LI will be the use of an 8K camera from Astro and an Evertz DreamCatcher replayserver system. The 8K camera is located at the 50-yard line on an upper level and will be able to get a shot of the entire field of play (as well as sidelines and the crowd).An operator in the compound will be able to zoom in and extract an HD-quality image from the frame, giving the production team a chance to capture replays that might escape one of

the regular camera operators, who are focused on specific assignments. “We tried it with Astro and Evertz at the World Series, and it worked really well,” says Davies.“So we asked them if it could be available leading up to the Super Bowl for some tests. But there are so few cameras in the world like this, that wasn’t possible. It’s the whole whiz-bang thing of seeing the Super Bowl in 8K.” This is the fourth Super Bowl that Davies has worked on. Although the game coverage has evolved, the biggest change around the big game is the increase in pregame coverage.

Big game, bigger pregame

“At Super Bowl XLII in Phoenix [in 2008], we had a single pregame stage and a day’s worth of programming,” he recalls. “Now the Super Bowl programming is tied into weekly cable programming, so it’s like two Super Bowls: we have as many people working in Discovery Green [on programming all week]. This is a fairly recent phenomenon for Super Bowls.” Game Creek Video’s Encore production unit is making its Super Bowl debut, and Cleatus, which is normally deployed by another network under a different name, will be used for pregame coverage.Also on hand at the stadium

“I have never been so proud of a whole group of professionals that have worked together on an amazing project and managed to keep it sane and methodical” MIKE DAVIES

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Mike Davies says Super Bowl planning is going well two days before the big game


Super Bowl LI Houston, Texas

is Game Creek’s Chesapeake, a new unit that will spend most of its year working for MASN in the Baltimore/ Washington market. At the Super Bowl, it will be used for the red-carpet show. “Working with Game Creek over the years, we have generated additional support trucks and work in a symbiotic way,” says Davies.“And we have the confidence in the team brought in by Game Creek, whether it’s engineering, management, or the people working on the trucks.” NEP, meanwhile, is handling Fox production needs at Discovery Green with ND1 on hand for the full week of programming. Notes Davies,“We are using ND1 as a bit of an ESU, with a lot of the shows being finished in Los Angeles or done fully as a home-run production back in Los Angeles.” Fox Deportes, Fox Latin America, Fox News, and Sky UK are all on hand as well, ratcheting up their production hours and presence at Discovery Green and the NRG compound. “NEP has been awesome: the trucks at Discovery Green are being used for something totally different than how they are used for the rest of the year,” says Davies. “And that speaks to the utility of the facility and the engineering teams.”



Super Bowl LI Houston, Texas

Among other technical providers is CP Communications, which handled fibre installation and is providing standard wireless field audio plus four RF cameras, including three Steadicams. BSI is providing hand mics; Soundtronics, wireless mics on the red carpet. VER is supplying the routing equipment, the core of the distribution area. And Fletcher is providing multiple robotic cameras.

Cyber security Is new challenge

The entire Fox Sports presence across Houston is a massive technical showcase for mature technologies and new workflows that rely increasingly on IT networks for things like file transfers, device control, and signal transport. That is one reason Fox Sports is working closely with the 21st Century Fox Cyber Security Group to ensure that the various entities in the compound are operating in a secure manner. Part of that process included an audit of both Fox Sports operations as well as those of various vendors. “[The Cyber Security Group] made some recommendations that we have implemented, but, overall, we were pleased that everything was within acceptable margins,” says Davies. “With complex setups come complex problems, and cyber security is one of them; we

have a compound full of hundreds of people.We separated the normal internet traffic onto a network provided by Beagle Networks that is an arm’s length away from the network being used by Fox or on the truck networks.” When the game ends on Sunday night, odds are that Fox Sports will help move Super Bowl production forward, providing a bit of a template for NBC Sports to follow next February, when Super Bowl LII is held in Minneapolis. “The networks build on each other’s shoulders,” says Davies.“One of our colleagues at another network wished us luck and told us he felt pride in what we have planned here because we all build on what everyone else has done. We’ll take a page from the NBC and CBS book as they do ours. But there’s always a healthy competition to add new and relevant technology to the Super Bowl.” Davies says that there is a lot of pride among the Fox Sports production teams and they are committed to putting in a lot of work upfront to make sure they can be prepared for the unexpected. “We have a really good team of people who manage really good teams,” he says.“I have never been so proud of a whole group of professionals that have worked together on an amazing project and managed to keep it sane and methodical.”

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Sports Venue Technology Summit

VR panel at SVTS: Samuel Westberg, LiveLike; Jean-Luc Affaticati, DigitArena; Dave Elliott, Holovis; and Pieter Van Leugenhagen, Yondr

Is VR even better than the real thing? BY FERGAL RINGROSE


he buzz around virtual reality, and in particular its potential for transforming the sports viewing experience, has been one of the industry stories of the past year. But trial deployments at sports venues that allow fans to experience events in a new and exciting way are also taking place. A session at SVG Europe’s Sports Venue Technology Summit held at ISE Amsterdam considered various practical and monetary issues surrounding VR that are still to be resolved. Moderator Karen Hogan Ketchum, Senior Editor Sports Video Group, started by asking each of her four panellists to introduce their companies and to answer a very simple question: what is VR? Jean-Luc Affaticati, DigitArena CEO said: “At DigitArena we specialise in broadcast graphics for different environments. For us, VR is not a technology issue but an immersive experience providing a capability of taking you to the stadium or to see different actions from different immersive points of view.” According to Dave Elliott, Holovis, Enterprise Business Development Manager, “Holivis is a UK-based 32

company. We are experiential designers, working across a range of sectors from attractions and theme parks to companies like Jaguar and Rolls Royce. We believe that VR goes beyond visuals, and it’s about more immersive experiences such as 3D audio and motion and scent and special effects — that’s where I believe the future of VR will lie.” Pieter Van Leugenhagen, Yondr, Business Strategist told the audience, “We are a VR production agency based in Antwerp, Amsterdam and New York, and we are growing a global ecosystem of VR professionals by licensing our brand, IP, academy and know-how. What is VR? For me, even 360 video and virtual CGI, from the moment you get completely immersed, I think you can talk about [that being] VR.” Samuel Westberg, LiveLike, Director of Sales EMEA said, “We’re a US-based company, with entities in India and France. We specialise in live sports events, with the idea of bringing together the best experiences in one. To me, VR is the perfect media aggregator to create a perfect sports centre for the sports fan.” Hogan Ketchum then asked whether live sports events are suitable material for the VR experience. Pieter Van Leugenhagen said, “Obviously the Super Bowl is too long a game to watch in VR, and the resolution is an issue. But I do often watch the NBA through the Samsung headset; the field is a lot smaller, and when the camera is positioned in the centre you just have to look left and right. EUROPE SportTechJOURNAL AUTUMN 2017


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Sports Venue Technology Summit

“Let’s say for a football match the pitch is too wide for VR and the resolution is not that good — it’s too early. But as an agency we are more focused on fan engagement and not on live broadcasting. At the moment we are shooting footage for Club Brugge, a day in the life of a soccer player, just to increase fan engagement with the team and bring the fan into the stadium. We also did a piece with Manchester City’s Vincent Kompany where you were part of his training programme and could witness how hard he works every day — and that creates a certain bond between the viewer and the hero and brings them closer together: in that way VR is excellent.” LiveLike’s Samuel Westberg said, “We had the chance to do the Super Bowl last week, where we brought instantaneous replays to the NFL and Fox Sports. Right now we all agree that the quality of VR is not good enough for you to experience a whole game. I think it’s just a question of hardware limitations at the moment. “To get back to the question of what is keeping people inside the VR environment as long as possible,” said Westberg,“is to consider virtual reality not only as a video player but as a media aggregator to put together all the experiences. Slowly but surely we’ll move towards that market where we keep people entertained — bringing in social which is very important — rather than always

thinking of it as a second screen application. I do think that it can become the main media for people to watch sports and live events at home.” Jean-Luc Affaticati said: “There are two technical limitations at the moment in VR. One is the capability to do live streaming events; there is a delay. Secondly there is an issue related to the point of view; yes it can work for the basketball court but in the soccer stadium you are too far away.” In a question from the audience, George Cole from The ISE Daily asked, “Do any of the panel fear that VR could become the next 3D, ie a failure related to the fact that people didn’t seem to like wearing goggles?” Pieter Van Leugenhagen answered, “I don’t believe VR will be the same hype as 3D was. In my opinion 3D had the intention to replace cinema and replace normal TV. VR is just a new medium that sits alongside cinema and TV. If I want to watch the next Star Wars or Lord of the Rings I go to the cinema. If I want to watch a soap opera or a soccer game I watch it on television. If I want to have a cool experience behind the scenes and have more fan engagement, or discover and explore my next travel destination, I put on a headset. In my opinion it’s just a new medium and not something to replace another one.”

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Sky Sport Summit Munich

Left to right: Marcus Beisiegel, DFL, Senior Manager Audiovisuelle Rechte national; Samuel Westberg, Live Like VR, Director of Sales EMEA; Bill Browning, Sky Deutschland Creative Director; Thomas Deissenberger, Sky Media GmbH, Managing Director; and Gert Zimmermann, Sky Sport Summit Moderator

Sky Sport Summit: Exploring brave new worlds of VR and AR for sports BY BIRGIT HEIDSIEK


irtual Reality, Augmented Reality and Artificial Intelligence can improve the consumer experience, deliver added value, and completely change the approach to advertising, as industry experts discussed at the recent Sky Sport Summit organised in collaboration with Sports Video Group Europe. Companies don’t know yet what the business model will be for Artificial Intelligence, autonomous driving, VR and AR. “If we invest in something, we want to get the return immediately but unfortunately the industry does not work this way yet,” said Alissia Iljaitsch, co-founder of digital innovation strategist IQ Gemini.“We need to be much more comfortable with not knowing the answer today.” One use case for Artificial Intelligence could be to track athletes. After feeding a computer with 500 videos of rugby games, the machine can ‘watch’ a rugby game live and make a prediction about what is going to happen.“With a combination of all this technologies which are all available now, you can use this data of the athletes for scouting of the right athlete, use is to predict the performance”, explained Iljaitsch.“You can maximise the performance of the athlete by tracking his current situation and predict how many more miles can he go and include it into the game strategy.” According to the American computer scientist Jaron Lanier, 36

who is a pioneer in the field of VR, the most important thing about technology is how it changes our behaviour. “How do we change the behaviour of our consumer?” is a key questioned cited by Iljaitsch. “One important aspect is to have regular content that is worth watching,” says Samuel Westberg, director of sales EMEA at VR specialist LiveLike, who is convinced that virtual reality is much more than just a virtual video player. “The idea is to add up all those elements of consumption that we want for sports, third party data, editorial content… and the multiplayer functionality to be able to share that experience with somebody.” It will be possible to zoom data or editorial content, replays and all features that are essential. “From the moment a broadcaster will tackle the art of having a regular productions in VR, the market will be ready for it.” Right now, there are eight million VR sets in the worldwide market. “You have to conceive VR not only as a player for inside a headset but also without one, which is why we have to have a 360-degree player which we call magic window. VR can be enjoyed through a smart phone or can be airplayed to have a wide angle that every sports fan dreams of (…) It is adding that sum of content inside the VR experience which makes it the perfect sports centre,” underlined Westberg.“I hope that we can start next season in Germany.” EUROPE SportTechJOURNAL AUTUMN 2017


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According to Bill Browning, creative advisor at Sky Deutschland, the German market is ready for VR. “As long as the content which is delivered is good, any market is ready,” said Browning, who is also examining from the marketing point of view how Augmented Reality can play its part. “It is about giving more to potential viewers [than] what they really see.” But the hype for VR and AR is not as big as it was with 3D. “A lot of broadcasters learned from the 3D showcase. It cost a lot of money and wasn’t sustainable,” said Marcus Beisiegel, senior manager, audiovisual rights national, DFL, which is working on VR with different tests for two years. “Together with Sky and LiveLike we had a test in November which was very interesting. From the Bundesliga rights holder point of view there is not an intermediate business case but for our broadcaster there might be one.”

Bundesliga practicalities

For a Bundesliga game it doesn’t make sense to use 360 degree cameras in the stadium. “When you think about sports and think about what you want to see, you don’t want to see the people behind you,” says Browning.“This is why you set up 180 degree cameras to have the best position in the field and be close to the field. We have a single camera with a wide angle lens which is very easy to adopt.” Meanwhile, 360 makes sense in terms of storytelling when a camera is positioned in the hallway near the entrance so that the camera will be next to the players from Bayern Munich.


Sky Sport Summit Munich

“We want to offer to our subscribers the best product from the creativity and premium quality,” said Thomas Deissenberger, managing director, Sky Media GmbH. “On the other hand, as a commercial company we have to make the most of our business.” But the habits of sponsoring TV have changed as well. “Big companies want to be more integrated and be part of the product. We should go to the huge advertisers for tests and doing something together.” When Sky started seven years ago there was only TV while today Bundesliga can be seen on handhelds at any airport or barbecue dinner. “Now ‘live in HD’ is like saying ‘live in colour’,” said Browning, for whom VR represents added value to potential customers. “The viewer will set high expectations. That is why it is Sky’s job to jump ahead.” Beisiegel believes that Eurosport will add additional mindset innovation to the process. “We want to make ourselves independent from the innovation efforts of our partnership,” says Beisiegel. “Eurosport and Sky are exclusive on their matches. There won’t be a competition. If there is interest from Sky to produce certain matches in VR, we certainly support it.” In sports, the key element is being able to watch the content live — in VR as well. “People want additional piece of information in a fun way,” concludes Browning.“They won’t use augmented reality unless it gives them a game, it has to be fun and it has gotta be easy. Those are three rules of AR.”


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Federations, leagues and rights holders talk tech BY FERGAL RINGROSE


ow do football federations and leagues work with broadcast rights holders to manage the production of their output, and how do they plan the adoption of new technologies? Of course innovation is compelling, but it must be balanced against ongoing contractual and delivery requirements each season. At SVG Europe’s Football Production Summit in Munich’s Allianz Arena March 22, Editorial Director Ken Kerschbaumer led a new technology panel discussion involving Robin Broomfield, Sky Sports UK, Technical Manager; Alexander Günther, Sportcast, Managing Director; Nick Morgan, English Premier League, Head of Production & Operations; Emili Planas, Mediapro, CTO; and Oscar Sanchez, CONCACAF, Head of Broadcast Operations. Kerschbaumer began by asking the Premier League’s Nick Morgan about the motivation for innovation.“When 40

Football Production Summit 2017

you evaluate new technology and when you want to use that technology, what considerations apply?” he asked. “There is innovation around doing new things: virtual reality is a perfect example of something that’s brand new,” said Morgan. “The question there is, to whom are you serving it? As important for us is innovating around things we do now, but doing them better. “Whether it’s the match coverage itself or the ancillary services we provide, it’s not necessarily about finding something unique that might only appeal to a very small part of our audience. We have a global population of football fans and football broadcasters, and if we can find ways to make that core product better, that will mean just as much as finding an innovation just because it’s there and we can say ‘we’re doing it’. “We’re looking to provide added value from added services,” Morgan continued. “We’re very fortunate in that our two live broadcasters, Sky and BT Sport, are incredibly innovative and we get to ride on their coat tails in many ways as to what we can offer internationally. And let us not forget the BBC; collectively we have three brilliant host broadcasters. Innovation is happening naturally outside of us, and therefore we can benefit on the inside. “We have 85 customers, with a reach of 800 million EUROPE SportTechJOURNAL AUTUMN 2017

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fans,” said Morgan. “It’s their job [rights holders] to market to their fans. It’s our job to make their experience of being a Premier League rights holder better, and we do. We have a great core product. It’s up to us, and our colleagues at IMG, to enhance that core match coverage. We want to bring people closer to what we’re doing, giving them better access to our archive so that they can create better programming to promote the League and their own coverage — so that their customers watch for longer or watch more,” he said. Concerning the Bundesliga Alexander Günther said, “In the last ten years we have established all the ingredients to enhance our programme. Audio and video are the basis of our world feed and we’ve produced over 7,500 matches and have built up an archive since 2007, hosting 100,000 hours of content. “We established a data company last year, in order to also make that ingredient,” said Günther. “So, audio, video and data combined with graphics — this is our approach to working with our media partners. Not only the broadcasters but all media partners, in order to find media solutions for the future. In 2015 we started testing virtual reality, augmented reality, Spidercam — and now we have made successful tests of UHD HDR. In different areas we are testing a lot in order to find out what works and what doesn’t work.”

The need to get closer to the pitch

With reference to Sky Sports coverage of the English Premier League Robin Broomfield said,“We’re looking at more immersive camera coverage and more immersive audio, with Dolby Atmos. There are a lot of things I’d like to see us taking from other sports, to get us into the game more — the likes of Ref Cams and microphones on the 42

Football Production Summit 2017

refs that we currently can’t use on football but can on rugby. There’s the Intel Be The Player system that was used at the Super Bowl; it would be great to get a player’s eye-view or a linesman’s view. It’s all in progress, but it costs money. “Obviously we’ve moved the goalposts for the public by rolling out UHD this season: that gives us challenges in the amount of data we’re feeding,” said Broomfield. “More immersive is key, to help the viewer be in the game. You need to get closer to the pitch physically: a good example is the latest generation of Net Cams. “It’s always good to look at new technologies, and the key is the word ‘testing’. I don’t think we should rush into things,” he said. “It’s got to be a real improvement for the viewer. “We need to look at the HDR colour space, and also High Frame Rate, which seems to have gone off everybody’s radar at the moment. This would certainly enhance things like replays in football coverage, bringing more clarity. We’re settling into UHD at 50p and it’s quite a comfortable production now, both for ourselves and BT Sport on the Premier League. We need to see how HDR develops: NAB will be a good ground to see how technology has evolved,” said Broomfield. Emili Planas, CTO of La Liga rights holder Mediapro said,“We’ve been working with UHD since the beginning of this season.We think that UHD is not a great difference to HD if HDR is not in the same package. We think HDR and UHD need to work better; we don’t need more pixels, we need better pixels. It is a challenge for broadcast TV production,” he said. The mention of UHD HDR prompted Günther to add, “On Match Day 21 we made a successful test of UHD HDR on the basis of a combined production. On one truck we created two feeds, and as one part of that testing we looked at the difference between HD HDR and UHD HDR — all the different combinations. We worked with TVN and Sony in that case. “For us, technology development is quite easy as we’re right across the value chain, not only the outside broadcast but running the network and connectivity of all stadiums in the Bundesliga and we run the production centre in Cologne. We’re also responsible for global delivery together with our sister company Digital Sports located in Cologne and we are able to modify the content solution. We are ready for the future with this approach,” said Günther. EUROPE SportTechJOURNAL AUTUMN 2017



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London Marathon 2017

A fleet of motorcycles gets ready for the coverage

Live from the London Marathon 2017: BBC and CTV discuss OB challenges BY PHILIP STEVENS


In addition to those six scanners, there is a main transmission truck located near the finish where Payne and his production team work. Alongside there is another vehicle that accommodates the international director and producer. “That coverage involves a bespoke commentary, with the director having access to the domestic cut race feed, plus the helicopter and bike cameras, Of course, there is no actual directing of the OB cameras from the international team, but the operators know they could be used for a number of outputs and arch 1981 saw the first London Marathon. bear that in mind when moving their cameras.” At that time, around 20,000 people wanted to run, but just 7,747 were accepted, with The technical side 6,255 finishing the gruelling course. The CTV Outside Broadcasts has been covering the London event was deemed a massive hit with the runners, by Marathon for the BBC since 2014. Looking after CTV’s the thousands of spectators lining the course, and the coverage is unit manager, Greg Livermore.“The rig starts viewers who followed the race on the BBC. As a result, on the Friday preceding the race. The event planning, the 1982 race received more than 90,000 applications however, begins a full year ahead, with a review of each from hopeful runners around the world. The entry was year taking place days after the event. Detailed planning limited to 18,059. begins in February with site surveys and planning The race has grown in size, stature and popularity meetings scheduled up until the week of the race.” ever since. Now established among the major events in Livermore reveals that this year’s coverage saw 48 the sporting calendar, the London Marathon is shown cameras being employed, including a high motion on television in nearly 200 countries around the world. radio camera, super slo cameras, and those mounted on Over one million runners have completed the London helicopters and bikes — as well as regular fixed-position Marathon, while a record 39,140 people finished in 2016. cameras. “On the bikes, we use Sony HDW790 cameras Directing the coverage for the BBC is series producer with Canon HJ15ex8.5BKRSE-V lenses.” This is a 15x Micky Payne who has worked on the event for about zoom lens with a built-in optical image stabilisation 15 years. “This is really six outside broadcasts, with system that intercepts light ray disturbances that occur individual trucks at the start in Greenwich, at the Cutty due to vibration or jolt to the lens-camera system and Sark, Canary Wharf, Tower Bridge, Blackfriars and the corrects the deviations in real-time. finish near Buckingham Palace. Each has its own director A number of innovations have been introduced over and producer, and in some cases in-vision reporters.” the years to boost the coverage. “Perhaps one of the



Delivering Excellence…

CTV Outside Broadcasts Ltd - 3 The Merlin Centre, Lancaster Road, High Wycombe, HP12 3QL Adam Berger: / Bill Morris: / / 020 8453 8989 / Photo credits: Boat Race: Duncan Grove/Alamy Stock Photo. Badminton Horse Trials: Sandra Mailer/REX/Shutterstock. Brit Awards: David Fisher/REX/Shutterstock Open Golf Championship: Mark Newcombe/REX/Shutterstock. BAFTA Awards: BAFTA/Richard Kendal. Remembrance Service: Ray Tang/REX/Shutterstock London Marathon: Ian Davidson/Alamy Stock Photo. Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show: WENN Ltd/Alamy Stock Photo. Cricket: Pakistan Tour of England: Matt West/BPI/REX/Shutterstock




Overseeing the coverage from the main scanner near Buckingham Palace

greatest has been the enhanced radio camera coverage,” states Livermore. “In previous years, the race order had sometimes changed while the competitors were in the underpasses or under bridges in the Blackfriars area of the capital. Because of the problems getting a signal from those confined areas, no one watching was aware of those order changes until the runners emerged from the enclosed areas. We wanted to overcome that situation.” RF designed the switching and receiver setup so that there is no visible shift between the terrestrial and airborne receivers. Nick Fuller, the technical project

London Marathon 2017

manager at Broadcast RF explains, “Last year, as a test we demonstrated a ‘ground based’ receive facility for the links from the five camera bikes, along the last few miles of the course. This was a great success, providing uninterrupted overage for the vital few miles, where the last chance for any challenge to the lead runners will happen. It meant us negotiating permissions for a couple of building rooftop receive positions and then creating the ability to link these together with the final receive position at the finish line, OB vehicles. This meant we provided a seamless switch between the bike pictures linked via the aeroplane and those received on our ground based system.” That plane is based in Calais and relayed the motorbike and helicopter images for the majority of the day. Eventually the helicopters were close enough to Canada Gate for their signals to be received by the 70m crane stationed in the TV compound. Broadcast RF also provided all the mobile camera bikes, the two helicopter cameras and a number of hand-held RF cameras at the various OB locations along the route.

Innovative solutions

Getting close up and personal on two wheels 46

Livermore reports that other specialised camera systems were provided by Aerial Camera Systems. “CTV has worked in very close cooperation with ACS and Broadcast RF in order to bring together the highest level of expertise that has resulted in the innovative solutions for the marathon over the last three years.” He goes on: “We introduced a small remote control Kart along Birdcage walk. The ACS Kartcam has a stabilised head fitted with a P1 camera and RF link, providing a brand-new perspective of the runners as they approached the finish. A low angle shot, parallel with the runners gives an indication of their speed as they complete the race.” This year, a Superloupe High Motion Radio Camera was placed at the Tower Bridge OB. This allowed a roaming radio camera to feed high motion images to the OB truck, for replays and close up footage. “It gave great shots, including detail of vast footfall, and strained faces as the masses crossed the bridge!” Matt Coyde from ACS adds: “We also positioned a 100-metre Railcam with HD Cineflex V14 on the home straight and an ACS SMARThead at the finish line to provide enhanced coverage of this key area of the race.” EUROPE SportTechJOURNAL AUTUMN 2017







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Sky’s Women in Sport initiative to the fore at Joshua vs Klitschko fight BY DAVID FOX


raditionally. sports broadcasting has been dominated by men, and some sports, such as boxing, have been real male preserves — both in and outside the ring. However, in the same way that women boxers such as Katie Taylor and Nicola Adams now draw considerable crowds, women are also coming to the fore in even the most ‘macho’ areas of TV sports. One of the broadcasters leading the way is Sky Sports, which now has more women in its boxing production team than men, including its lead boxing director, Sara Chenery, and production manager, Jennie Blackmore, who took charge of last weekend’s Anthony Joshua vs Vladimir Klitschko heavyweight world championship event at Wembley Stadium. Sky has both Women in Sport and Women in Leadership initiatives to make sure that women get the same opportunities to be interviewed for senior roles as men, so that they don’t feel there is any position that they can’t go for because of their gender. “There’s a very conscious effort as a company for us to make sure that everyone has the same opportunities regardless of anything, as long as they’ve got the same experience and 48

Heavyweight World Title From Wembley

the same qualities that fit the actual job description,” explained Chenery. In its boxing team there are women at all levels, from the boxing co-ordinator/floor manager, who is a boxer’s main contact with the broadcaster, to the assistant producer/reporter, to the presenter. “Out of all the sports teams at Sky we think, percentage-wise, we probably have the most female members of the team,” said Blackmore. “The sport itself is very macho, sexist, however you want to look at it, but things are changing everywhere, thankfully for the better,” said Chenery. “I have worked on boxing since 1996 so I came up when there weren’t many women here.” Chenery is involved with the Women in Leadership initiative, and makes a conscious effort to make sure that runners coming through or other junior female team members now know that they will get the same opportunities as a man, and is finding that the thought that being a woman might hold them back doesn’t even cross their minds.“That’s when you know you’ve won.” The proportion of women in all the jobs in Sky Sports is increasing, and even unconscious bias in boxing is declining. “Now I feel as valued as if I were a man doing the same job. It was tricky for a few years, but I think you know as you do a good job and you’re very firm about what your expectations are and you deliver on what their expectations are of you, whether it be promoters or other television providers, then there’s never any confusion,” she said. “Occasionally, when foreign broadcasters come in who perhaps have a different structure where they are and it’s a male sport and more men do it, they’ll be quite surprised when they meet with Jenny and I as to what our roles EUROPE SportTechJOURNAL AUTUMN 2017

Heavyweight World Title From Wembley


are and what our responsibilities are, but it will just be genuine surprise […] because it’s not what they’re used to; but it’s not an offensive thing.”

Tech side transition

Any bias has not just been confined to the sport, because the technology side of TV has also traditionally been a male bastion. “When I first started production managing — I’ve worked for Sunset+Vine, Setanta and other companies — the production manager, if you’re a female, was mostly seen Anthony Joshua addresses the adoring Wembley fans after his victory over Wladimir Klitschko to do just the logistics side, and I think Sky is one of the only companies really where production managers are men, so when they have production managers do logistics and technology,” said meetings like a recent one in Wembley with broadcasters, Chenery. “Effectively combining a production manager promoters, set up and construction crew — where there role with a technical manager’s role and we have got quite were 100 to 120 people in the room — only a handful a lot of female production managers now.” were women (most of whom were Wembley logistics At many of the foreign broadcasters she deals with, staff), with Blackmore and Chenery being the only particularly in America and Germany, most of the females on the broadcast side.




Taking the lead in boxing coverage: Jennie Blackmore and Sara Chenery at Sky’s Osterley campus

“There is still a majority of men in our positions in broadcasting, but like Sara said at Sky that is absolutely changing,” said Blackmore. “There are a lot of women coming through in both our positions and other positions in the production teams.” Having worked at Sky for 25 years, Chenery has seen


Heavyweight World Title From Wembley

massive changes, and one question she’s been asked is: “‘What would your advice be to a young woman starting to work at Sky?’ and I just said to them ‘exactly the same as it would be to a young man who came and asked me for advice’; and that’s the point,” she said. “You have to be mindful of it as a company because you need to work out why aren’t there women in these positions, but you can’t suddenly start just creating a special treatment for anybody regardless,” she added. “You can’t shoehorn women into positions that they don’t want,” interjected Blackmore.“You have to have the right credentials for what you do, and there’s no point trying to create equal ratios for the sake of it. You choose the best people for those jobs and you put people in the right positions.” Chenery likes that the mindset at Sky comes right from the top, namely CEO Jeremy Darroch. “He’s very conscious of making sure that where people have got disabilities, or because of gender, or whatever, that everybody just gets judged on what they do, and I think if that message is getting through to me and Jenny and filtering down to everybody else, then you know the only reason you’ve got to moan for not getting a promotion or getting the job you want is because you’re not good enough to do it.”


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European Rugby Finals Murrayfield

Live from Edinburgh: European Rugby finals coverage BY MICHAEL BURNS


t’s four hours before kickoff at Murrayfield and the dressing room benches are lined with attentive faces. There might be some anxious expressions among the Stade Français Paris team, but it’s probably not regarding the question about postmatch DVD operations. Apart from a quick discussion (and equally quick decision by Sky Sports) regarding team on-screen graphics at half-time, this pre-match broadcaster meeting for the European Rugby Challenge Cup Final seems to be running very smoothly. The match on Friday 12 May represents the fourth meeting between Stade Français Paris and Gloucester Rugby, and the eighth Anglo French final in the Challenge Cup. Gloucester (the Cherry and Whites) have won 10 of their last 11 games against Top 14 opposition in the Challenge Cup, and they’re riding high, having taken the title twice before. This will be Stade’s fifth European final, but they’re still striving for that elusive first trophy. It’s also the first time that Sky Sports has been Host Broadcaster for the EPCR finals (European Challenge 52

Cup and European Champions Cup), with BT Sport, beIN Sports and FR4 onsite as Additional Broadcasters (AB). Sky Sports production manager, Joff White, however seems to have everything under control. “I’ve been working on rugby, and specifically looking after the European tournaments, for two years,” he explains. “This is the second time I’ve done a final and the first time that Sky have had this as host broadcaster.” Sky covered the Challenge Cup in Lyon last year as an AB to France Télévisions. “Now we are supplying the unilateral feed, as well as the multilateral feed with 25 cameras,” says White. “We can cover the event in an interesting way for all the additional broadcasters, and for all our own presentation as well.”

On the field of play

As seems often to be the case in Scotland, early May has been warm, bright and dry. Today, however, has decided to be rather overcast, as we follow White around Murrayfield on his last minute checks of the production areas, EUROPE SportTechJOURNAL AUTUMN 2017

European Rugby Finals Murrayfield

including the broadcast compound. This is positioned at the south entrance to the stadium, with a host of OB trucks and support vehicles lined up in preparation for the event. There’s a crop of familiar broadcast names and logos on vans around the massive Arena truck that’s the centrepiece of the Sky Sports production. This is OBY, Arena’s latest mobile powerhouse scanner. “It’s a full IP truck, and has only been on the road for nine months,” says White. “It was brand new for our use for the season. It’s been great having a dedicated truck for the rugby on Sky Sports. Unlike a football production, we produce both our multilateral and unilateral feeds out of the one truck.” Chris Ryan, OB unit manager from Arena, and very much a key component in this production, is on hand to discuss how it all works. “We built the first IP-based truck,” he begins. “All the video signals in the truck are network signals, rather than a baseband video signal. It was the first in the world to do so. This is the second version of that truck, with a third in development as well. It allows us to move into 4K much more easily.” While OBY is a 4K capable truck, the format on the day is all HD, but that’s not to say this is a scaled down operation. The final calls for more lenses than Sky would normally use on a round of this European tournament.



“We’ve added extra cameras,” says White. “We’ve got one Grass Valley LDX86 ExtremeSpeed camera, which is obviously very high speed and then we’ve got lots of ‘bimotion’ cameras as well, [namely the Sony HDC2500]. So there are lots and lots of replay opportunities for high quality slow motion. “We’ve added more minicams — some are in the coaches’ boxes — and we’ve got mini-cams in the dressing rooms,” he continues. “We’ve also got a spider cam, which will get lots of use around the entertainment elements of the teams coming out, and at half-time to give a bit of colour. “It’s also being used in-game as well, used for live and replays for things like conversions, where you’re able to get an angle that you can’t get with a conventional camera,” White explains. “We also have a jib that’s doing our presentation, but will also do match coverage. The jib is at the goal on one side, so that gives a lot of interesting crowd and interesting replay shots, as well as live shots.” Also on the field are three radio cameras, one of which is a steadicam.“Of course, the more cameras you add, the more other equipment you need to support them, such as replay machines,” says White. “We have got eight EVS machines in the truck and all the remote cameras operate from there as well.”



European Rugby Finals Murrayfield

Sky Sports production manager Joff White (L) and Arena OB unit manager Chris Ryan in Murrayfield

Mission control

Back at the OB compound we find the Technical Operations Centre, basically a tent more or less filled with a massive 32×32 router. “Every signal that we offer up to the visiting broadcasters is available from here,” says White. “Rather than every truck company coming to our tailboard, they come to here and therefore get serviced by one specific engineer. It also puts a buffer in, so our guys can get on and work on the trucks. It’s essentially a giant rack of distribution amplifiers, with a router, and a lot of

monitoring. There’s also a UPS, so that this area doesn’t fall over for any particular reason.” “It’s handling lots of world feeds in here, as well as cameras and actually, we don’t want to be the weakest link in this chain,” adds White. “We protect it with back-up power systems, back-up amplifiers. Absolutely everything is powered from a dual power supply.We offer the highest quality and the most redundant options.” Before we go, we get a look at the audio setup. The coverage of the final is all 5.1, the standard format for all Sky broadcasts. “We supply 5.1 for the world feed as well, as required,” explains White.“Within our normal coverage, we’re using radio mics and radio in-ear receivers for our presenters and our reporters. Basically all our on-screen presentation will be done by radio link, and it’s quite interesting, that to get the required frequencies in Scotland is more difficult than it is in other parts of the UK.” Apparently this is to do with the amount of frequencies required for relaying in hillier areas. “So the bandwidth is different for different parts of the UK,” White explains. “All the frequencies outside our radio mics are all managed by OFCOM. We buy a license from them, and they allocate the frequencies. We have everything we need, as have all the other broadcasters.”


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UEFA Champions League Final

Exterior view of National Stadium of Wales before Champions League Final, Thursday June 1

Live from Cardiff: Broadcasting the UEFA Champions League Final BY FERGAL RINGROSE


nce again Cristiano Ronaldo was the star of the show, scoring twice at the National Stadium of Wales on Saturday June 3 as Zinedine Zidane’s Real Madrid made it La Duodecima, their twelfth European Cup win. The Spanish kings are the first to retain the trophy in the Champions League era, their third win in four years. The flagship match was aired in more than 200 countries and reached an estimated 350 million viewers worldwide, with (an anticipated) average live match viewership of 160 million. It was estimated that 170,000 people came to Cardiff to enjoy the match or experience the atmosphere on Saturday. 12,000 accredited staff worked at the event. The National Stadium of Wales had a 66,000 net capacity for the final, with the retractable roof closed following a decision by the Football Association of Wales taking into consideration recommendations made by the 56

authorities over the last few weeks. 1,800 staff from host broadcaster BT Sport and other UCL UEFA Champions League Broadcast Partners were on-site for the final, with approximately 370 working staff from the Local Organising Committee (LOC), UEFA TV Production and T.E.A.M Marketing also on the ground — plus around 1,000 volunteers. BT Sport’s feed was taken by over 200 UEFA Broadcast Partners worldwide. For the host production, directed by BT Sport’s Jamie Oakford, there were 47 cameras in operation for multilateral coverage, with Spidercam, steadicams, super slow-motion cameras, ultra-motion cameras and a helicopter camera bringing fans closer to the action. BT Sport provided the multilateral feed and UEFA Broadcast Partners were able to customise their unilateral coverage, using facilities constructed and delivered by the UEFA TV Production team. There were 131 commentary positions in the stadium, as well as 17 pitch-presentation positions, 10 pitch-view studios and 14 flash positions for interviews after the final whistle. Broadcasters taking pitch-view studios in the stadium were Antena 3, BT Sport, ESPN Latin America, Esporte Interativo, beIN Sports MENA, beIN Sports Spain, Mediaset, Fox Sports USA, TRT Turkey, TRT Turkey and ITI Poland. Twenty-five 4K UHD cameras were in action for the separate Ultra HD production, under the supervision of EUROPE SportTechJOURNAL AUTUMN 2017

UEFA Champions League Final

Séan Hughes, BT Sport’s dedicated 4K director. The cameras alone required 25km of cabling. Visiting broadcasters and OB providers set up in the 11,000 square metre TV compound on the pitch of Cardiff Arms Park, home to the Cardiff Blues rugby team, which backs right onto the National Stadium of Wales.

New era for live virtual reality production

In a major development, virtual reality became an integral part of the overall production operation in the TV compound in Cardiff. Across the past two years, over 50 matches have been covered in 360°, delivering more than 300 hours of live streaming and video clip footage. In Cardiff, 360° and 180° camera feeds were delivered to the dedicated UEFA virtual reality van for stitching, encoding, live transmission and clipping. A livestream, or near-live clips, were then made available on Livex, UEFA’s content distribution platform. UEFA and BT Sport deployed 12 cameras for live match coverage, including eleven 360° cameras and one static 180° camera on the gantry. In addition, two ENG cameras covered pre-match, MD-1 and other activities. Various live video streams were available, including five 360° iso camera streams, one 180° iso camera stream, and one curated feed produced from all eleven 360° cameras.


With the introduction of a 360° virtual reality live production, broadcasters around the world, including BT Sport, had the opportunity to show audiences the UEFA Champions League final experience. Twelve cameras captured images and audio, allowing viewers using a mobile, tablet or VR headset to feel as though they were in the stadium. UEFA delivered 360° VR clips of the opening ceremony featuring Black Eyed Peas, players in the tunnel and the winners on the podium for the trophy lift. BT Sport launched a VR experience in the UK for its customers, and Sony, in conjunction with selected UEFA broadcast partners, also developed a Cardiff VR experience for PlayStation. In addition, audiences were able to watch the match in 360° with UEFA and BT Sport providing a dedicated feed, with graphics and replays, using cameras positioned behind the goals, next to the benches and up in the stands. UEFA’s TV Production team, working with partner BT Sport and supplier deltatre, had tested camera positions and workflows at 16 matches and other UEFA events this season to prepare for the final. UEFA Senior Digital Broadcasting Manager Olivier Gaches told SVG Europe, “We have twelve 360° cameras, two ENG 360° cameras and one 180° camera. Each of the

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UEFA Champions League Final

UEFA Broadcast Partner personnel conduct pitch-side stand-ups as the Juventus team warms up on the pitch, June 2

“I think that’s our way forward next year: onetruck production with 4K and maybe HDR” MARKUS HÖVEL

cameras has eight lenses, stitched together in order to create a panoramic view. “We’ve put into production these twelve cameras that are going to do live 360°, and out of that we are going to offer five iso 360° streams to broadcast partners plus one curated feed, meaning directed feed, with cuts, graphics, commentator, plus one 180° camera. That will enable them to power their VR strategies. This initiative is from BT Sport and UEFA. We have two UEFA VR units here, powered by deltatre, with BT Sport is directing the curated feed,” said Gaches.

Television production operations in Cardiff

As at all UEFA finals, a number of key TV Production staff were on hand to oversee the multilateral production and manage UEFA’s on-site content and digital requirements — including TV Match Operations Senior Manager Markus Hövel. Speaking to SVG Europe on Match Day-2 Hövel said, “The outcome here is really positive. We knew the city; we conducted the Super Cup here two years ago in Cardiff City Stadium. We knew there were issues with parking space for trucks — but the LOC offered us Cardiff Arms Park, the smaller stadium next door, for the TV compound, which was a huge help. “In the past whilst UEFA provided all of the in-stadium TV facilities, broadcasters would still arrive with their own trucks then rig their own cables and set up their own equipment. But with everyone arriving, as you know, on 58

UEFA TV Match Operations Senior Manager Markus Hövel in the stadium, June 2

match day 3 and match day 2, the pressure is very intense. It’s a big risk with everyone working at the same time so close to the final itself. “Now, UEFA centrally coordinates selected services and offers them to broadcasters — including the Technical Operations Centre (TOC), iso feeds, power supply to the compound and to all the other TV positions inside the stadium and pre-cabling using fibre connections within the stadium. So the big broadcast partners who traditionally arrived with a lot of facilities can cut down and use our infrastructure. It makes perfect sense,” said Hövel. EUROPE SportTechJOURNAL AUTUMN 2017

UEFA Champions League Final


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View of trucks parked in the TV Compound on the Cardiff Arms Park pitch, June 2

“BT Sport produces the world feed and we deliver the other services and facilities, working with various suppliers. Our provider [Mahlzeit] has upgraded the cabling in the stadium, for example, but we will leave it here afterwards, so the stadium and Football Association of Wales can use it for future matches. Obviously, for UEFA, yes it costs us money to upgrade venues but in

UEFA Champions League Final

the long term we can come back and use the facilities again. And it’s also UEFA’s role as a federation to continue to work with local football federations to upgrade their facilities and continue to improve the level of service they can offer to all our stakeholders, including broadcasters. “BT Sport is producing the world feed, HD and 4K. The 4K UHD is a joint production, between UEFA and BT, with director Séan Hughes. It is a separate production probably for the last time, because we will go to a one-truck solution like HBS does for CONCACAF and the World Cup. I think that’s our way forward next year, a one-truck solution with 4K and maybe HDR — not separate productions with separate directors,” he said. “We haven’t added any new camera systems for the HD coverage this year. For 4K we have 12 dedicated cameras, some of them upgraded. It’s a big 4K camera plan. The world feed production and 4K production are from Telegenic trucks, and the opening ceremony truck, with director Simon Hughes, is Timeline’s UHD1. “BT Sport decided they would have a separate director; in the past sometimes it was the same regie, i.e. the same truck only with two directors quickly swapping. This time we have two trucks: BT Sport is focusing on the match and the warm-up, and Simon steps in with the other truck for the opening ceremony coverage,” said Hövel.













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SportTech 2017 The Emirates

A large crowd of over 260 attended SVG Europe’s SportTech 2017 event at Emirates Stadium Wednesday June 7

SportTech 2017: Timeline for IP as new UHD2 truck is unveiled BY DAVID FOX


uilt on a 16.5 metre triple expanding trailer, Timeline Television’s new UHD2 provides fully uncompressed IP capability for broadcasters. Billed as ‘one of the most powerful OB vehicles in any European fleet’, UHD2 was not only on display and open for visitors at the Emirates Stadium, but it also formed the basis of a session of Sporttech 2017. Moderated by SVG Editor David Davies, the panel comprised Dan McDonnell, Timeline Television’s Owner and Director, plus some of the key figures involved in the development of the truck; Tim Felstead, Head of Product Marketing at Snell Advanced Media (SAM), Thierry Pauwels, EVS Senior Product Manager and Peter Schut, CEO at Axon. 62

“We originally built a UHD truck in 2105 — Europe’s first purpose-built 4K UHD OB truck, to support BT Sport’s 4K UHD channel,” reported McDonnell. “That was based on SDI. Then we set ourselves the target to build a large scale 4K OB truck in 2017. The specification called for 32 cabled Sony 4300 4K cameras, 14 HD or UHD servers — so in the EVS world that’s three in, one out in 4K — and 20 UHD external sources. That led us to need a matrix of close to 2000 squared. The size and cost of a traditional 2000-squared SDI router is obviously very large, and would be impossible to fit it in an OB truck. So, we quickly came to the conclusion that we wanted to go IP.” At the start of 2017, SMPTE 2110 was being adopted EUROPE SportTechJOURNAL AUTUMN 2017


SportTech 2017 The Emirates

Timeline truck panel (L/R): Tim Felstead, Thierry Pauwels, Peter Schut, David Davies and Dan McDonnell (standing)

and it was agreed that UHD2 would be based on that standard. McDonnell said the decision would allow the use of a 3G SDI/4K video signal that could be split it into different streams. “So, you get video streams, the audio steams and the data. We can then subscribe to these individual streams, so that an endpoint, such as a replay server could subscribe to camera one video, or an audio independently. Every endpoint on the system is an embedder and every originating point is a de-embedder.” McDonnell said that Timeline chose the Arista 7504 as the core switch for the vehicle. “It is essentially a

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4000-squared switch in the 3G domain. Each port is 100GB — and we call it non-blocking. The key is that every single port can switch any single source to it. That is the same philosophy as a standard 1000 squared router — but in IP. We can switch any input to every output. So, the switch is at the core of the solution and has replaced the SDI router.” The control of that switcher is handled by a SAM system.“Actually, control is not exactly what we are doing,” explained McDonnell.“With that same system, we control the end points, so if the EVS wants to control camera one,

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“We can switch any input to every output. The switch is at the core and has replaced the SDI router” DAN MCDONNELL, TIMELINE TV



SportTech 2017 The Emirates

SportTech 2017 delegates had the opportunity to look around Timeline TV’s new UHD2 truck

the EVS has to be told to subscribe to the IP address of that camera. The SAM controller knows the multicast IP addresses of all the sources and destinations. Those switches happen at the speed of light — or the speed of

a packets — so there is no delay between requesting a switch and it occurring.” Obviously, there is native IP equipment that can connect to the switcher without any conversion. The first instance of that connectivity is the SAM Kahuna vision mixer. Timeline originally put a SAM Kahuna 9600 in to the UHD1 truck and, said McDonnell, it has become a standard 4K mixer that allows a fusion of UHD and HD sources. “We can mix and match fins in the mixer, so for some sources you can work in SDI if you wish or have all IP fins. And we can work in Standard Dynamic Range (SDR) and we can work with High Dynamic Range (HDR) within the same mixer.” The truck has two IP Kahuna mixers so SDR/HDR operations can be kept separate. The source from the camera is converted to IP and is routed to both mixers. When the director presses a button on the control surface


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it sends each HDR source to the same destination as SDR. Another native IP piece of equipment is the 48 input/12 output SAM Multiviewer fitted with a 100GB interface. “Plugging two 100GB boards into the multiviewer gives you all the connectivity.” McDonnell continued, “We are going to need SDI for some time to come. The tailboard of the truck is fitted with 160 SDI inputs and outputs that need to be converted to the IP world. The equipment we have chosen to do that operation is the SAM Mix Card which routes on a 25G interface.”

Looking at roadmaps

McDonnell explained that the Sony 4300 camera was the choice for UHD2, although this is not native IP.“We come out of the PPU in 4K HDR, 4K SDR on 1080p or 1080i, and all of those signals go into a mix card and are converted to IP. We can then, throughout the truck, route to monitors, to mixers.” He said that the Sony roadmap calls for the adoption of the 25GB SMPTE 2110 interface in 2018. When that happens, Timeline will be able to go IP from the camera into the router and include all the feeds on one or two cables. “At that time, we will be able to remove some of the mix cards out of the truck which, because of the way

SportTech 2017 The Emirates

it is built and there isn’t this central point anymore, will be fairly easy.” The truck is wired for 12 XT4K replay servers. Again, the SAM Mix Card is the bridge between the SDI output of the EVS to the IP world. Another two servers are used for archive recording. “Obviously, audio is an important part of the production, and we have fitted a Calrec Apollo 56 fader. That interfaces to the IP world are through MADI from the sound desk. “If say, an EVS, wants to subscribe to camera one, it can subscribe to that IP address. If it then wants audio from the sound desk, it can subscribe to the address of the MADI stream and get whatever audio is required.” McDonnell was asked if it had been a conscious decision for Timeline to be at the forefront of IP developments. “More and more I wanted to build a large OB truck, and we could have gone down the SDI route.You can just about squeeze a large truck into SDI. We thought we would have launched a truck that had a 10-year life. With the IP infrastructure, there is a lot of expandability. Not only that, we are in a position to build with new technology, changing resolutions, changing formats, it will still be native to the IP. UHD2 was born out of wanting a flexible system.”




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British & Irish Lions Tour to New Zealand

Sky Sport’s crew in New Zealand included (left to right): Andy Williams, Audio Supervisor, OSB; Mark Ledwidge, Sound Mixer, Sky Sports; Bjorn Reymer, OSB Guarantee; Rob MacDonald, OSB Comms Engineer; Gordon Roxburgh, Technical Manager, Sky Sports; Mary Graham, Commentary Guarantee; Adam Dransfield, Presentation Guarantee; and George Griffiths, Production Manager, Sky Sports

Live with the British & Irish Lions: Remote production at light speed BY DAVID FOX


here are few places more distant on the planet from London than New Zealand, so doing a remote production from there really tests the concept. Thankfully, the speed of light is such that following the British and Irish Lions as they took on the All Blacks on the other side of the world proved less daunting than initially expected. However, it took a lot of planning by the team from Sky Sports to make it so. “Once the decision was made to make it a remote production our aim was to make sure it had a positive 68

effect on the viewer’s experience,” said Sky Sports’ match director, Sam Foskett. “In fact, working remotely has enabled us to use new technology to enhance our coverage,” in comparison to the Lions’ Australia tour in 2013. This has included using Mobile Viewpoint bonded cellular kits to receive live feeds from outside the stadiums, a Blackmagic Videohub to receive multiple feeds from the host broadcaster, Sky New Zealand, including their drone, hi-mo and changing room cameras, and the TOG analysis tool from the gallery in Sky Studios. EUROPE SportTechJOURNAL AUTUMN 2017


British & Irish Lions Tour to New Zealand

Going remote has also had a positive effect on the production team’s experience. “It appears more relaxed than an OB truck you step into in a car park somewhere,” said Phil Marshall, Sky Sport’s Head of In House Production. They began planning the Lions Tour more than a year ago, with site surveys of the venues. “We established early on that the fibre infrastructure was there in order to facilitate our requirements. OSB in Auckland were booked to handle our local truck and crewing requirements,” said Sky Sports’ Production Manager, George Griffiths. Although the tour involved ten matches in total, the first five were less remote than the concluding games, in that the presentation was also in London, taking the world feed from Sky New Zealand, with the unilateral content delivered via Mobile Viewpoint and commentary on VoIP.“We had confidence that we could deliver quality production critical content over a good 20Mbps internet circuit,” he said. However, for games 6-10 the main presenters and analysts were at the match venues in Hamilton, Eden Park in Auckland (for two games) and in Wellington (also for two games). “We up scaled to OSB’s HD5 unit [from its small HD6 van] and deployed four cameras including a


radio camera,” he added. Although the director, producer, vision mixer, sound supervisor, APs and EVS remained in London, “we were joined in New Zealand by our full talent team and Gus Williamson, Head of Rugby Union.”

Network connections

Full rig and test days took place with circuits to London. “Having circuits available early in the day is very liberating in terms of testing and allowed plenty of time to iron out any problems without the restriction of set satellite times. On TX day circuits are established early and a full facs check can be undertaken with London in a timely manner. The sound desk had been pre-programmed in Auckland prior to deployment and the comms from London and local 4-wires and mixes were handled smoothly,” explained Griffiths. Montreal-based Aldea managed the end-to-end delivery over fibre from New Zealand to London, with 250Mbps of usable network capacity, working alongside local network provider Kordia. Aldea had previously delivered circuits from the Rio Olympics for Sky Sports News, and won a tender for the Lions’ Tour. “They have an engineer out here working with us. They pre-shipped their racks, which were all pre-tested at the remote venues,” said Griffiths.



British & Irish Lions Tour to New Zealand

Remote controller: Sam Foskett (left) directing in Gallery 5 at Sky’s Osterley HQ

“It is nothing short of a miracle getting everything back from the other side of the world, and the communications are so clear” ALEX JUDD, SOUND SUPERVISOR 70

The network handled ten HD vision signals out and four HD reverse feeds, with NTT MVE500 encoders in Ultra Low latency mode used for presentation and camera ISOs. “These signals were available into London in under half a second, with the biggest part of this being the speed of light of the signals from New Zealand back to the UK via North America,” said Technical Manager Gordon Roxburgh. ATEME CM5000 encoders were used for encoding the high quality host feeds and Sky ISO cameras. “Apart from the host mixed coverage feed that we wrap around, everything else is a camera ISO,” he added. A 9MHz local uplink from Kordia was provided to back up the transmission, along with the host feeds being delivered from Sky New Zealand on permanent leased lines. If the main fibre path suffered any significant outage, requiring use of the satellite feed, six 4-wires were available via the internet using SystemBase 510IP codecs. Reverse visions over the internet were provided using Fujitsu IP900 encoders/decoders with FEC and ARQ error correction. The return feeds were the programme, a switched feed for showing people content on site, graphics stats page, plus the channel TX or sports news TX (two feeds also backed up over the internet).

VoIP clearly better

Communication between the gallery in Sky Studios to talent and a local technical crew “was a major concern pre tour. However, the quality of the talkback has been very impressive, often better than on our domestic OBs. This means that pre-match meetings usually conducted in OB trucks at grounds in the UK have happened over crystal clear talkback from NZ,” said Foskett. Sixteen comms circuits for 4-wires and IFB were provided via Riedel Communications’ IPx8 VoIP units connected directly into a Riedel Artist system in London. “The comms are a crucial element of any remote production and need to be good so the director feels confident he can get his direction across both to talent, technical crew and cameras effectively. Understanding audio associations is an important part of remote production,” said Griffiths. “What helped is that the delay is very, very short — less than a second to London and back over fibre. It’s travelling at the speed of light, so delays are minimal, less even than doing a Paris to London SNG uplink. That has been an incredible benefit,” he added. The quality has also surprised him. “The clarity of the communications to and from London was exceptional. It’s unbelievably clear, with no hiss or hash.” EUROPE SportTechJOURNAL AUTUMN 2017













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Remote routing

British & Irish Lions Tour to New Zealand

“We have a very good working relationship with Sky NZ, sharing both talent and technology. So we have lots of feeds from them, including a world feed created for us free of all graphics, so we can add our own and then ten or so ISOs of their cameras. We then share our F5 hi-mo and arrivals camera with them,” said Foskett. Foskett not only directed all the pres elements, but also aspects of the match. “The Sky NZ director does the live match cut and most of the replays, but with our own two match cameras we can go to CUs of players or coaches that our commentators are talking about and/or also add occasional replays which we transition to using the Sky NZ replay move to help make the coverage seamless.” He also directs all the match graphics, “which makes the coverage look like a full Sky Sports production and means we can add graphics relevant to our British and Irish audience including individual and team stats.” Alston Elliot did all the match and pres graphics. Using a Blackmagic Design Videohub in Wellington they were able to bring in any 12 of the Sky NZ cameras at the game, as well as four Sky Sports cameras, with full control over routing from London via the network. “It thinks it’s next door, but it’s 12,000 miles away,” said Jonathan Craggs, Technical Supervisor. All the embedding is done in the output. The SWIFs (Switchable ISO Feeds) have five return lines to Osterley. The director controlled SWIF 1, the APs 2 and 3, while 4 and 5 were used for disaster recovery, with 4 holding a wide beauty shot of the

stadium. Sky Sports had previously used the Videohub for its remote production of the ATP finals at the O2 in London last November. On the desk behind the director were several EVS operators, doing all of the pres playout for the match build up, and clipping out interviews that came down the line, as well as titles and openers. “Because we’re also able to record match ISOs, we’re able to turn around match coverage and analysis,” added Marshall. The EVS operators can also switch the Videohub, to select anything for recording and replay.“It really helps the workflow,” said Marshall. When Sky did its first big remote production for the 15 days of the US Open Tennis in 2015 there were about six sources with only two lines back, and some problems keeping audio in sync.“But, we can get more pictures down the same bandwidth now,” said Craggs. “The biggest difference between the US Open and New Zealand is moving from venue to venue, so you’ve really got to work hand-inhand with that telco and delivery partner,” added Marshall.

Mixing it up

Remote production can make for complicated audio handling, essentially doing two mixes in two places, requiring measures to avoid feedback due to delays. The audio feeds were mixed by Mark Ledwidge in New Zealand for the game and presentation, and delivered along with two camera feeds with embedded reporter microphone output, while Sound Supervisor Alex Judd in London was mixing in VT inputs together

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British & Irish Lions Tour to New Zealand

with various elements of the presentation. “Doing this remotely is more of a collaboration than usual. It requires two supervisors at each end to bring it together,” said Judd. “Although the signal comes back quickly, you still have to calculate the differences,” so as not to introduce feedback in the remote studio speakers or headphones.“If someone is pitch side and they want to hear an interview that might come from me, there is a 1.5-second delay.” There are only a limited number of physical connections, with four audio streams per incoming feed (apart from the world feed, which has 5.1 effects and the in-game mix — totalling eight channels). “It is nothing short of a miracle getting everything back from the other side of the world, and the communications are so clear,” he said. Because of the delay, they can’t use open microphones in the gallery, so everyone had to wear headsets. “We’ve tried to translate everything that happens in the OB world into the remote world to keep it as clear as possible,” he added. There are 4-wire connections for production, technical, sound, floor manager and cameras, along with connections for lazy talkback for the reporter microphones. Other than having to re-set some VoIP cards or circuits there have been no difficulties. “We are backed up on the SystemBase codecs as well, but we haven’t had to use any of them. It just feels very smooth doing it this way.” The main game mix included a full mix of Sky commentators, the

Phil Marshall, Sky Sports Head of In House Production

TMO and referee, with the effects on the other feeds (a stereo pair and 5.1). “It means that instead of just taking the world feed I can mix in the TMO and ref so you can hear their decisions,” said Judd. One major change of working remotely is being able to work in “a much more friendly environment than you’d get in a truck. You can hear a bit more without having to have your volumes up higher,” he added.

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Tour de France 2017

Marcel Kittel pips Edvald Boasson Hagen on the line to take Stage 7 of the 2017 Tour de France in Nuits-Saint-Georges. Photo: Tom Woods

Live from the Tour de France: NBCSN tells story of Stage 7 BY FERGAL RINGROSE


sensational photo finish saw Marcel Kittel from Quick-Step Floors snatch victory over Dimension Data’s Edvald Boasson Hagen thanks to Kittel’s seemingly despairing lastgasp bike throw over the line on Stage 7 of the Tour de France into Nuits-Saint-George in the beautiful burgundy wine-growing region. For the hard-working NBC Sports Network production team this amazing 6mm-separation photo finish provided another dramatic story line for its unilateral coverage of the world’s greatest bike race. SVG Europe spent the Stage 7 day in the TV compound in the company of NBCSN, production and facilities company Woods Communications and OB facilities provider NEP Group, in order to gain an understanding of how one rights holder goes on air each day for what many in the business describe as ‘the toughest event in sports television’. Each day of the Tour, NBCSN takes the world feed from host broadcaster France Televisions and uses 74

isolated cameras plus produced elements to make a unique TV show. For major mountain stages NBCSN goes live for the whole day; for flat stages where there is not so much action early on, it will pick up the action perhaps 90 minutes into the day’s race. In addition to the play by play race commentary team of Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen, NBCSN also has a studio commentary team comprising Host Paul Burmeister with Analysts Bob Roll and Christian Vandevelde, from a dedicated purpose-built threecamera two-sided studio truck provided by Woods Communications in partnership with Dutch company Event Rent. The on-air commentary team also includes Finish-Line Analyst Jens Voigt and moto-mounted Commentator-Analyst Steve Porino. In the production truck, Coordinating Producer David Michaels, Director Kelly Atkinson and Live Producer Joel Felicio and their team blend race commentary and studio inserts with pre-race interviews recorded on the start line from NBC’s camera team and uplink, a EUROPE SportTechJOURNAL AUTUMN 2017

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Tour de France 2017

Lunchtime on Tour: (L/R) NBCSN Director Kelly Atkinson; Woods Communications Director of Production Operations Anne Rapoport; and NBCSN Coordinating Producer David Michaels

dedicated camera at the finish line and its own graphics with data supplied by SMT to produce an ‘Americanstyle’ live sports version of the Stage. Once the race is run, the studio team takes over for a one-hour post-race show close to the finish line, bringing in racing team directors to provide perspective on that day’s events. Digital platform NBC Sports Gold

also streams the Stage in its entirety each day, from the France Televisions world feed. The production truck is NEP Belgium’s Unit 15, housing Sony MVS7000 switcher, Lawo VSM control, Lawo MC2 66 audio console, Belden GVG NVision router, ChyronHego graphics, Riedel Artist intercom and Axon glue. The cameras are a mix of GVG and Sony, with a Vislink 4away ENG HF system, Panasonic Hothead beauty camera and Marshall CV500 mini ‘spy’ camera. Driving the production are EVS XT3s, Sony XDCAM and HDCAM VTRs, alongside three Avid Media Composer edit stations (in a separate NEP truck) and three NEXIS servers with Avid ISIS5000 storage, all working with EVS IP Director. “I have been in this business all my life, and I could look at anything I’ve done — any Olympics, any large event — and there is absolutely nothing like this,” said Coordinating Producer David Michaels.“It’s the craziest.



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“I could look at anything I’ve done — any Olympics, any large event — and there is absolutely nothing like this. It’s the craziest” DAVID MICHAELS, COORDINATING PRODUCER, NBCSN


Look around the compound here: in probably 16 hours there will be no sign of any of this. Everything moves: every cable, every bit of fibre needs to be reassigned and plugged in every day. It’s like loading a big ferry boat. “One of our priorities is to ensure that our studio has a nice backdrop every day. Kelly is involved on a daily basis on where to put the truck and where to orient it, and how to reconcile that with how close it is to the finish line,” said Michaels. “Today you can see how far we are from the finish line, so this is a challenge for our guys making those cable runs,” added Director Kelly Atkinson. “Sometimes we’re on the air for an hour before we ever go to the host feed,” said Michaels. “Sometimes we may be telling a story of a particular rider and we have isos of some of the motos and helicopters so Kelly can follow the story and we can do more of our own thing. We can box up our interviews from each morning and it’s very much an American-flavoured show.” “There’s nothing else like the Tour de France,” said Tom Woods.“Our partnership with NEP has been really good. To be honest we were a little apprehensive, with this huge company coming in, that it would be just one more job for them: but they have been terrific. Everyone has to work together: David and Kelly, Joel and the

Tour de France 2017

entire NBC team, Brian Clark from NEP Major Projects, the catering guys — everyone is in it together because there’s no other way to get it done. That’s what’s unique about the Tour, that integration between all the players, the host broadcaster, the clients, event organisers — and the guys pulling cables at six o’clock in the morning.” “There’s so much coordination between everything on this event that you can’t isolate one area; it all overlaps,” added Woods Communications’ Director of Production Operations, Anne Rapoport. “Another big component is the liaison with the organiser ASO and host broadcaster France Televisions; that’s big because the daily constraints are huge depending on where the stage finish occurs. “If we have a mountain-top finish where the compound is going to be down the mountain we jump in to work with ASO as to how we’re going to get all the iso feeds we need and our uplink at the top so we can still put our NBC analyst Jens Voight on the finishline. On another stage we need to drive our vehicles to the top and they have a shuttle system organised for all the media, and we don’t want that and so we start negotiating. It’s very hard to separate all the things we do here — and I think that’s particular to this unique event,” said Rapoport.






The British Open, Royal Birkdale


The British Open, Royal Birkdale


Live from The Open: CTV OB takes next step in golf workflows BY KEN KERSCHBAUMER


he 146th Open Championship is underway at Royal Birkdale in England, and this year’s production efforts build off last year’s efforts at Royal Troon as it was only a year ago that European Tour Productions (ETP) took over host production duties and NBC and Sky Sports took over US and domestic UK broadcast rights respectively from ESPN and the BBC. The efforts of all involved last year required everyone to move more quickly as there were only six months to prepare from the time the rights and duties, changed hands to tee off. “This year’s planning went smoother as we had done it once with all the new parties,” said Hamish Greig, CTV OB, technical director. “ETP, NBC, and Sky each knew what they wanted and we were able to get rid of 2016 bottlenecks and have normal site surveys in October and


April. Last year we could only do it in December.” This year’s production will make use of 178 cameras, 27 of which are RF. One addition this year are three POV cameras located on the player’s bridge to show them walking from the practice green to the first tee. There are also 10 bunker cameras (six on course, three at the practice range, and one in a bunker at the putting green), five railcams, three Inertia Unlimited Xmos, and a CAMCAT Colibri which is used at the range. The team at CTV OB was also able to solve some bottlenecks that existed last year. Workflows have been improved and the newly expanded Technical Operations Signal Circuit Allocation (TOSCA) area exemplifies those improvements. Last year’s TOSCA fit in a small cabin and consisted of two Snell Sirius 800 routing switchers (each backing up the other), 84 Evertz multiviewers, and more 81


Hamish Greig, CTV OB, technical director, says the second year of working with Sky Sports and NBC has gone smoothly

“I am incredibly proud of my team who have delivered outstanding facilities from a lumpy field in Southport” HAMISH GREIG, TECHNICAL DIRECTOR, CTV OB


than 300 AD/DA converters. “This year we built an 18×8-metre building instead of a cabin and it also includes quality control and media management, has the EVS servers, and an extra technical operations centre,” said Greig. “There is also a third 288×516 Snell Cygnus router for Sky, TV Asahi, and the BBC, additional AD/DAs, and an Axon Cerebrum control system and ProBel Aurora control systems.” At the core of the production facilities is a broadcast centre that is home to both the world feed production and NBC’s production. The world feed is produced out of a main production gallery, a main submix, and a

The British Open, Royal Birkdale

super-iso/replay room. The NBC Sports area includes a main production gallery, iso/replay gallery, and two audio-mix areas with one for the early morning coverage from 6:30-to-noon and then a second for coverage from noon onwards. The team in the super-iso room is one of the most important in the compound, ensuring that the main production gallery never misses a shot on a green and more via three eight-channel EVS XT3 replay servers (a total of 38 eight-channel EVS XT3 servers and two 12 channel XT3 servers are in use across the compound by various entities). The super-iso team also keeps an eye on the majority of the players on the course so that the main production gallery can zero in on those at the top of the leaderboard. Next door to the super-iso/replay area is the main replay-submix area with two directors and four EVS operators creating features and additional replay packages via four eight-channel EVS XT3 replay servers. The teams in both iso-relay areas work hard to ensure that all the storylines on the course are covered properly. The third component in the broadcast centre is the main production gallery, featuring a Grass Valley Kayenne production switcher with five mix effects and 10 DPMs. The large broadcast centre and TOSCA area are


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The British Open, Royal Birkdale

complemented by approximately 23 production vehicles, including OB 1, 3, 6, 7, 9, 10, and 14 and related support vehicles. OB6 is on hand for the Sky Sports coverage of The Open Zone alongside a Telegenic 19 that is being used by Sky as its main show truck. NBC Sports is also making use of CTV OB units as OB9 handles audio communications and the audio-effects mix, the early morning EVS operations, and the vision area. CTV OB10, meanwhile, is on site for coverage of the marquee groups as well as for scoring operations and the main audio mix. The production area also serves as the ultimate backup in case of catastrophic failure in the main production centre, with 28 cameras shaded in OB10. And OB7 is handling the operation of 11 Pro Tracer units (eight on tee boxes, two on fairways, and one on a green). Telegenic’s T23 handles the audio-effects submix and houses a production area with an eight-channel EVS XT3 server for creation of 10-minute hourly highlight packages for South Africa, Australia, Korea, Japan, and Scandinavia. Aerial Camera Systems (ACS) and its fleet of specialty cameras are also handled in T23. Another change from last year is that MVT1 is now producing first and 18th hole coverage (last year it just offered up coverage of the first hole). The production team

has its own four unilateral cameras and will work out of MVT1 alongside the commentary team. And CTV’s OB3 is on hand for a similar function as it creates the threehole feed (with complete coverage of holes 12, 13 and 14) for streaming distribution. CTV’s RAT (Remote Antenna Towers) mobile unit is also onsite with two production areas: one for marqueegroup commentary and another for Hawkeye green mapping. Greig says he first saw the Hawkeye green mapping at the U.S. Open in Chambers Bay in 2015 where it was used by Fox Sports. Greig says advances have made the contour overlay much more natural and the putting line has been improved as well. MST Systems is on hand in a cabin for scoring graphics for Sky Sports and the world feed where teams make use of both ChyronHego and Vizrt graphics systems. An RF-camera cabin, meanwhile, handles all the control and transmission needs of 27 RF cameras on the course. An RF-audio cabin handles 72 channels of duplexed communications, 49 high-power radio mics, and 64 additional low power wireless mics as well as frequency coordination. “I am incredibly proud of my team who have delivered outstanding facilities from a lumpy field in Southport,” said Greig.


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Sponsor Update

2017 SPONSOR UPDATE It has been another amazing 12 months for the advancement of sports production. As IBC 2017 approached, SVG Europe spoke to its Gold, Platinum and OB/SI Sponsors to find out about their latest solutions, sports-related projects and future plans. Interviews by Ian McMurray.

808 Talent

possible services to our clients in the future,” “What was delivered at the Champions he says. “Naturally, it’s an excellent chance League Final 2017, particularly in terms of UHD, DIRECTOR to network with both existing and prospective very much shows the future direction of ACS,” 808 Talent — the story behind customers.” explains Matt Coyde, sales director at ACS. the company’s name is an “As well as this, in the past year we’ve brought Aerial Camera Systems interesting one that director out our KartCAM which has been used on MATT COYDE Ben Swanton will tell you — is a new sponsor the London Marathon, the golf, football and SALES DIRECTOR for SVG Europe. rugby. The last couple of months have seen the “We’ve made a very distinct shift in focusing If you enjoyed the aerial introduction of the ACS SMARTgrip; so far, it’s more of our efforts within the sports production coverage of the Rio Olympics, been used for the coverage of football, which markets,” says Swanton. “Our heritage has you have Aerial Camera Systems has generated a lot of interest.” been built on working with media technology (ACS) to thank. The company also supplied According to Coyde, SMARTgrip consists vendors and services providers and helping a substantial amount of specialist cameras of a SMARThead remote head system fitted them to grow their businesses globally within including tracking cameras at the athletics, with a balanced carbon fibre arm and mini the traditional broadcast and entertainment swimming and equestrian, remote heads and robotic head with Antelope PICO mini camera verticals. As these businesses have begun so on. to provide a smooth, jib-like fully remote to focus their propositions onto the sports controlled camera movement within a small markets, we have also moved with them to help footprint. them further penetrate these markets. ACS has also launched an in-house UAV “This has culminated us in widening operation, initially based around the DJI Inspire our client base to now include a number of 2 and which Coyde says is a hugely capable prominent broadcasters, sports rights holders, drone system. and federations and assisting them in their AJA Video Systems technology road maps when it comes to sports BRYCE BUTTON production,” he goes on, “and ultimately led to PRODUCT MARKETING MANAGER us wanting to join the SVG Europe fraternity as a sponsor.” In recent months, AJA According to Swanton, the past year has More recently, ACS provided a number has unveiled several new seen 808 Talent develop strong working of new cameras for BT Sport’s coverage of developments created to appeal relationships with some of the most prominent the Champions League Final in Cardiff. This to the live sports production market, including businesses in the sports production market, included live UHD aerials, remote heads fitted its new Ki Pro Ultra Plus, a multi-channel HD with new clients including IMG, NEP Visions, with Sony HDC-P43 cameras, behind the goal recorder and 4K/UltraHD/2K/HD recorder and the French Tennis Federation (FFT). tracks fitted with P43s, minicams and Polecam and player; and the FS-HDR, a 1RU rack-mount “We’ve also assisted long-standing clients Pico cameras. 4K/UltraHD/2K/HD/SD universal converter including Avid Technology and SIS LIVE in The past 12 months has also seen ACS and frame synchroniser that enables live high recruiting strategic hires for them, dedicated appointed as the specialist camera provider dynamic range (HDR) and wide colour gamut solely to developing their presence in the sports for ITV Racing, which has seen the company (WCG) conversions. media markets,” he adds. delivering new camera rigs for the coverage of Ki Pro Ultra Plus is designed for use in live Swanton is looking forward to being at the Cheltenham and The Grand National. And, as sports productions, with fibre connectivity RAI in September. previously, ACS was extensively involved in the options to support the long cable runs often “IBC is a fantastic platform for 808 Talent to Wimbledon Championships and The Open, as required in the field. With its small footprint, see the new technology trends within the sports well as providing aerials for the Confederations it also addresses common concerns facing production markets, and to understand some Cup, specialist camera facilities for the London remote production workflows such as weight, of the challenges that face both suppliers and World Athletics Championships and the space and power consumption. buyers which will enable us to provide the best Universiade Games in Taiwan. AJA believes that sports production pros




Sponsor Update

will also be excited about the company’s new FS-HDR frame synchroniser and converter which is being developed in partnership with Colorfront. “It’s effectively a Swiss Army knife for live productions, meeting any HDR and SDR conversion needs and capturing a wide dynamic range straight from a swath of popular cameras,” says Bryce Button, product marketing manager. “FS-HDR offers a range of live conversions including 4K with SDR, 4K with HDR, 4K cameras with high dynamic range to 4K HDR, conversions for HD with SDR, and HD with HDR, and even acts as a multi-channel HD frame sync and converter.” For Button and AJA, HDR has become an increasingly important consideration for live sports production professionals. “Sporting events typically occur mid to late day — a prime time for hotspots from the sun and shadows making details less visible,” he says, “which can hinder the quality of picture for audiences. A wider dynamic range provides production pros with a workaround. HDR effectively renders visuals closer to the human



vision system (HVS), which means the viewer “Fans can also experience video quality ends up with content that is more pleasing to degradation in the last mile or even in the home the eye than just 4K high resolution can deliver.” itself if there is heavy usage,” he continues. “Akamai’s Media Acceleration is designed to Akamai overcome these challenges, especially in the IAN MUNFORD last mile, ensuring fans experience nothing but DIRECTOR OF PRODUCT MARKETING, a consistent video service, faster start times, MEDIA SERVICES higher picture quality and less re-buffering. One of the challenges presented Results have shown that when using Akamai by 4K when delivering online is media acceleration, we increase the number of not only maintaining a high average bit rate fans capable of receiving HD content by 23%, and achieving a low re-buffer rate. It’s not improve start-up times by 40% whilst reducing surprising, then, that an Akamai customer — overall buffering by 24%.” using the company’s new media acceleration Media Acceleration is only one of the technology — was delighted to see a major company’s capabilities that it will be golfing event achieve an average bit rate of 13.9 demonstrating at IBC. Also on show will be Mbps and a re-buffer rate of only 0.69%. on-demand and new live workflow solutions, “Satisfying the video expectations of online highlighted by the addition of new liveOrigin sports fans is no small feat, especially when functionalities. sport is live,” says Ian Munford, director of “This service is purpose-built from the product marketing, media services at Akamai. ground up to support the rigours of 24/7 “As audiences and traffic grow — especially simulcast streaming through features such as for large global sporting events — so does accelerated ingest, low-latency, live transcoding congestion in the internet. This causes poor and DVR functionality,” explains Munford. video performance and buffering.” Akamai is also showcasing proactive



monitoring and measurement capabilities adds Coles, “both in the UK on BT Sport’s through the Akamai Broadcast Operations football coverage and further afield with Control Center and its Broadcast Operations potential projects for Fox Sports in Australia.” Support System media analytics tools, AMP VISUAL TV delivering operational insight and telemetry STÉPHANE DERY from origin to viewer providing control and SENIOR DIRECTOR BUSINESS transparency into video operations and DEVELOPMENT performance. In May, AMP VISUAL TV gained AE Graphics 97 employees and 23 sets when STUART COLES it acquired Euromedia’s studio activities, SALES DIRECTOR bringing the total number of sets the company The past year has seen AE now has in and around Paris to 43. Graphics’ first foray into the sport of rugby league, the company’s Australian office having secured a contract to deliver graphics for the country’s most popular sport on Channel Nine’s freeto-air coverage of the NRL and iconic State of Origin series. “Entering into a new sport is always challenging — and the brief was also “The deal came as a logical step in our demanding, focusing upon the introduction strategy,” says Gilles Sallé, CEO and founder of a much greater depth of live data and the of AMP VISUAL TV. “With it, we are striving to provision of AR graphics for every single consolidate our base in the French market and match,” says Stuart Coles, sales director. “AE’s pursue our international development.” software team integrated with STATS, the The company has been no less busy with NRL’s official data providers, to incorporate its sporting commitments — on behalf of official live match data into broadcasts for the Eurovision, in Pyeongchang, South Korea, for first time in the tournament’s history. From example, where a leg of the Biathlon World an AR perspective, we utilise Spidercam’s Cup was organised in March. AMP VISUAL TV Vector data to produce content, for every game deployed its RF12 flyaway pack. covered by Spidercam and, in partnership with “We had to provide the entire technical side Vizrt and their Arena product, are delivering of the TV production for the events, supplying graphics using this system for matches where four feeds,“ explains Stéphane Dery, senior Spidercam is not present.” director, business development, “and also, all Another major project AE Graphics has video and audio distribution for local rights recently completed is the ICC Champions holders. In addition, we provided technical Trophy, staged in the UK throughout June. management of the commentary positions, “Our creative and software teams produced and embed multi-lingual audio tracks into the a brand new graphics look-and-feel, which was main uplink feed. delivered across all matches by our frontline “In total,” he continues, “there were 26 operators,” explains Coles. cameras, including 13 hard cameras equipped Coles notes his clients’ increasing appetite for with long range box lenses and two robotic AR — and for remote production. He says that cameras serving two video mixers, managed by AE’s R&D team has done a sizeable amount four shading positions. Eighteen cameras were of work around the workflow of transferring located along the three kilometre race course, camera-tracking data to enable the generation with the rest located on the shooting range. An of AR content remotely. AE Graphics recently RF camera completed the set-up. All sources undertook a successful test project with a major were also routed to XT3 Channel Max slowfootball rights holder using Spidercam Vector motion servers, sourced locally from a Korean data, and completed other similarly successful rental company.” projects in India. For the Confederations Cup, AMP VISUAL “Another focus over the past year has been TV was commissioned by HBS to cover the delivery of graphics within an IP workflow,” Kazan Arena. The Millennium Signature 12 OB 88

Sponsor Update

truck was used to deploy a suite of 24 cameras for four matches, including the first semi-final. The company also supplied the RF system for all stadiums in the competition and operated the video refereeing system — something Dery believes was a world-first.

arkona technologies RAINER STURM


Earlier this year, SVG welcomed a new Gold Sponsor in the form of arkona technologies. “Our relationship with SVG Europe will help bring us as a company closer to end-users and other people envisioning the future of sports production,” enthuses CEO Rainer Sturm. Founded in 2010 by former members of Grass Valley’s video switcher engineering team in Weiterstadt, Germany, the company began development and distribution of what it intended would be best-in-class video signal processing IP-core solutions for professional applications in broadcast and the pro video business. The arkona technologies team is designing and engineering the V_line series and V_matrix platform of video, audio and networking infrastructure and processing products, which it licenses to its strategic partner Lawo. The company has had direct involvement in a number of major sporting events and tournaments, including Olympic Games and World Cup. At Euro 2016, the complete IP infrastructure was built around V_line edge devices. In addition, all of the event stadiums were equipped with V_line edge products.



Over the past year or so, Arqiva says it has seen a marked increase in sports broadcasters and agencies becoming increasingly confident in distributing live content via the internet. “Arqiva has been using the internet to distribute and contribute live video content for a number of years, both on a full-time and occasional use basis,” notes Grant Parkinson, sales manager, satellite and media. “When we first offered IP capabilities, many in the industry were sceptical as to the benefits, quality and security. Now, having sent thousands of hours of content to all parts of the world including Africa, EUROPE SportTechJOURNAL AUTUMN 2017


Sponsor Update

Kazakhstan and Jordan to name just a few, this has become standard practice for Arqiva.” Parkinson explains that Arqiva’s head-end is fully redundant with dual, independent Internet service providers, and the company’s 24/7 team monitors performance. This solution, he claims, is ideal as a cost-effective alternative to satellite and fibre, or can complement them as a backup solution. “It helps our customers try new markets with minimum commitment and they can be up-and-running in days with simple, easy to install equipment,” says Parkinson. “The point-to-point connectivity enables content to be tailored to specific markets, offering rights holders new methods of monetisation. For example, this could be the first approach to deliver HD or even UHD content to affiliates.” According to Parkinson, one of the key drivers has been the fact that the vast majority of venues now have great internet connectivity, so the company’s clients can turn up at a site, plug in the 1U box, and it will encode several video streams, encrypt them and send them back to base. Setup is achieved within a few minutes, he says. “We expect to see these services grow in the coming years,” Parkinson concludes, “with their combination of a quick and easy set up together with increased reliability.”



At the 2017 World Men’s Handball Championship in Paris, the requirement was for a completely cloud-based newsroom. The organisers turned to Newsbridge, a start-up company expert in the design and build of unique contribution and image processing solutions that allow TV channels, production houses and marketing agencies to produce content in new and exciting ways. The newsroom for the championship needed to provide a central repository for all media produced and gathered during the event from a range of sources including official photographers, the host broadcaster, or video journalists at the eight different venues. The start-up deployed Aspera’s Platform On Demand to deliver high-speed transfer to and from the cloud. “Aspera’s cloud solution enabled Newsbridge to achieve the best transfer performance EUROPE SportTechJOURNAL AUTUMN 2017

possible while simultaneously handling the peak load contributions during each game,” says Richard Heitmann, Vice President of Marketing at Aspera, an IBM Company. “It made their processing engine even faster, since it fully utilised the available bandwidth. It also provided them with very high levels of data integrity and transfer control, regardless of the local network conditions at each of the different venues.” Launched earlier this year, Aspera Transfer Service (ATS) is a new hosted multi-cloud, multitenant software service that enables secure high-speed transfer of large files and data sets to, from, and across cloud infrastructure. “Customers can access and use ATS either as a stand-alone platform solution or as a part of Aspera Files to enable the application to connect to and transfer with third party cloud platforms,” explains Heitmann. “Aspera has now launched ATS in the major storage regions in IBM Cloud and Amazon Web Services with early access available for Microsoft Azure and support for Google Cloud soon, all of which offer a host of unique and advanced capabilities for high-speed bulk data transfer direct to cloud storage.”



The 4EVER-2 consortium is a collaborative project supported by the French government and local authorities, bringing together nine French academic and industrial partners including ATEME. Earlier this year, the consortium conducted a trial of a live High Frame Rate (HFR) production of an ice hockey match between France and Switzerland. The broadcast featured ATEME’s HEVC encoder in a real time production with multiple cameras and satellite transmission combining HD-HFR and Dolby AC-4 Audio — a world first for UHD. For the fifth year in a row, the French Open tennis semi-finals as well as the men’s, women’s and mixed doubles finals, were broadcast in ultra-high-definition (4K). ATEME’s TITAN, the first live platform to integrate Dolby Vision technology, was utilised. “Our advanced video compression technology was also used for the VR near-live coverage in Ultra High Definition of the Super Bowl,” says Rémi Beaudouin, VP of Marketing at ATEME. “We partnered with Fox Sports and

LiveLike to offer a virtual and interactive lounge during the game that presented highlights from the game in near real-time via the Fox Sports VR app for iOS and Android devices. Thus, each viewer equipped with a VR handset was able to experience the game in the same way as if he or she were in a VIP lounge in the stadium.” Six Ultra HD cameras placed in strategic locations were used for a complete immersion in the action. ATEME played a major role in this technology first, as each camera was streamed OTT using TITAN, ATEME’s software-based encoder-transcoder. “The challenge here was to lower the bitrate to the maximum extent possible in order to reach the widest possible audience, while maintaining high video quality,” Beaudouin explains. “We were proud to participate in enabling VR development, and helping to make VR streaming a reality.”



FOX Sports faced several challenges to air one of the most technologically advanced broadcast events of the year, Super Bowl LI. It had to generate multiple hours of programming, across multiple days, for many different networks. To do this efficiently, its production teams needed to collaborate from hundreds of miles away, manage huge volumes of footage, and engage viewers across multiple viewing platforms. FOX turned to Avid and its MediaCentral Platform. “MediaCentral Platform is the industry’s most open, tightly integrated and efficient platform designed for media,” says Jeff Rosica, president of Avid. “Avid solutions enabled FOX Sports to facilitate collaboration between production teams located over a thousand miles apart, give all editors immediate access to the footage they needed, and creating an immersive virtual reality experience for viewers.” As the next phase of Avid Everywhere, Avid has extended the MediaCentral Platform into the cloud over the past 12 months, with new cloud-based client applications, media services, and infrastructure on demand. “MediaCentral can now be deployed on premises, in a private data centre, or the public cloud, providing everyone in the sports media industry with the ability to create, distribute, 89


and manage content more efficiently and profitably using one common platform,” explains Rosica. “This also enables several of our creative tools and workflow solutions to be deployed in the cloud along with the MediaCentral Platform.” Rosica says that, together with a new cloud alliance with Microsoft, Avid is leading the sports media industry’s ability to handle full-scale media production in the cloud. By extending MediaCentral to the cloud on Microsoft Azure, sports media organisations now have the complete flexibility to create, distribute, and monetise their content using the deployment type that works best for them. “With everything necessary for media production accessible in the cloud,” he concludes, “sports media professionals can turn around higher quality work, faster and more economically.”



The past year has seen Axon’s Cerebrum control and monitoring software implemented by F1. “They decided to go with Cerebrum as their control system as it was more intuitive than some others that are currently available, and they had known our product range for a long time,” explains GeertJan Gussen, Axon’s marketing manager. “They are currently migrating all legacy systems across to Cerebrum so that everything can be controlled centrally.” Another production for Axon was the Dubai World Cup. Working once again with Racecourse Media Group, who undertook the production of all 20 of the season’s fixtures from Meydan Racecourse, Timeline Television provided all of the technical infrastructure — all controlled and monitored by Axon’s Cerebrum software. In common with much of the industry, Axon says it is seeing increased demand for HDR and wide colour gamut processing — and is also seeing IP start to become mainstream. “Our Synapse 4K toolboxes have been enhanced to facilitate the need for HDR and wide colour gamut,” explains Gussen, “and we’re responding to questions from customers as they move to IP for compression. Our Synapse signal processing product line is currently being enhanced with two modules 90

Sponsor Update

that can bridge up to 2x 4K/UHD (4-wire) into a single 10Gb/s Ethernet using TICO compression and vice versa.” Gussen believes that the move to IP will streamline remote sport production by reducing the amount of cables needed, eliminating racks of cumbersome kit and creating more space in the OB unit. “What customers will need instead is an agile and robust control and monitoring system that supports a hassle-free, flexible creative workflow,” he says. “This is something we already offer with Cerebrum, which has backend IP integration as well as an impressive, flexible front-end, thus giving customers the ability to manage complex sports productions such as The Open Golf Championship or UEFA Europe League football with ease.”

8x (480 fps), and 1080p processing for superior quality, capable of all video formats including 1080i and 720p. The camera delivers complete camera functionality in a in a form factor that is only 4.7 inches high, 2.56 inches wide, and 1-inch thick. “The new camera easily integrates into a live event ecosystem, operating as a broadcast camera system with real-time processing via fibre optics and integration with industrystandard video servers,” continues Schiller. Key features include a full-function camera remote control panel (RCP) for paint control of the camera and a positive-lock lens mount with lens control of focus, iris, and zoom motors. Handles on the video allow the camera to be painted to match the larger cameras on the production, and yet Bexel says that the Clarity 800-HD can be mounted and placed in Bexel areas that have not been accessible for other CRAIG SCHILLER HFR cameras. SVP GLOBAL SALES, TECHNICAL SERVICES The Clarity 800-HD camera is currently Over the months since IBC 2016, available for rent exclusively through Bexel and Bexel has continued to support Camera Corps. college and professional sports Black Box productions, with leagues including NFL and WINFRIED SCHULTZ NBA, as well as high profile events such as GLOBAL MARKETING DIRECTOR, TPS college championships, the NFL Playoffs and Super Bowl, NBA All Stars, and Final Four As high resolution 4K live College Basketball. production is gaining ground, there’s a growing need for both an underlying infrastructure that supports bandwidth-intensive data streams and compression algorithms supporting the reduction of required bandwidth to a level supported by current networking standards and technologies. That, says Winfried Schultz, global marketing director, TPS, is one trend. “On the other hand, the emerging trend of sourcing processor power through virtual machines creates the need for responsive, Early in 2017, the company announced the reliable and latency-free connections launch of Clarity Camera 800-HD, a custom- between edit suites, control rooms, and built camera that is said to be the world’s first the corresponding centralised, virtualised miniature, high-frame-rate (HFR) point-of view workstations,” he says. “That’s why it’s camera for live production. crucial for both live production companies “Built on Bexel and Camera Corps’ unrivalled and broadcasters to be able to implement experience of using specialty cameras in live infrastructure and KVM solutions that help broadcast, we developed the standard-setting them to make a soft migration to these new Clarity 800-HD camera system to meet sports IT environments. and event producers’ increasing demand “With our InvisaPC KVM-over-IP for for high-quality, real-time HFR video,” says virtual machines and our Boxilla centralised Craig Schiller, SVP Global Sales, Technical AV management,” he continues, “we help Services at Bexel. these organisations to stay future-proof, The Clarity 800-HD offers HFR in HD up to lower their TCO and at the same keep their EUROPE SportTechJOURNAL AUTUMN 2017


Sponsor Update

networks monitored while not compromising network performance and the usual desktop experience.” As an example, Schultz describes how Black Box has been helping World Wrestling Entertainment to select, deploy and configure a modern high performance KVM matrix switching solution to support and future-proof their broadcasting and video editing facilities. “WWE originally had a KVM infrastructure in place that allowed for only a limited number of endpoints,” explains Schultz, “and only supported low resolution analogue VGA signals. Black Box worked together with WWE to tailor an individual KVM solution that enables long-distance transmission of digital HD video and peripheral signals throughout multiple editing suites, graphic production workstations, video/audio production rooms and control rooms.” He goes on to note how Black Box’s new Boxilla AV Centralised Management Platform allows centralised management of multiple KVM/AV networks. This management solution, he says, enables IT administrators and


broadcast technicians to integrate various KVM opportunities, which for sports that lack system networks into one single platform. big money TV contracts, can be hugely successful in driving money back into Blackmagic Design EMEA development of the sport.



“Without a doubt, there has been a big increase in all aspects of content distribution,” believes Simon Westland, sales and marketing director at Blackmagic Design EMEA. “Clubs and federations are doing more than ever to enhance the match day experience, producing additional content, whether that’s interviews with players and pundits or special entertainment and live music. Fans are hungrier than ever for content, and it’s down to the clubs or federations to make it as easy as possible to find and access it.” Westland goes on to note that many clubs and federations are already embracing the idea that they as brands can become content producers, not least because it serves to deepen engagement with fans and supporters. In fact, he thinks it also creates new commercial

He also sees how many sports are embracing the evolution of easy to use, mainstream social services such as Facebook, YouTube and Periscope Live. Creating content for these channels not only strengthens fan engagement, but allows them to reach millions of new, potential supporters with their message. “As a result,” says Westland, “we’ve seen huge successes with our live streaming trio of products — the ATEM Television Studio HD, Web Presenter and HyperDeck Mini — that



Sponsor Update

were launched at the beginning of this year. That only serves to reflect the demand for professional quality video production from a new generation of content creators.” The ATEM Television Studio HD is a broadcast quality live production switcher that features eight inputs, multi view, aux, and program outputs, analogue audio inputs, built in talkback, two Flash-based media players, “incredible” creative transitions, a DVE for effects and more.

including 3D and augmented graphics, live Velon data from riders and all other wireless CHRIS BRANDRICK facilities. COMMERCIAL DIRECTOR “Anyone who’d like a close-up look at the Earlier this year, the Velon VeloVue Road is more than welcome to come Hammer professional road and see it on our IBC stand,” smiles Brandrick. cycling series made its debut. Broadcast Solutions HBS, the producers of the show, wanted to PETER JAKOBSSON bring the excitement of the event to viewers BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR — and in response, Broadcast RF produced a small saddle-mounted live HD RF camera The end of 2016 saw what system, the ‘VeloVue Road’. Broadcast Solutions describes as a “spectacular” new OB van hitting the roads of South Korea, having been acquired by broadcaster SBS. Conceived and built by Broadcast Solutions, it was claimed to be the first ever 12G-SDI UHD single link production vehicle. The OB van works with up to 12 4K/UHD cameras using 12G-SDI UHD Single Link, and offers sufficient 3G-SDI quad link gateways for monitoring purposes.

Featuring 12G-SDI and HDMI connections, the new Blackmagic Web Presenter allows customers to use their professional SDI and HDMI video sources with streaming software and services such as YouTube Live, Facebook Live, and more. “Blackmagic Web Presenter will downconvert any SD, HD and Ultra HD sources and make them look like a 720p USB webcam,” explains Westland. “As all streaming software works with webcams, Blackmagic Web Presenter also makes it easy to work with any streaming software, but with dramatically higher quality.” The HyperDeck Studio Mini is a miniaturised professional deck that records and plays back broadcast quality 10-bit video using commonly available SD and UHS-II cards. Also announced in the past few months was the URSA Mini range, which comes with ND filters and tactile/ergonomic controls, so that the camera can be used either on the shoulder or on a tripod. The Tel Aviv Marathon was filmed using the URSA Mini 4.6K and produced with a full Blackmagic live production workflow. “It’s clear that online broadcasting will play a huge part in how the sports production industry evolves over the next few years,” concludes Westland. “Sports broadcasters are already beginning to consider how they adapt so that their content remains accessible, and that in turn they remain relevant to future audiences.”

“Our VeloVue Track is a live onboard camera designed for track cycling, and it’s been a massive success at the world’s leading UCI Track Cycling events,” says Chris Brandrick, commercial director at Broadcast RF. “The VeloVue Road is the next step for us in the challenging outdoor road cycling environment. The difficulty is the scale of road cycling and the terrain of the courses. We didn’t want to rush the design, as it’s a compromise between pleasing the riders with the design, and ensuring the RF camera actually works.” An adaptation of the VeloVue Track, the VeloVue Road allows transmission directly to the pressurised RF relay plane supplied and engineered by EuroLinX. This allows complete freedom for production and, according to Brandrick, gives fantastic results wherever the bike is on the circuit, without the requirement for ‘relay’ RF motorbikes. The VeloVue Road has in-built data control allowing remote switching of power, frequency and other RF parameters as well as control of camera functions, via a bespoke data control system designed by Broadcast RF. “This critical feature is essential in the successful deployment of an on-board road cycling camera,” explains Brandrick, “eliminating the requirement for large batteries to power the system for hours, thus saving valuable weight.” Videohouse/EuroLinX, sister companies of Broadcast RF, provided full TV facilities


Broadcast RF

“Working with Turkish company Polimeks, we also delivered a huge fleet to Turkmenistan TV, consisting of 16 vehicles in two phases of construction, each set consisting of an OB van, set-up van, generator van and an SNG,” says Peter Jakobsson, business development director at Broadcast Solutions. “The last set is all-UHD. They’ll be used at the Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games in Turkmenistan in September.” Broadcast Solutions’ videoReferee video judging solution was deployed at the IHF EUROPE SportTechJOURNAL AUTUMN 2017


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Handball World Cup 2017 in France — said to be one of the best covered handball tournaments ever. “During the competition, videoReferee was the overall video judging system,” explains Jakobsson. “Beginning with the semi-final, the last four games, including the final match, were covered with a 20-channel videoReferee system, giving the referees viewing angles they’d never had before. The videoReferee had access to eight signals from system-specific cameras located directly at the field and in the goals. However, since the host broadcaster used more cameras during the finals than originally planned — including a flying camera — it was obvious to the videoReferee team that these additional signals should be made accessible to the referees for judging purposes. To fulfil this goal, the number of camera signals retrieved from the OB van was increased to 12.” Broadcast Solutions will be demonstrating its range of OB vans, together with its Broadcast Ultrasoft software-defined broadcast suite, at IBC.




The America’s Cup sailing race is said to be the oldest trophy in international sport, dating back to 1851. Local Bermuda Broadcasting Company (BBC) was appointed as the official broadcast partner, and the organisation turned to BroaMan to create an advanced fibre network between the America’s Cup Village at the Royal Naval Dockyard, the transmission, editing and news gathering hub, and its own studio back at base.

This enabled BBC to provide viewers and listeners with live coverage via terrestrial TV and radio broadcasts over IP as well as to to feed its web and social media platforms. BBC constructed the solution by deploying a pair of BroaMan Mux22 interfaces which connect the 35 kilometre distance between the two locations via a single duplex fibre. These hardware enablers allowed BBC to provide connectivity of six video signals (four HD-SDI in/two out), four line in, four line out, four GPIO plus a 100Mbit LAN switch, RS485 and 1 Gigabit Ethernet. “The amount of data and number of UHF channels being transmitted was remarkable,” notes Tine Helmle, managing director of BroaMan. “With the HD-SDI signal entering the BroaMan domain and coming out over fibre to BBC’s main studios. A 12 kilometre line of sight link was the primary connection, but a fail-over link was required — and this extended to 35 kilometres. Once the signals arrived at the BBC station, they were played out over TV and FM transmitters. “BBC were delighted with what we



provided,” continues Helmle. “In one instance, they were doing some editing at the event village and had a 3 Gigabyte file. They thought it would take an age to send it back to base, but it went in seconds. With BroaMan, large files can be sent very quickly and it went straight into BBC’s network storage.”

BT Media & Broadcast NEIL HUGGINS


Reported to have been the largest outside broadcast event in the world this year, with 350 million viewers, the UEFA Champions League final also saw a number of technology firsts for host broadcaster BT Sport.

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broadcasters to adopt elements of remote production,” he goes on. “They are able to start moving staff and processes back to a central production hub, altering their staffing levels, workflows and budgets.” “It will”, he adds, “be interesting to see how VR/AR develops, especially the demand for a full VR production, similar to the UEFA CL final — although for us, VR is essentially just a data stream that we transport.” IBC will see BT in situ with what Huggins describes as a strong presence again this year; the company will be showcasing one of its OB trucks as well as hosting a number of panel debates.



Super Bowl LI was only one of the major global sporting productions in which Calrec was involved over the past year. The NRG Stadium in Houston saw the company deploy two Apollo consoles, a Brio in the submix area, and another Brio in the tape-release. “In preparation for this event, the National Stadium of Wales joined BT Media & Broadcast’s Terabit next-generation fibrebased TV Outside Broadcast network,” explains Neil Huggins, head of TV outside broadcast. “This specialist network enabled BT Sport to broadcast the match live using High Dynamic Range technology in Ultra-High Definition with Dolby Atmos sound to a private screening in London. The match was also available for the first time ever in Virtual Reality to fans; we provided the connectivity to the Internet Gateway at BT Tower for the BT Sport Virtual Reality App.” “In addition to supporting BT Sport, we delivered over 10Gbit/s of connectivity to international broadcasters,” he continues. “Plus, we also provided temporary communication services to more than 50 international broadcasters, enabling them to take live commentary from the stadium around the globe.” Huggins notes that BT Media and Broadcast has now moved to a new TICO-based model for UHD, enabling the company to deliver lossless services for broadcasters. “The Increase in available bandwidth and the ability to carry HD uncompressed is enabling 94

its heart. The broadcast benefited from endto-end live production in HFR (High Frame Rate, 100 frames per second) and Dolby AC-4u. The Apollo was used as the transmission console in MS12. According to the company, however, viewers continue to move away from traditional linear TV models, and increasingly are switching to online and on-demand. “We are seeing a desire for more niche sports programming, and with remote production, broadcasters can see a way to increase their coverage at a lower cost, while still maintaining quality,” says Dave Letson, Calrec VP of sales. “This is perhaps one of the major benefits of remote production workflows in sports broadcasting and we anticipate that remote broadcasting will become more commonplace over the next few years.” Letson notes that Calrec’s RP1 offers this functionality while maintaining a focus on high-quality audio performance and reliability. It allows broadcasters to create very lowcost on-site networks for all audio routing requirements, and provides a cost-effective way to adapt to the requirements of any situation.



In April, Calrec contributed to two productions which it says pushed the boundaries of live sports broadcasting. In Atlanta, the company was involved in a massive technical collaboration to broadcast a major golfing tournament, which involved networking four truck companies, seven consoles, a router core, and almost 14,000 Hydra2 ports. Also in April, French outside broadcasting company AMP VISUAL TV produced a worldfirst when it covered the ice hockey match between France and Switzerland in UltraHD, using AMP’s Millennium Signature 12 truck, which has Apollo and Artemis consoles at

Designed to facilitate a range of workflows, Canon has made a number of important product developments over the past year. The first of these is the company’s newlydeveloped UJ27x6.5B, a 2/3” broadcast lens featuring 4K Premium optical resolving image quality, which expands the current line-up of 2/3” 4k and 4k Premium broadcast lenses. “The 27x optical zoom ratio nicely bridges the zoom ratios of current 4K ENG and ultratelephoto box broadcast lenses to provide greater flexibility for sports productions in various shooting environments,” notes Blazej Klacansky, channel development manager. “This lens is designed for use with the leading stadium camera, as it has a wider angle of view, which is 6.5mm at the wide end. “All Canon broadcast lenses have been built for stunning 4K and HDR broadcast imaging,” he adds. “Fluorite and UD lens elements and advanced electronics provide incredible images, reduced distortion and reduced focus breathing.” Canon has also launched 24-inch and 17-inch EUROPE SportTechJOURNAL AUTUMN 2017


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4K monitors for OB vans. The company is clear that the key technology trends leading the industry are 4K HDR and high optical zoom ratios. “It’s vital,” believes Klacansky, “that broadcasters adapt to providing robust and comprehensive High Dynamic Range delivery and manage the complexity of multiple formats and networking environments.” Canon lenses have already been used in various major sporting events for 4K UHD broadcast, providing optical quality lenses for high end broadcasting and performance. “It’s crucial,” continues Klacansky, “that when shooting sporting events in 4K, broadcasters must shoot a range of shots for live viewing.” For Super 35mm sensor cameras, Canon has extended its offering by adding Dual Pixel CMOS Auto Focus technology to the CN7x17 EF Cine Servo lens, which is available as a free-ofcharge upgrade. According to the company, this is a key technology for customers who require super-fast and reliable auto focus in sports production environments.



C h y r o n H e g o ’s Ly r ic X graphics creation and playout solution and HX highperformance graphics platform participated in BT Sport’s live UHD coverage of the 2017 UEFA Champions League final. Sports and live event graphics provider MOOV teamed up with BT Sport to present the broadcast, which BT Sport produced for its UK audience as well as numerous global broadcasters. MOOV provided 4K graphics developed with ChyronHego’s HX platform and LyricX software. “Since launching its UHD service in conjunction with MOOV and ChyronHego, BT Sport has received industry acclaim for its live UHD broadcasts,” says Jesper Gawell, chief marketing officer. “To date, those broadcasts include: UEFA Champions League football matches; Premier League football; Aviva Premiership Rugby; Scottish Premier

League football; and the FIM MotoGP Silverstone Circuit.” At IBC, ChyronHego will showcase an allnew version of its Paint telestration and analysis solution for sports production. “Paint’s power lies in its feature-rich set of tools and its sheer simplicity of use,” notes Gawell.“Paint is ideal for all members of a sports production team, whether they’re behind or in front of the camera. Using Paint’s highly intuitive telestration tools, producers can visually analyse game-play for virtually any sport by graphically enhancing and highlighting video.” Version 7.2 is the latest release of Paint and is exclusively for Windows users. It is said to include powerful new data integration and visualisation capabilities. Added support for NFL’s Next Gen Stats API, which captures realtime location, speed, and acceleration data for every NFL player during every play, enables Paint users to generate automatic keyframing of certain players based on the tracking data. “In addition,” continues Gawell, “Paint now offers the ability to visualise distances between players based on tracking data and

IP Live production Ready Today, Open for Tomorrow




3D calibrations. Other new 3D capabilities, now available for baseball, rugby, and cricket, include freehand tools and the ability to rotate graphics using 3D calibrations.”



In new product announcement terms, it’s been a busy 12 months for Clear-Com. New V-series 32 key panels that offer higher key density and more panel options have been launched, together with the E-Dante card that brings high audio quality interfacing for Eclipse HX matrices. “Perhaps the most important for sports coverage is the major development of the LQ Series of connectivity tools, with new IP capabilities and increased scalability to expand and improve connectivity across networks,” says Stephen Sandford, product manager. “Notably, LQ is being used to enhance video refereeing systems, when there is a central pool of video referees overseeing multiple games at the same time. Any incidents that need video reviews are reviewed by the central pool and the verdict is communicated back to the stadium by audio, carried over LQ devices.” Sandford notes that leagues that are using LQ include the NHL, MLB, AFL, ACC and SEC. At IBC, Clear-Com will introduce several new updates for the LQ Series, including the ability for LQ to host Agent-IC mobile apps and additional connectivity with a SIP interfacing capability. The HelixNet digital networked partyline system will receive a six-fold increase in I/O ports with the updated LQ interfaces. “As with most of the broadcast market, the migration to IP connectivity powering forward at an ever-increasing rate,” he continues. “This is driven by the increasing bandwidth connections and the growth of confidence in reliability, as well as the ease of adding redundant connections. Interoperability is key to ensuring all elements can talk to each other. “Clear-Com’s continuing development of AoIP technology, such as the E-Dante64HX card, and the Agent-IC app that connects users on widely available consumer devices over IP network infrastructures, provides our customers with connectivity as well as the Clear-Com promise of quality and reliability,” Sandford concludes. 96

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Cobalt Digital’s collection of 9950 -EMDE-ANC 3G/ HD/SD-SDI ancillary data embedder/de-embedder cards, complete with the +SCTE 104 option, have been used by a major European broadcaster to run practical tests on monetising streaming feeds. “Essentially,” explains Robert Nicholas, vice president, international sales, “the broadcaster was able to take the main feed and encode it to different profiles for streaming transmission to mobile devices. Each SDI feed to the MPEG encoders carried SCTE 104 triggers in the ancillary data space which triggered targeted advertising for that particular stream. In this way, the customer plans to expand its advertising monetisation of sports feeds to target mobile devices.” The company has added an SCTE104 frame-accurate SCTE trigger insertion option (+SCTE104-FAST) which uses time-stamp data derived from broadcast automation to provide deterministic, frame-accurate digital program insertion message embedding into SDI. “The linear channel is output with precise metadata marking the beginning and end of each program and commercial segment, optimising the channel for automatic dissemination to CDN and VOD systems,” says Nicholas. Cobalt Digital has also expanded the capabilities of its 9978-ANC MON to reflect the changes in the 9950-EMDE-ANC, making it, the company says, easier for operators to actually see the SCTE 104 and SCTE35 triggers embedded in their feeds. In action on Cobalt Digital’s IBC stand will be the new 9904-UDX-4K-12G UHD 12G/3G/ HD up/down/cross converter and frame sync designed for openGear frames. The 9904 can up-convert 3G/HD to UHD1 3840 x 2160, providing either quad 3G-SDI-based square division or two-sample interleave formats or single wire ST 2082 12G-SDI. The unit can also perform the reverse in down-converter mode and features two HDMI 2.0 outputs for costefficient monitoring. Support for High Dynamic Range (HDR) and options for ST 2022-6 and 2110 uncompressed audio and video over IP are planned for Q4 introduction.

CTV Outside Broadcasts BILL MORRIS


CT V Outside Broadcasts has again been the exclusive supplier of outside broadcast facilities to the US and domestic broadcast networks for the NFL’s annual excursion to the United Kingdom.

Until 2016, London’s Wembley Stadium had been the chosen home for the NFL International Series Games but, after IBC last year, the whole operation moved for one game only to the home of British rugby — Twickenham Stadium. “This move prompted a fundamental change in the way the stadium’s traditional TV infrastructure had to be adapted,” observes Bill Morris, international business director. “As most NFL fans will tell you, the game is one of complex strategy which can be won or lost by the success or failure of a single play. To appreciate the geography of these plays, camera positions are placed far higher in an NFL stadium than those traditionally installed for soccer or rugby. As a result, based on experience gained from tech supervising at Super Bowl 50, CTV designed a custom camera mount system to allow for NFL placement, without the necessity for structural alteration.” Immediately after the 2016 NFL Autumn series, CTV OBs started the 2016–2017 Middle East Golf series, delivering technical provision of ETP’s Golf Host broadcaster and unilateral requirements, utilising CTV OB’s OB9 vehicle and Live TV’s Al Murzem unit. “One new innovation was the introduction of ACS’s Boatcam at the Race to Dubai Final, which offered previously unseen HD footage covering the players’ walk from the tee all the way to the Island Green,” says Morris. CTV has also been working with SAM to pioneer the use of its new stable of UHD switchers. “Having installed and integrated EUROPE SportTechJOURNAL AUTUMN 2017


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Kahunas in both CTV OB11 and OB2,” the industry’s #1 scale-out NAS platform. continues Morris, “the mixer has been working “Media engineering groups get the best of successfully across all genres of both sport and both worlds,” believes Burns. “They get the entertainment in the live events environment.” extreme performance of Flash technology with the proven scalability, multi-protocol Dell EMC access and security of the Isilon OneFS THOMAS BURNS operating system.” CTO, MEDIA & ENTERTAINMENT Burns notes that a range of technologies “EMC is Dell EMC,” says is influencing sports production workflows Thomas Burns, CTO, Media & including the ongoing move to all-IP workflows, Entertainment at Dell EMC. “By new standards, new acquisition and delivery that, we mean the entire Dell EMC portfolio technologies like virtual reality, augmented of products is now available for our media reality, and 360 degree cameras. In addition, and entertainment partners and customers. higher frame rates, higher resolutions and Everything from 4K monitors to latest- image quality technologies like High Dynamic generation servers, storage, and networking is Range (HDR) and Wide Colour Gamut (WCG). available from a ‘one-stop shop.’ The benefits “The common thread in all of these is the to our customers include a single point of need for robust and easy-to-scale connectivity contact for products and services, as well as the and storage products that are always-on ability to leverage economies of scale.” and able to quickly adapt to changes in both The newest member of the Dell EMC Isilon infrastructure technology as well as new product family, which addresses M&E storage business models,” he says. requirements, is an All-Flash Isilon node that According to Burns, there will be an combines the high performance of Flash expanded presence from Dell EMC across the technology with what the company claims is IBC show floor, with partnership events and


demonstrations in the company’s partners’ booths. “This year,” concludes Burns, “Dell EMC is going beyond just demonstrating products to include complete solutions that satisfy our customers’ demanding needs.”



DELTACAST’s DELTA-stadium is described as a complete solution designed to create and generate in real-time high-end 2D and 3D graphics for stadium and arena screens. It formed the core of what international sales manager Erik Kampmann describes as a very exciting project which saw DELTACAST provide custom integration for a major stadium in Europe. The company developed complementary modules related to live statistics and playout for display on the different screens in the stadium. It’s also been an exciting year for DELTACAST in terms of new product development. “We have two main products lines — one targeted



at the high end market, and one at the lower end,” explains Kampmann. “Regarding the former, the newly released version 10 has been the biggest release since DELTACAST was created, which includes new features that we’ll be demonstrating at IBC. It has been quite popular, especially the latest upgrade of our automatic calibration feature. This clearly motivates us to move closer to fully automatic solutions. We’re going deeper and deeper into artificial intelligence technologies, which promise to make the future very interesting.” DELTACAST’s lower end product line is targeted at those with smaller production budgets. “We’re very happy with the traction that DELTA-stadium and DELTA-stat IP have experienced in the last few months in Europe,” continues Kampmann.“We’re already developing new modules for DELTA-stadium, our solution for giant screens in arenas, that will enhance the fans’ experience on site even more.” Kampmann is no less enthused by what he sees happening with IP. “It’s very exciting,” he says. “We’ve seen some great projects here in Belgium — for example, the ‘Live IP Project’ from VRT and EBU. Additionally, Proximus has been producing the second division of football in Belgium remotely, with great feedback from all the operators. “And,” he smiles, “all our products work with IP today.”

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fans. It is important for ATP Media to take TennisTV to the next level to capitalise on the latest viewing trends of streaming media and OTT consumption,” said Stuart Watts, COO at ATP Media. “With the help of our new partner deltatre — and their great tradition in sports innovation — we are in an excellent position to expand the global footprint of tennis further and these developments are part of ATP Media’s commitment to evolve the tennis viewing experience for fans around the world.”

For chief product and marketing officer Carlo De Marchis, virtual reality and augmented reality are the future. “Virtual reality is one of the most talked about technologies right now, and augmented and virtual reality are certainly having a big impact in terms of production workflows,” he says. “We’ve been investing in this direction deltatre and ‘testing VR production for more than a year, CARLO DE MARCHIS covering more than 60 events in three sporting CHIEF PRODUCT AND competitions. Focusing on live and near-live MARKETING OFFICER immersive experiences only, we have already Over the past 12 months, faced the challenges of producing relevant deltatre has supported many content in two different sports.” sport federations, football clubs, broadcasters Dolby Laboratories and telcos in their transition/consolidation JAVIER FONCILLAS towards an OTT model, with its new digital VP, COMMERCIAL PARTNERSHIPS, platforms at the centre of their clients’ coverage EUROPE of the major sporting competitions: from football to tennis, from F1 to boxing. They say that watching A case in point is ATP Media, the broadcast football on TV doesn’t come arm of the ATP World Tour, who launched close to actually being there — but the gap a totally revamped version of its direct-to- narrowed in January when BT Sport and consumer streaming platform, Tennis TV. The Dolby collaborated for the first-ever live new OTT solution is available on desktop and broadcast of a Premier League football mobile devices, on both iOS and Android, as match in UHD and featuring Dolby Atmos. well as on a wealth of set-top-boxes, including Today, all Premier League, UEFA Champions Apple TV, Roku, Amazon Fire and Chromecast. League, Europa League and FA Cup matches “This is a significant step forward to present broadcast live on BT Sport’s UHD channel are tennis in new and meaningful ways to our available in Dolby Atmos. 98

“This delivers the most immersive experience that brings viewers closer to the action, making them feel as if they’re right there in the ground,” says Javier Foncillas, VP, Commercial Partnerships, Europe, Dolby Laboratories.

In addition, France TV and Dolby recently achieved a world first; a live broadcast trial at the French Open of the semi-finals and finals tennis matches in Ultra HD/4K, Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos with Dolby AC-4. “This was the first live broadcast in Dolby Atmos using our next-generation audio codec, Dolby AC-4,” continues Foncillas. “Dolby Atmos provides immersive, objectbased experiences, which is delivered using Dolby AC-4 in combination with a new level of personalisation. Viewers were able to deeply experience the atmosphere of the Porte d’Auteuil stadium with high quality, nextgeneration image and audio. This trial also allowed us to showcase our partnership with LG, who earlier this year launched the first LG OLED TVs that support both Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos.” According to Focillas, Dolby AC-4 continues to be Dolby’s most important product in relation to live sports broadcasts. The format has already been standardised by the European Telecommunications Standards Institute and has also been adopted by the Digital Video Broadcasting Project. The next-generation codec is said to be extremely efficient, delivering 5.1 surround sound at bit-rates as low as 96 kilobits/second. “That means AC-4 is up to four times as efficient as AC-3,” explains Foncillas, “which delivers 5.1 surround sound at 384 kilobits/ second, freeing bandwidth for broadcasters to deliver new premium audio and video experiences.” He goes on to point out that Dolby AC-4 means sports enthusiasts can completely personalise their viewing experience. They can EUROPE SportTechJOURNAL AUTUMN 2017


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choose to listen to their favourite team’s local commentary while watching on a national network broadcast, change the balance between the dialog and the ambience to improve intelligibility, or crank up the sound of the stadium. According to Foncillas, live HDR is also an extremely important development. With Dolby Vision, Dolby says it provides a solution to the multi-format HDR broadcasting challenges faced by broadcasters today by providing a future-proof, multi-format distribution platform to enable smooth format migration and ensure the success of live HDR. This, he says, means operators and broadcaster can deliver Dolby Vision to compatible devices, and with the same stream provide compatibility and the best possible experience to other HDR services and SDR devices. “A frequent challenge in broadcasting sports is that the stadium can be too dark, or even too bright due to various weather conditions,” he concludes. “Dolby Vision provides a solution to this too, as it can be scaled across performance tiers.”




The global shift to all-IP video delivery offers premium content providers with fresh options to delight viewers as well as also offering new opportunities for monetisation and growth. That’s the way Simon Frost, head of marketing and business development, EMEA, sees things. “It also has contributed to accelerated and significant demand for high-quality live and on-demand programming on any device, he believes. “IP- and software-based video infrastructures enable content providers to continually update and enhance their platform in line with increased consumer demand and technology advancements — such as cloud, virtualisation, and unified headend.” This approach, says Frost, also enables media enterprises to lead and manage the transition to new video codecs such as HEVC, wider colour spaces, increased colour bit depth, higher frame

rates, object-oriented audio specifications, forensic watermarking, and new display formats such as 4K Ultra HD. He goes on to note that AWS Elemental software-based IP video solutions are enabling an increasingly large number of media companies to transition to IP video and to trial and deliver innovative new services. “Additionally,” continues Frost, “the AWS Elemental unified headend approach allows the creation of all formats from single sources, offering customers exceptional flexibility and cost efficiency. Where we still see differences are in video stream packaging for adaptive bitrate delivery; now, MPEG DASH and Apple HLS remain prevalent. The advantage of software defined video infrastructure is real flexibility to adapt to new formats and technologies. “The capabilities we will highlight at IBC2017 will simplify the work of delivering top-quality viewing experiences across broadcast and multiscreen workflows so content providers can focus on creating, delivering and monetising their outstanding work,” Frost continues. “Whether on-premises video processing,



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or moving to the cloud, AWS Elemental solution to support cricket, baseball and hockey will continue to help customers quickly, is another major development, Noyer says, in easily and economically scale and optimise addition to soccer. video operations.” “We had a successful trial with cricket for the ICC Champions trophy tournament, applying Ericsson PIERO during the game,” he adds. “We also VINCENT NOYER have more clients using PIERO Augmented HEAD OF PIERO, BROADCAST AND MEDIA Reality in the new sports seasons which will SERVICES provide us with more improvement and It seems as if augmented reality development ideas.” and virtual reality are the words ES Broadcast on everyone’s lips — and that’s also the case EDWARD SAUNDERS for Vincent Noyer, who is head of PIERO, CEO Broadcast and Media Services at Ericsson. Over the past 12 months, ES Broadcast says it has made a substantial investment in 4K technology, further expanding what the company believes was already one of the largest 4K hire fleets in Europe.

“We have observed the uptake of in-studio augmented reality sports graphics,” he says. “More broadcasters have started using our PIERO Augmented Reality suite as we have expanded the number of sports and the types of effects available. PIERO Augmented Reality was used by a broadcaster to visualise programming around the Confederations Cup in North America. The deployment involved getting the best Opta data and integrating with Stype camera tracking technologies to create a compelling visualisation in a quick and efficient way. The feedback we received from our client was more than positive.” Noyer notes that another highlight of the past 12 months for Ericsson has been the use of sports graphics in e-sports for analysis and commentary. “Applying the standard PIERO Sports graphics to video games is pushing our renderer and visual effects in a new direction,” he says. “This is another instance of the convergence of traditional sports broadcast and online gaming. E-sports companies need to provide better production and more exciting graphics to compete for viewers’ engagement and maintain market leadership.” The past year has seen Ericsson expand its PIERO sports graphics solution capabilities to be suitable for coaching purposes for sports clubs, simplifying workflows and product functionality to address their needs. The expansion of the PIERO Augmented Reality 100

“One of the most significant additions to our hire fleet is EVS’s first dedicated 4K production server, the XT4K, which delivers four channels of 4K slow motion replays — perfect for UHD sports coverage,” says Edward Saunders CEO of ES Broadcast and ES Broadcast Hire. “EVS solutions lead the market in production servers and are an essential component of sports production, so adding these XT4K servers to our hire fleet is a logical step in our ongoing strategy of providing the very best 4K equipment for live sports production.” Saunders notes that, in early 2017, ES Broadcast also became the first hire company in Europe to stock Sony’s new HDC-P43 camera. “It’s a lightweight 4K POV camera that slots perfectly into Sony’s 4K live production workflow, and complements our 40-strong fleet of HDC-4300 4K channels brilliantly,” enthuses Saunders, adding that his company has also invested heavily in 4K broadcast lenses. “Its compact size and weight make the HDCP43 ideal for remote camera positions, and crane and jib work.” ES Broadcast Hire, the company’s hire

division, has found its 4K inventory in strong demand at major sporting events over the past year. The UEFA Champions League Final, the Six Nations rugby championship and May’s Monaco Grand Prix all saw the company’s equipment involved. It was also used for every live UHD Premier League game, with 4K camera channels, in the shape of 10 Sony HDC4300s, 4K box lenses including eight Fujinon UA80s and six Canon UJ90s, and a line-up of 4K ENG lenses made up of two Fujinon UA14’s, four Fujinon UA22s, six Canon CJ12s and four CJ20s all seeing service.



2017 has, says Euro Media Group (EMG), been a year of innovation, expansion and new technology roll-out.

“One of our highest profile and truly global excursions was the use of a custom 4K fly pack to service the launch of Clarkson, Hammond and May’s latest worldwide motoring extravaganza The Grand Tour,” says Patrick van den Berg, CEO. “The much publicised reunion of the famous trio required a lightweight, rapidly deployable 4K acquisition and recording operation coupled with a comprehensive audio set up, including full audience PA.” Van den Berg goes on to describe how United’s technical manager, Bolke Burnaby Lautier, set about the task of developing and building a lightweight and compact unit which weighs in at under five metric tons that could be deployed worldwide to suit the programme makers’ schedules. “It was no mean feat,” he explains, “when you consider that the UHD system included everything from cameras and dollies, monitoring, cabling, audio desks and technical furniture. As Bolke said at the time: you need to EUROPE SportTechJOURNAL AUTUMN 2017

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know exactly what you are taking with you. To proudly. “At the centre of that technology be on a mountain in South Africa and find you is a unique IP infrastructure from Lawo that are missing a cable is unthinkable.” enables up to three games a day to be broadcast A little closer to home, Digital Video South using the solution.” (DVS), Euro Media Group’s specialist camera He goes on to note that Euro Media Group’s company based in Aix en Provence, has rolled Belgium-based RF experts have pioneered their out its latest incarnation of the acclaimed high new ultra-lightweight 4G system on their everframe rate camera, the 4K HDR Superloupe. growing live cycling transmissions. The 1,000 frames per second camera was Van den Berg is also extremely proud of the successfully deployed in January of this year on acquisitions EMG undertook in 2017, with DB the famous ‘Prix d’Amérique’ horse race. Video, EBD and TV Data joining the group, “In France, we are proud of our 4K OB further positioning EMG in graphics services. upgrades that allow Euromedia here to do the “With our rapid expansion into full 4K HDR Monaco Grand Prix and the French League 1 OB deployment,” believes van den Berg, “Euro football for Canal+ with great success in 4K,” Media Group is certainly earning its reputation notes van den Berg. as the technological power house of Europe.” EMG’s Belgian company Videohouse has, Eurovision Media Services in the past year, brought online two IP control GRAHAM WARREN rooms in Brussels that it describes as “ground CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER breaking”. These are used to handle remote match production of the entire Proximus Among the many highlights of Football League in Belgium. a very busy 12 months, “From the first game, the entire league Eurovision Media Services has been remotely covered via IP technology provided host broadcasting and tailor-made Telegenic_Sports Tech Journal_Autumn_2017.pdf 17/07/2017 12:42 Championships engineered by Videohouse,” says van den Berg services1to the 2016 Road World


in Doha in October, with 20 cameras covering the event and onsite services available to rightsholding broadcasters. Earlier this year, Eurovision Media Services managed the global multi-platform media rights and provided a wide range of services for the International Biathlon World Cups. It provided host broadcasting in Italy, Poland and South Korea, a multi-stream platform on the IBU website and extensive content production both for traditional broadcast and for social media/second screens, as well as providing worldwide distribution over the Eurovision Global Network. Eurovision Media Services was also the host broadcaster for the 17th FINA World Championships. “Today,” says Graham Warren, chief operating officer, “nearly anyone can send their content over the Internet, but this is not a full solution for media organisations who need to receive their content in broadcastcompliant formats that can be used on different devices. Eurovision FLEX — our latest selfmanaged digital transmission tool — allows a












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cameraman to send live and recorded content directly through their Eurovision FLEX encoder over the Internet to a Eurovision FLEX receiver at their HQ or any standard broadcast receiver using our Media Access Gateway. “In addition,” he continues, “we have now created a Eurovision FLEX Platform so that media organisations can easily execute complex workflows and manage their own live transmissions. We’ll be demonstrating that at IBC.” For Warren, among the major trends shaping sports production workflows he sees is the culmination of the advancements being made in remote production models. “For several years now,” he believes, “sports content producers have relied on IP-based technology to reduce onsite costs and boost their production capabilities. Solutions continue to improve and we see more media organisations integrating IP production into their workflows.”

across ten operator stations.” In the case of Super Bowl LI, Evertz worked with Astro Design and Fox Sports to use 8K cameras to provide zoom functionality. “We took in two 8K pictures and provided a 720p picture that was 600% zoom on the 8K captured images,” explains Goyal. “We worked with an Astro AH-4801 that captured the entire field at the 50-yard line. Sixteen 3G-SDI links were fed to the DreamCatcher. Similar to the early days of 4K, leagues are looking at 8K as a production tool to capture the entire field of play and create 1080p/720p views from the 8K video images.” According to Goyal, Evertz’ most important product development of the past 12 months has been the expansion of the DreamCatcher production suite from IP-based replay. “It now has capture, playout, content management, and live editing,” he notes. “These tools support the creation of a comprehensive production suite that helps streamline the creation of sports content. The Evertz Microsystems DreamCatcher platform is based on a scalable, MO GOYAL IP-based architecture that can adapt to DIRECTOR OF PRODUCT MARKETING various applications including venue, studio, Since IBC 2016, the two most mobile, VAR and ‘at home’ productions.” recent major sport production EVS hig hlig ht s for Eve r t z ’ SÉBASTIEN VERLAINE DreamCatcher suite have been the launch of GLOBAL MARKETING AND DAZN for J. League in Japan and the use of 8K COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER Zoom for Super Bowl LI. According to Sébastien Verlaine, global marketing and communications manager at EVS, three events in particular stand out from the past year because “they involve the use of new products that we are very excited about”.

“Both leveraged the expanding feature and capabilities of the DreamCatcher Production Suite,” says Mo Goyal, director of product marketing. “We worked closely with Perform Japan as it launched its live and on-demand sports streaming platform DAZN for J. League; the DreamCatcher platform allows DAZN to create real-time highlight packages of the J. League matches. DreamCatcher utilises a workflow that is both intuitive and efficient for DAZN’s operators, while its IP-based workflow allows operators to quickly edit and package up to 20 games simultaneously 102

The XT4K server was used to create live HDR slow-motion replays in UHD-4K resolution by BT Sport for the 2017 UEFA Champions League final. EVS’s live production switcher DYVI was in action at the IAAF Diamond League athletics in Shanghai — and the company’s multi-camera review system Xeebra was

selected for the British and Irish Lions rugby tour in New Zealand. “The XT4K live production server that featured at the Champions League final, with its four I/O channels of uncompressed UHD4K and 10-bit HDR support, has been our most important product development since its launch at IBC2016,” says Verlaine. He goes on to note that there has been an increase in demand for UHD-4K in premium sports productions — but customers want to retain a certain flexibility because their mobile units are still mainly used for productions in HD. “Our latest XT series server offers this flexibility,” adds Verlaine, “with the possibility to switch to 12 or more channels of HD/1080p whenever necessary. As a result, the trucks can remain on the road and easily adapt to the production requirements of each event.” Verlaine points out that EVS’s content management solutions and all of the company’s live tools, such as the augmented reality Epsio Paint, are now enabled for UHD-4K productions — meaning that production teams can continue to create their live storytelling with the same speed and reliability as before. “There’s a growing need to make better use of live content, so an increasing number of stakeholders need to quickly access more of it, whether they are at the event or working remotely,” he continues. “In addition, the adoption of new production technology, such as 360 degree cameras, is an efficient way to enhance live storytelling and thereby capture and engage today’s viewers.” The expansion of IP in live production is helping to meet these challenges, Verlaine believes, noting that it enables better and faster access to content and the implementation of collaborative and remote production workflows. EVS has, he says, been active in developing products, such as Xplore and IPWeb, so that its customers can easily access, browse and exchange live media assets between OB facilities at the venues and broadcast centres at home. “Since it doesn’t suffer from the limitations of SDI, IP also can combine and integrate new technologies more easily,” he explains. “For example, EVS is building a series of new applications on a software-defined foundation, including a unique 360 motion replay solution that production teams can use EUROPE SportTechJOURNAL AUTUMN 2017


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to immerse viewers into the action like never before. You will learn more about this new solution during IBC2017.” EVS says it will introduce a unified multicamera live production toolset at IBC, combining several functions (switching, replay and contextual content execution) and designed for a single operator. BCIP, EVS’s new IP routing for live media production, will also be on show.

“Larger bandwidths are required to transport UHD, as well as remote broadcast productions. SDI technology has yet to catch up with IP in terms of bandwidth capability, and we’d like to see it develop over the next few years as it has been a fundamental part of the OB industry for many years.”

Finepoint Broadcast GILES BENDIG


When it comes to IP, it may be as well to remember the words of the Borg in Star Trek: ‘Resistance is futile’. In fact, increasingly, the industry is rapidly learning to love and embrace a technology that will revolutionise it. “Over the last few months, the main change we’ve seen that shapes sporting events is the increase in IP technology being used within an OB infrastructure,” notes Giles Bendig, managing director at Finepoint Broadcast.

in HD HDR, not just 4K.” Since last September, Bendig says that one of Finepoint’s most important developments has been upgrading EVS to 10 Gigabit connectivity. “EVS servers form the foundation of the production workflow at sporting events,” he points out. “This new upgrade allows media to be pulled across the network at high speed, which is perfect for non-linear edits.” The last year has seen Finepoint HD broadcast equipment used in a variety of sporting events including IPL cricket, The FA Cup, the 6 Nations and the UEFA Champions League. Bendig says he is looking forward to IBC to understand the evolution of live IP, and to find the best, most cost-effective solution for remote IP production.

“HDR for sport is a much more noticeable Fletcher Group improvement over increasing resolution,” he DAN GRAINGE continues, “and the benefit can be appreciated PRESIDENT on any size screen, and is more obvious and immersive. In terms of technical ‘do-ability’, I 2017 has been a good year would expect this to be fairly easily adopted, as for specialist rental company there are no significant increases in bandwidth Fletcher, with a range of events required. I would like to see more development around the world. The Australian Open

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Tennis and French Open Tennis saw its Ncam real-time camera tracking system deployed. Meanwhile, a range of UltraMotion camera technologies was used on European athletics and motor racing; UHD boxing and Russian football. “The Ncam real-time camera tracking system was originally developed for the motion picture industry, but it has become finely tuned for augmented reality in live broadcast environments,” says Dan Grainge, president of Fletcher Group. “Ncam is a British company, and is working closely with us at Fletcher London as we are a key rental partner of theirs for broadcast.” “We are very pleased with the new Sony P-43 and Grass Valley C86 compact cameras,” continues Grainge. “We are now able to do UHD and 1080P UltraMotion in new and exciting rig positions because of the small footprint of these compact cameras.”

With I-Movix Infinite and Sony 4800 in its arsenal, Fletcher captures UltraMotion on the internal storage of these devices and then plays out as baseband and/or file transfer to EVS. “This uses just one channel of EVS — so on one hand that’s a big operational improvement, and on the other hand they bring no-cost impact on the server infrastructure within a production or OB truck,” explains Grainge. “That’s a genuine ‘win-win’ for the production as well as the operator.” There is, according to Grainge, still a very strong case for capturing UltraMotion in 1080P rather than native UHD, but he says Fletcher can format its camera technologies to suit any installation. “Fletcher needs to be as diverse as possible in its operation and rental portfolio, so at IBC 2017 we continue our quest for future specialist camera and production technologies,” concludes Grainge. “IBC is the perfect opportunity to exchange ideas and concepts.” 104

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has now been extended from four to seven, thanks to the new UA27 studio box lens and the MARC HORNER UA14 and UA18 ENG lenses that have joined the MARKETING MANAGER, FUJINON OPTICAL DEVICES existing UA80 and UA107 box lenses and UA13 Not too much happens in sports broadcasting and UA22 ENG lenses. without a camera lens at the front end — and Gearhouse Broadcast that’s where Fujifilm come in: the company KEVIN MOORHOUSE has been engaged in the development and MANAGING DIRECTOR production of TV lenses for over 50 years. The challenges for lens designers and The UEFA Champions League manufacturers, however, are growing rapidly final in Cardiff saw Gearhouse as the demand for ever-better image quality provide a range of technical accelerates — while having regard for the many services to host broadcaster BT Sport including other factors that go to create the optimum lens an on-site special cameras facility. This received solution for any given application. feeds from the UEFA helicopter camera, in-goal cameras, handheld radio frequency cameras and the stadium ‘beauty’ shots. “UEFA and Gearhouse Broadcast have a long history of working together,” notes Kevin Moorhouse, managing director. “Last year, Gearhouse successfully provided TOCs, cable interconnection rooms, and special cameras and EVS slow-motion operations facilities as part of a comprehensive installation at all ten UEFA EURO 2016 venues in France.” Moorhouse notes that here appears to “The new Fujifilm flagship UA Series of be very little interest in 4K outside of sports 4K 2/3” lenses were the world’s first for Ultra production. HD broadcast applications and deliver true “Those that are talking to us about 4K are 4K optical quality from centre to corner only doing it to future-proof their facility, as throughout the zoom range while suppressing most do not have any programme requirement image distortion and aberrations,” notes Marc for 4K,” he says. “Many customers are Horner, marketing manager for FUJINON still not ready to jump into building IP optical devices in Europe. infrastructures for live production due to the “Viewers want to feel fully immersed in lack of interoperability between the various the sports they’re watching,” he goes on. manufacturers. We are also seeing customers “Therefore, the demand for higher resolution ask for HD infrastructures which are 12G SDI and higher dynamic range will continue to rise. capable. There is generally more interest in 4K demands a higher level of performance, and building facilities which are HDR-capable, as our new expanded FUJINON 4K broadcast lens it is widely recognised that HDR can provide a line-up meets this challenge. Our cutting-edge better viewing experience without the expense optical technology presents the next standard of building a 4K facility.” in optical performance — image quality that If 4K is apparently not yet seeing much exceeds expectations.” demand outside sport, Moorhouse isn’t “Regarding HDR, you’d be forgiven for experiencing much impact from remote live thinking that the lens plays a small part in production on his business so far either. the overall workflow,” adds Homer. “In fact, “However,” he says, “several of our it’s possibly the most important part. High customers are asking for our help in coming fidelity transmission of blacks to the camera is up with solutions. At the moment, there are essential to maximise the dynamic range that a number of manufacturers who want to sell can be captured by the camera. Our lenses are single vendor solutions. The value of a systems specifically designed to achieve this by using integrator is to take a step back from both advanced optical materials and the latest in lens the production process and the technology coating technology.” and to design a technical solution around the The FUJINON range of full 4K HDR lenses production requirements.”




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Globecast MARC LOGEZ


our contribution expertise,” says Logez. “It’s a unique automated workflow that allows our customers’ editorial teams to create fast turnaround video stories across VOD platforms and social media distribution so they can increase their reach exponentially. “We’ll also be showing our fast set-up distribution solution over public internet technology, GCXN,” he continues. “With this, our customers can entrust their distribution, disaster recovery, and monitoring services with broadcast-grade quality to GCXN.”

At the Total Africa Cup of Nations 2017 in Gabon, Globecast provided a full HD contribution and distribution service for African, European and Asian broadcasters, as well as an IP platform. The company’s package consisted of uplinks and contribution (primary and backup sources) by deploying two flyaway antennas in each of Grass Valley the four official tournament stadiums. TIM THRAVES “To do this, we managed the shipping and VICE PRESIDENT OF MARKETING local logistics for nine HD satellite broadcast COMMUNICATIONS antenna kits representing a total of six tons of equipment,” smiles Marc Logez, head of According to Grass Valley, marketing, global contribution, who notes the HDR is having a significant company’s focus on providing seamless and impact, and the company is working to help agile content acquisition, management and broadcasters capture and work in HDR with distribution services for its clients. its newest cameras and a variety of production solutions. “The reality is that many live sport productions will be mixing HDR and SDR in the immediate future,” believes Tim Thraves, vice president of marketing communications. “In order to support a mixture of HDR and SDR content, Grass Valley has integrated HDR up-mapping capabilities into the new Densité UHD-3901-UC cards. The cards can accommodate a gradual adoption of HD production elements into 4K UHD broadcasting workflows, while protecting investment in installed equipment with a model “Our global hybrid fibre and satellite for both SDR to HDR and HD to 4K UHD network for video contribution and upconversion. As broadcast studios upgrade to distribution delivers any type of video services 4K UHD, this new upconversion module allows including TV Everywhere, OTT, satellite, cable, existing, installed equipment to be used and VOD and CDN delivery using cloud-enabled integrated into more advanced workflows. This media solutions,” explains Logez. “In working includes the up-mapping of SDR content to live with the Total Africa Cup of Nations earlier within the increasingly popular HDR workflow.” this year, we transmitted 180 hours of live The company has also been adding to its HD programming plus 100 hours of private camera range. Grass Valley recently debuted signals. This was a monumental task, as more the LDX 82 Series, which includes four camera than 15 major broadcasters covered the event models where the first three are upgradable taking our live feeds.” to the next in the series, offering varying The company believes that sports production levels of operational flexibility to match every workflows are being shaped by several production need, it says. trends, including video-on-demand because Also new is the GV Korona K-Frame V-series it gives customers the flexibility to share 3 RU frame which, according to Thraves, means content across platforms, thereby increasing that Grass Valley now boasts a complete endreach and monetisation. to-end switcher line for customers looking for “At IBC this year, we’ll be demonstrating for flexible support for studio, mobile and venue the first time our Media Manager Platform, environments, where rack space and weight which responds to that trend and leverages availability may be at a premium. EUROPE SportTechJOURNAL AUTUMN 2017

Grass Valley has been no less busy when it comes to involvement in sports broadcasting. “We’ve had a couple of big wins in sport production over the last few months,” smiles Thraves. “Euro Media just made the move to 4K UHD in both its A21 and B40 OB trucks by expanding the capabilities of its Kayenne K-Frame Video Production Center switcher.” He notes that upgrading the 4 M/E Kayenne K-Frame switcher panels in the two trucks — from their compact K-Frames with 80 HD/3G inputs and 48 HD/3G outputs to standard K-Frames with 180 HD/3G inputs and 84 HD/3G outputs to provide 40 4K UHD inputs and 20 4K UHD outputs in four-quadrant mode — will meet the needs of its 4K UHD productions while easily switching to HD/3G when needed. In the US, at The Scottrade Center — home of the St. Louis Blues — the facility managers had limited time to replace the outdated broadcast equipment in the arena’s video control room with more integrated, future-ready solutions prior to the start of their 2016-2017season. “In three months from order to install, Grass Valley outfitted the improved video control room with a complete solution,” says Thraves. “With the upcoming upgrade of their video and LED boards, the St. Louis Blues plan to take the capabilities of their new Grass Valley Karrera K-Frame S-series switcher even further to sync their video boards, ice projection systems, lighting systems and more in the upcoming season.”



Such are the directions the industry is taking, GTT could be forgiven for believing that everything’s going its way. “The increasing utilisation of fibre optic-based transport to enable remote production is a key trend that plays to GTT’s strength,” believes Dan Pope, VP of media sales, EMEA. “Another key trend is the migration of production work flows to the cloud, and we are well-positioned as a cloud enabler to support this migration with our robust network connectivity offering.” Core to GTT Video Services’ offering is, says Pope, its ability to transport broadcast quality video to distribution networks across the globe. GTT maintains a presence in the major headend facilities in North America and Europe. In the past year, GTT has expanded its video 105


transport platform, supporting ATP Media’s remote production of the tennis tournament events to include the 500 series. More broadly, Pope notes, the company continues to provide fibre-based video transport to other major tennis and golf championship events around the world. “Our video transport platform continues to distinguish itself based on the flexibility and agility of how we customise our solutions to meet the specific requirements of our customers,” says Pope. It’s not just fibre and cloud-based workflow that play to GTT’s strengths: the transition to IP isn’t doing the company any harm either. “The transport of video over IP provides the opportunity for ubiquitous distribution of content,” notes Pope. “As an operator of a top five, tier 1 global IP backbone, GTT is well-positioned to enable video applications across an IP infrastructure. We have deployed a dedicated hitless Ethernet switching fabric within our video transport platform, which enables flexible and seamless video transport across the IP infrastructure. As GTT increases scale, we plan to expand this IP video transport capability to meet growing demand.”



Whether it’s Director’s Cut having used its OA3000 consoles on the FIA Formula One World Championship races; or Streamteam having deployed its Vista5 console on the Kontinental Hockey League; or NextVR using Studer consoles in its 360/3D sports video productions; or Studer On Air and Vista consoles being used throughout Japan and China on many sports channels, there can be little doubt that Harman has been very present in the world of sports broadcast over the past year. The past 12 months has also seen the company introduce the DIOS (Distributed I/O System) and the Micro Series of mixers/control surfaces and I/O frames. “These are important not only from a price/ performance perspective,” explains Mark Hosking, director of sales, broadcast,“but also in their ability to extend the flexibility and efficiency of all productions, especially live sports. “The Micro Series brings unprecedented power and control in a remarkably small and modular footprint, at a price point previously 106

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unattainable while maintaining legendary Studer audio quality,” he continues. “Being modular, the Micro Series components can be easily re-configured to meet the changing demands typically found from one live sports production to the next. DIOS brings a level of control and automation never before seen in broadcast, as it seamlessly merges both baseband and IP infrastructures into one elegant and simple to use system.” Given what it represents, it’s not surprising that DIOS will feature heavily on Harman’s IBC stand. The demonstrations will feature a variety of broadcast use cases, including REMI/@ home productions. “For production systems that are displaced over large geographic distances, as is typically the case with REMI, DIOS brings considerable advantages,” continues Hosking. “As DIOS is a unifying agent across SDI/baseband and IP infrastructures, it allows a seamless level of unified control over elements within both topologies. When controlled by DIOS’s routing management, all remote I/O resources appear with local I/O as one seamless system to the home based studio mixing desks and related equipment.” Also being showcased by Harman at IBC is Infinity Core on COTS hardware. It is, according to Hosking, the first real-time broadcast audio mixer core designed to run on commercial offthe-shelf hardware, and is highly scalable from 100 to 1,000 channels, with 768 mix buses. “This breakthrough product is perfect for high density/low footprint applications in OB trucks common to all sports productions,” he notes. An IP-based infrastructure is, believes Hosking, very much the driving technology behind REMI/@home remote production, bringing a level of flexibility and efficiency that SDI/baseband does not allow, as well as cost savings. Hosking says he is looking forward to the expected official ratification of the ST 2110 standard during the coming year, and expects it to drive massive changes in the broadcast and live sports production ecosystems. “It will have significant effect on remote production as ‘going IP’ will dramatically reduce the cabling requirements for the live production/OB truck industry, with less cabling, less weight, lower fuel costs and greater flexibility,” he believes. “Many benefits will arise from ST 2110.”



Harmonic’s cloud-native solutions are, the company says, making a significant impact on sports production. Recently, SuperSoccer, an Indonesian sports aggregator, deployed Harmonic’s VOS 360 professional cloud media processing service to stream live soccer matches, including Serie A Italian league games, over the web to subscribers in Indonesia. The softwareas-a-service solution is hosted in the public cloud and maintained and monitored by Harmonic. Another sports production achievement for Harmonic is in the area of virtual reality experiences. The company partnered with PCCW Global, the international operating division of HKT, to deliver immersive, 360-degree VR experiences live during the 2017 Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens rugby tournament. As part of a fully integrated VR workflow that included Nokia OZO cameras, Harmonic’s Electra VS compression platform enabled PCCW Global to distribute UHD VR content to consumers on a variety of devices, including PCs, smartphones and Samsung Gear VR head-mounted devices. “In the live sports production environment, speed and video quality are critical,” believes Karine Richecoeur, director, pay TV market development, EMEA & APAC. “Our VOS cloud media processing application and VOS 360 SaaS solution are helping transform the way that sports events are delivered, enabling video content and service providers to launch broadcast and OTT services in a matter of hours, not months, with crystal-clear video quality and little to no CapEx investment.” She notes that, recently, EVS has adopted the Harmonic MediaGrid system as its new high-performance nearline storage solution under the XStore brand. The EVS partnership is, she says, further proof that MediaGrid is particularly well-suited to sports production applications. In support of Harmonic’s perception that 4K UHD video content is a big trend right now and that live sports is the most popular 4K UHD video content, at IBC, Harmonic will showcase UHD-HDR contribution with content encoded at HEVC 4:2:010 bits with its new CP9000 encoder. EUROPE SportTechJOURNAL AUTUMN 2017


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TVL horizontal and vertical resolution. The colour filter on the sensor employs a dual-green SHV color arrangement and is said to achieve a high level of modulation depth.

Imagen It seems as if 4K has hardly been IAN MOTTASHED with us any time at all — yet the VP, MARKETING journey towards 8K is already well under way. It was back in September 2015 that Ikegami At Imagen, all the excitement is delivered to NHK what it says was the about Media Logger, which the world’s first 8K OB production vehicle, company has just launched. complete with 22.2 channel surround sound. “It will revolutionise the way sports content The vehicle was used for test 8K coverage of the is logged,” enthuses the company’s VP of 2016 Rio Olympics. marketing, Ian Mottashed. “It makes long form video content easier to navigate and, more importantly, to monetise. It’s the final step in creating a totally cloud-based production environment; there’s no need to spend days or weeks pushing content through an on-premises production suite before it’s ready to access and commercialise online.” IML accesses all the content in an Imagen system (either legacy or near-live) and allows “Many elements of 8K television production a team of editors to add a wide range of time infrastructure are much larger in size, power based annotations including pre-defined consumption and number of cables than their keywords, emojis, chapters, phrases and HDTV equivalent,” notes Michael Laetzsch, participants to generate rich, searchable division manager, broadcast and professional metadata at very high speed. video.“Organising an 8K OB vehicle is therefore Logging uses a pre-defined grid of keywords much more challenging than designing and or phrases which can be customised and producing traditional OB vehicles.” arranged and saved as layouts. Imagen Media Eight SHK-810 8K cameras were used with Logger ships with a range of example grids to the vehicle by NHK for trial 8K broadcasting get users started. and public viewing on a 200-inch video EVS IPDirector grids can also be imported projector in Japan. Also used for this event were directly into Imagen for pro sports video 33 Hi-MotionII ultra-slow-motion cameras logging. which capture 1,000 frames per second in HD. Imagen’s new interactive timeline gives users Regular 8K broadcast services are planned to greater control when searching through video begin in Japan in 2018, and public demand for with a zoomable timeline to preview the action 8K content is expected to be driven by coverage in detail — frame by frame — even if the media of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. is several hours long. Once zoomed, the user The SHK-810 fourth-generation 8K can pan back and forth. television camera is said to be about one “This makes creating frame accurate clips tenth the size and weight of Ikegami’s first- quick and easy,” says Mottashed. generation 8K camera and to offer significantly “IMG, which works in the areas of sports, improved operability. events, media and fashion, has relaunched its “It’s designed for both live studio and field sport media archive service as IMG Replay,” production,” explains Laetzch, “and can be adds Mottashed. “The redesign and rebrand operated in the same way as existing Ikegami reflect the archive business’s broadening broadcast camera systems. The system scope and market appeal beyond sport and the expander enables the use of large viewfinders introduction of an updated range of content and full studio lenses, converting the portable and services. The service, which continues to be camera into a full-facility studio/field camera.” powered by Imagen, has had a complete theme The SHK-810 incorporates a single 33 million- redesign and introduced several additional pixel Super 35 CMOS sensor, achieving 4,000 Imagen features.” EUROPE SportTechJOURNAL AUTUMN 2017

Imagine Communications GLODINA LOSTANLEN


At the heart of Gearhouse Broadcast’s Columbus — a state of the art, 4K/UHD-ready mobile production vehicle — is Imagine’s Platinum IP3 router. Integrated earlier this year, the IP3 provides multi-format signal distribution capabilities, including support for HD, 3G and 4K/UHD and gives Gearhouse the ability to quickly configure the new production facility. It will also enable a seamless transition to IP-based operations in the future. IP also features strongly in Imagine’s Selenio Network Processor (SNP). Announced in spring 2017, it is an all-IP-capable processing solution optimised for handling uncompressed UHD signals based on the SMPTE 2110 specification for transporting media over IP networks. “The SNP is designed to usher in a new era in live production,” says Glodina Lostanlen, CMO at Imagine, “optimising both studio and mobile facilities to take full advantage of the performance, agility and efficiency benefits of IT-based infrastructures, while at the same time easing the upgrade of operations to support UHD picture quality.” She notes that Swiss broadcast service provider tpc (technology and production center Switzerland) is to build a mobile production vehicle that will utilise the new processing technology and is expected to be the first in the industry to support uncompressed HD and UHD signals over IP based on the SMPTE ST 2110 standard. Imagine believes that most technology trends in sports production workflow are being driven by the transition of live production toward an IP-based technology foundation. “The graceful introduction of IP into traditional production workflows, creating in most cases hybrid environments in which SDI and IP coexist, is enabling sports production organisations to realise new agilities and cost efficiencies,” Lostanlen declares. “The ability to transport high quality, uncompressed video long distances, for example, enables production houses to significantly reduce the amount of equipment and resources required at event venues, allowing these organisations to cover more events than might otherwise have been possible in an all-SDI world.” 107


She goes on to note that moving production into the IP realm also simplifies the delivery of live and VOD content to IP-connected devices, such as PCs, tablets and smartphones. “As the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio demonstrated,” Lostanlen continues, “consumers of sporting content are increasingly consuming content that can be viewed at any time and from any location using IP-connected devices.” That thinking saw Imagine team up with sports production and instant replay specialist EVS to deliver Unified Venue, an arena-based solution that enables any live or previously captured asset to be enriched or made available for instant sharing anywhere in a venue — from large screen to in-suite screen to mobile devices. Not unrelated to its vision of a broadcast future in which IP will become increasingly significant is Imagine’s vision, unveiled a few years ago, of a transition to a technology foundation based on specialised software running on standard commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) equipment. “IBC 2017 will provide us with a large spotlight to present multiple proof points that our vision is coming to fruition,” concludes Lostanlen. “We’ll be showcasing multiple technologies that facilitate a graceful transition without requiring wholesale replacement of infrastructure or end-user equipment.”



Although his company has been involved in many live sporting events in 2017 like the MotoGP Series and the FINA 2017 World Aquatics Championships, which were significantly based on Lawo’s IP video infrastructure and routing solutions, Andreas Hilmer, marketing director, is especially proud of two projects in particular. “One is NEP Australia’s new production hubs project, which enable multiple concurrent outside broadcasts as remote production and will be the world’s largest networked broadcast centres,” he says. “Designed for large multi-camera sports broadcasts, they will accommodate popular sports from 29 venues across the country. The system is based on Lawo’s V_matrix platform and will see all-IP routing, processing and multi-viewer functionality based around the 108

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especially useful in ensuring we make the greatest possible use of the UHD-HDR headroom in content we deliver to our clients. “We confirmed the LV5490 purchase decision following highly successful UHDHDR coverage of the Bundesliga football match between Borussia Mönchengladbach and RB Leipzig. A key part of this production was to produce programme feeds in UHDHDR and UHD-SDR. We developed and software-defined virtual modules of the V_ implemented an entirely new HDR/SDR matrix ecosystem.” workflow for our OB truck.” “The second project is already in operation, and that is the live broadcast of Proximus Football League in Belgium, which is also produced fully IP-based as remote productions out of two central control rooms in Brussels,” he continues. “The setup comprises three flight cases that travel around the country to connect all cameras, microphones and commentary boxes in the stadia with the remote IP production infrastructure in two MCRs in Brussels. They can produce two matches simultaneously in two languages. “Occupying a half-rack-width by 4U With the combination of several V__remote4s high housing, the Leader LV5490 offers 4K, that connect to the stadia, Lawo Nova73 audio UHD, 3G, HD and SD test and measurement routers and the use of Lawo’s powerful VSM features in a compact portable unit,” says Broadcast Control and Monitoring System, Kevin Salvidge, Leader’s European regional Proximus produces high-class content development manager. “Waveform, vector, transmitted live every weekend.” five-bar and picture display can all be viewed The new product Hilmer says he is most at the same time on the LV5490’s 9 inch LCD excited about is Lawo’s KICK 2.0 automated monitor. The monitor is full 1920 x 1080 HD close-ball mixing control solution. resolution with a wide viewing angle and high “It’s a great mixing assistant for audio colour reproduction. A 1920 x 1080 HD DVI engineers and a significant step for any sports and HD-SDI rasterized output is also provided league to improve their audio production to feed a larger monitor. Simultaneous viewing quality,” he says. “It’s already in use at several of up to four SDI inputs is possible, including major ballsports events, and we look forward to overlays. The size and location of individual announcing a major league specifying KICK 2.0 channels can be adjusted on the display using as its standard at IBC.” a USB mouse so the user is not limited to fixedsize quadrants. Leader “The LV5490SER07 HDR option enables the KEVIN SALVIDGE LV5490 to measure both 4K and HD HDR in EUROPEAN REGIONAL ITU.BT.2100 Hybrid Log Gamma, Dolby PQ or DEVELOPMENT MANAGER Sony SLOG-3 protocols,” continues Salvidge. Hannover-based TVN Mobile “With the latest software, version 3.2, the Production, one of Europe’s LV5490 now incorporates five-bar display largest OB fleet operators, recently ordered capabilities.” five Leader LV5490 test instruments for use in Level 3 Communications its first UHD-HDR mobile production truck. RORY MCVICAR “We made an extensive evaluation of the PRODUCT DIRECTOR, available UHD test equipment,” said TVN MEDIA PORTFOLIO, LEVEL 3 EMEA production engineer Holger Tadge. “The LV5490 is intuitive to operate and the realLevel 3 Communications’ time false-colour picture display is proving major sporting highlights over EUROPE SportTechJOURNAL AUTUMN 2017


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the past 12 months have included providing broadcast fibre-based transmission and content distribution services for some of the largest events in the world of sport, from major European football to high profile tennis. Perhaps key amongst those events, the company says, would be the everextraordinary 2017 Super Bowl. “Our calendar has been crammed with events across the globe, from Paris to Moscow to London and back again,” says Rory McVicar, product director, media portfolio, Level 3 EMEA. “We see an explosion in demand for sports content which isn’t really limited to geography or isolated to specific consumer market trends. “One really interesting project for us has been working with a number of partners to establish remote production workflows spanning continental Europe,” he adds. “Remote production has been a conversation topic for some time, and now we’re starting to see it become a reality.” McVicar notes that Level 3 has recently announced its Vyvx Linear Channel


Distribution service, which is designed to simplify distribution of linear channel programming. “We launched it against a backdrop of growing industry demands for higher quality, flexible and cost-effective full-time linear channel distribution of television programming,” he says. “The service takes high-quality television channels from programmers like FOX and replicates them for delivery to multichannel video program distributors such as cable and satellite companies, and over-the-top video providers.” According to McVicar, the traditional market for full-time television distribution services has been dominated by satellite services, resulting in significant compression, latency, expense and operational overhead. “Level 3’s Vyvx Linear Channel Distribution Service sets itself apart from legacy providers in some key areas,” he continues, “including worldwide scalability, robustness and high quality, and increased provider visibility into all services across their distribution system.”



Limelight Networks works with most of the major companies that specialise in providing video streaming services for the largest teams and leagues, and this has seen the company stream many of the largest live sporting events during the last year. “In addition,” notes Steve Miller-Jones, senior director of product management, “we work directly with many marquee sports broadcasters such as BBC, BT, BSkyB, Channel 4, Arsenal and others to help them deliver flawless live video to their customers.” Miller-Jones says that everything Limelight does is focused on providing the best possible online experiences. “To do this, we place a significant focus on increasing our video delivery performance both for on-demand libraries and live streaming,” he continues. “As an example, recently we launched updates to our Orchestrate Platform, which have



improved viewer’s experience by significantly reducing re-buffering events by 10 percent or more, and we guarantee it. We’re offering free trials so customers can see the performance benefits firsthand.” Those enhancements will be demonstrated by Limelight at IBC, where the company will also discuss its plans for Digital Rights Management to control copying and sharing content, DVR to record live streams, and solutions for low latency streaming. “In addition to improving how we deliver streams, we’ve added more options to our Multi-Device Media Delivery product, which enables archived and live contribution feeds to be distributed to devices in multiple formats,” continues Miller-Jones. “This allows customers to configure their streams for lower latency by offering options for between 3 and 60 seconds between ingest and distribution, and to control how the available stream qualities are presented to a viewer’s device to ensure ‘best first image’ experience.” According to Miller-Jones, delivering a great experience for sports viewers requires a focus not just on the events themselves, but the overall brand presence. Like any other industry, he says, sports-orientated companies are vulnerable to DDoS attacks and malicious users attempting to gain access to application infrastructure, services and data. “To help companies counter this threat, Limelight has updated our suite of security products and introduced two new offerings,” he explains. “Security Alert is a free service designed to help our customers identify threats against their services and infrastructure, and WAF Express is an entry-level WAF product designed to protect web applications, infrastructure and data against the most common attack vectors.” Miller-Jones points out that sports-orientated video companies typically have a large library of images, videos and other content that they keep and make available to their customers. Keeping this content in a highly available location that is close to the end-users and both durable and functiona when needed can, he says, be complicated and require a lot of in-house expertise. “Limelight’s Origin Storage with the recently announced Intelligent Ingest enables companies to automatically move their content library into the CDN edge, providing high performance retrieval by end users and 110

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a distributed set of content that helps ensure “The medium is maturing at a fast pace availability, even if a primary origin becomes both on the hardware and content side,” he unavailable, as happened with S3 earlier this says. “On the hardware side, we’re starting year,” concludes Miller-Jones. to see second generation VR headsets. We’re also seeing VR starting to extend to non-VR LiveLike headsets, and in many ways: with Magic SAMUEL WESTBERG Window mode, with Smart TVs, with WebVR or DIRECTOR OF SALES, EMEA with new ways to immerse users with AR and Virtual reality, augmented mixed reality.” reality and mixed reality LiveU provider LiveLike has been RONEN ARTMAN involved in numerous sports events over the VP, MARKETING past year, such as the Champions League Final, Super Bowl LI, March Madness, the French Despite the power of the latest Open and more. processors when it comes to “LiveLike focuses on delivering best-in-class software execution, many user experiences as white label solutions for believe that hardware-based solutions will top leagues and broadcasters including Fox always be superior — and that’s the route Sports, BT Sports, FFT, France Televisions, Sky LiveU took earlier this year with the launch of and HBS,” says the company’s director of sales a hardware-based 4K HEVC/H.265 encoder for for EMEA, Samuel Westberg. its LU600 portable transmission unit for global newsgathering and events coverage.

“LiveLike empowers users to watch sports with their Facebook friends in VR even if they are in different cities,” he continues. “We launched this with Fox Sports at the Gold Cup.” Westberg describes how, on opening the app, users can connect to Facebook and join a room with any of their Facebook friends who have also downloaded the app — or can choose to be in a room with three other random viewers. At the French Open, LiveLike debuted interactive product placement in VR that linked to the FFT online boutique and a multiplex feature that allowed up to four courts to be watched at the same time. We’ve also shown multiple times how we can mix various type of content in meaningful ways to engage audiences, including 180°, 360°, 3D, and standard TV clips.” Westberg believes that VR is starting to be more than just an innovation play from broadcasters, noting that his clients are progressively installing immersive experiences in their landscape with sponsors and advertisers.

“It allows professional broadcasters and content creators to benefit from unparalleled video performance with extreme bandwidth efficiency,” says Ronen Artman, VP of marketing at LiveU. “We see massive potential for live sports and other premium applications with this solution, as well as breaking and developing news coverage.” “We’ll be featuring it on our stand at IBC, along with LiveU Solo, our plug-and-play bonded live streaming solution for online media that allows users to live-stream seamlessly directly to Facebook Live and other social media and OVPs,” he continues. “LiveU Central, our cloud-based management platform, will also be on show.” As well as covering the Super Bowl, as LiveU does every year with multiple portable transmission units, the company was also at the 2016 ÖTILLÖ Swimrun World Championship in Sweden — one of the world’s toughest races. “Swedish communications company Spocks EUROPE SportTechJOURNAL AUTUMN 2017


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Family, which specialises in storytelling for video production, turned to LiveU to bring the complete championship live in high quality to online viewers,” explains Artman. Spocks Family deployed two LU2000 servers to receive signals from three LiveU units, and streamed for nearly 12 hours as well as shooting store-and-forward footage on one LiveU unit for a separate production. “NESN — the official network of the Boston Red Sox and Boston Bruins — recently produced its 2017 Red Sox Spring Training games using LiveU At Home to accomplish true wireless mobility and HD quality productions,” explains Artman, who notes a trend for such solutions,“without the high transmission costs of satellite trucks and connectivity limitations.”

Media Links JOHN SMITH


Over the winter, Media Links’ MD8000 IP transport solution was used to supply coverage of ski jumping, alpine skiing and biathlon

from various remote locations for live then received the separate live HD streams transmission by the German public while Media Links’ MD8000 enabled transport broadcasters ARD and ZDF. of the content over the fibre networks. “Media Links’ IP transport and switching solutions create a seamless network infrastructure for broadcast IP content delivery, connecting studios with remote venues which is of particular value for live sporting events,” says John Smith, managing director, Media Links EMEA. “Using this model means broadcasters no longer need to carry the high cost of producing live events on-site.” IBC is perhaps the optimum venue to launch new products — and Media Links is Media Links partner VIDI provided a small OB taking advantage of the opportunity with the van equipped with a Media Links MD8000 IP announcement of the MDP3020. transport solution, plus a network monitoring “The MDP3020 has been developed system. Fibre capacity was arranged from the specifically for the broadcast media market remote winter sport event locations to the where economical IP media conversion is studios. An MD8000 was also temporarily required and it will have particular interest for installed at each studio to provide bi-directional sports broadcasters,” believes Smith, who notes connectivity for video, audio, and data. that live events continue to appeal to viewers, This configuration enabled production bucking the general trend for the overall crews from ARD and ZDF to capture their own decline in audience figures for pre-recorded content from the competitions. An OB engineer content. “It’s an integrated video switching


UMULUS Enabling Remote Television Production From Anywhere EUROPE SportTechJOURNAL AUTUMN 2017



and transport media gateway, designed for small-scale remote production and IP content delivery at the edge of the network, and addresses the need for a portable, network protected, remotely configurable and efficient edge device to convert and transport content.”



By far its most challenging project of the past year, according to Nev Appleton, director and co-founder of MOOV, was the huge scale graphics operation behind the third season of UEFA Champions League football for BT Sport. “A team of graphics coordinators, designers, programmers and operators pull together a world class range of graphics for every round of studio and live match programming across 11 live channels,” he smiles.

At this year’s long-awaited final, BT Sport had yet another world first which Appleton says MOOV were very proud to be a part of. “For several months,” he explains, “our special projects team developed a range of 360 VR graphics tools which, on 3 June, went live with great success.” Another achievement for the company has been that, for the seventh consecutive year, MOOV provided the complete broadcast graphics production at Aintree for the world’s most watched horse race, The Grand National. IBC, notes Appleton, represents an important opportunity for MOOV this year. “We’ll be looking for not only products to purchase, but also companies to collaborate with,” he says. “It’s absolutely key, being a creative company, that you know what does and doesn’t work for you. It’s important that we have an open approach. “I’m hoping to see some more advances in the VR camera market,” he continues, “especially after BT Sports’ successful Champions League Final in VR — and they’ve recently announced they will broadcast the English Premier League 112

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next season. That’s fantastic news, confirming VR is here to stay. I think VR has more to offer especially when stitching and headset technology develops. We have loads of ideas on how we can use this new technology in exciting ways in many different genres. We’ll certainly be looking at IP graphics workflows and how we will migrate to them.”

Mark Roberts Motion Control STEVE BOLAND


capturing the action. MHC skins have been employed by MRMC customers for events such as live coverage of Clay Court tennis, Major League Baseball and World Cup Darts, often controlled remotely via IP over long distances.” For the PDC darts coverage, MRMC developed an intuitive ‘dart board skin’ whereby the operator touches an area of the board to trigger the camera to move to a pre-stored position. Every possible camera position can be easily stored and triggered via the new UI. The MRMC robotic heads are said to provide a level of speed, accuracy and smoothness that are vital to provide close up camera shots of such a fast-paced sport. MHC will be one of several capabilities MRMC will demonstrate at IBC.

A week after IBC 2016 closed its doors, Nikon announced that it had acquired camera robotics manufacturer Mark Roberts Motion Control (MRMC). Nikon cited as its rationale MX1 the growing demand within the imaging DANA DAR industry for automated solutions to provide DIRECTOR OF PRODUCT MARKETING, unique perspectives and increased production SPORTS AND EVENTS efficiencies, and promised that it would “continue to strengthen MRMC’s leading It’s exactly a year since MX1 — market position within the film and broadcast the media services company sectors”. created by SES by combining its Platform Services unit and RR Sat — was launched. Concurrently, MX1 360 — the company’s endto-end media service platform — made its debut, with the goal of enabling leading sports rights holders, sports clubs and federations, broadcasters and other content providers to manage, deliver and monetise sports content from one centralised service platform, with full transparency and total control. MX1 360 now boasts many customers, including the Israel Premier Football League That promise has already born fruit, with who use it for live editing of sports content for the release earlier this year of MHC (Multi multiple weekend games at a time. Head Control), a software-based user interface “It’s a great example of the fast turnaround facilitating simplified control of MRMC’s that can be achieved for live highlight robotic heads. production,” says Dana Dar, director of “As well as an intuitive manual controller product marketing, sports and events. “MX1 for multi-axis systems, MHC acts as a gateway 360 enables the league to provide on-the-fly, for positional data from tracking systems, high-level highlights of its football matches translating target coordinates into smooth and with data and statistical information, increasing natural looking camera motion,” explains the viewer engagement. company’s broadcast director, Steve Boland. “Using the platform,”she continues,“content MHC also provides tailored GUIs, or ‘skins’, providers can easily distribute live sports events specific to the user’s environment. via traditional delivery methods like satellite as “One of the inhibiting aspects of live camera well as the open internet, manage assets and technology is that the user interface tends to metadata for rapid creation of sports highlights, be generic and serves many different sports or and monitor live sports with multi-game, production genres,” Boland continues. “MHC multi-screen views for different regions, sports skins allows the operating environment to and games. Beyond supporting live sports use become central to the user’s experience of cases, we make it easy to deliver VOD games EUROPE SportTechJOURNAL AUTUMN 2017


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highlights and archived games to web portals and applications, opening up additional sources of revenue for broadcasters and content providers.” Dar notes that IBC will see MX1 announce several enhancements for the MX1 360 platform to simplify global distribution of sports video content. MX1’s robust global distribution network enabled the global feed for the NFL Super Bowl from the NRG Stadium in Houston to broadcasters and online outlets all over the world. “We were also involved in the production and distribution of the groundbreaking VR 4K video ad, which was filmed during the game and aired right after it ended,” adds Dar.



For NEP UK, a highlight of the past 12 months has been the continuation of its 30-year provision of outside broadcast facilities for

UK coverage of horse racing at its new home at ITV, following three years of coverage on Channel 4. The new deal sees ITV broadcasting around 100 days of racing, and activity kickedoff in January 2017 with NEP UK creating a new custom-built, UHD-ready truck specifically for the racing coverage.

ITV has been benefiting from the feature set of the new Equinox truck, which is based around an Imagine Communications Platinum IP3 router and features Sony MVS series production switchers, Telex communications technology and a 56-fader Calrec Artemis console, among other core equipment. It features an unusually large production area, and is designed to accommodate a large number of incoming feeds.

“Having been part of British horse racing since 1984, we’ve built up many relationships with racecourses up and down the country and can offer real expertise in broadcasting live races,” says Simon Moorhead, managing director of NEP UK. “So far, we’ve covered Cheltenham Festival, Aintree Grand National, Epsom Derby, Royal Ascot and Goodwood Festival.” NEP also secured a contract to become Women’s Tennis Association tech partner to deliver comprehensive outside broadcasting provision to cover the competitive season that comprises events across six continents, with the finals being played in Singapore.





“Furthering our tennis successes, NEP UK also announced that we would be continuing our 35-year provision of delivering outside broadcast facilities for The Championship at Wimbledon with a four-year contract,” continues Moorhead. “The 2017 Wimbledon coverage was a great success, with NEP UK delivering the broadcast, from core coverage to deliverables and archiving.” The growth in NEP’s business has, inevitably, led to greater demand on its resources — and a need to add to them. The company has built five UHD outside broadcast trucks in response to the launch of UHD sports production. “We’ve worked on over 100 UHD events over the past 12 months,” notes Moorhead. “The move to UHD has meant that our technical teams had to undertake training to ensure they remain experts in their specialism, and to educate them in the new workflows and technology involved in delivering the footage.” According to Moorhead, NEP UK is still seeing the demand for 4K, HDR and IP rocket, with IP technology rapidly driving changes in production workflows. “For outside broadcast, it is easier to deploy IP in a truck than in a building,” believes Moorhead. “After all, trucks don’t have the legacy technology a building has to contend with. IP does mean investing a lot of money in change — but it is future-proof, and means the sports industry will stay on the cusp of exciting new technology and broadcasting techniques. “Shooting HDR in a live environment as opposed to films still raises some concerns,” he adds, “but it is definitely becoming an area of interest for broadcasters. The wider colour gamut creates realness for the viewer, propelling them further into the action — which, ultimately, is what the industry strives for.”



Since IBC 2016, NeuLion has been hard at work building out the feature set within the NeuLion Digital Platform. It now leverages — and is distinguished from its competitors, the company says — by its use of AI in the form of machine learning. “As personalisation services gain momentum in the marketplace, content owners are keen to have marketing efforts drive new subscriber 114

Sponsor Update

activation and engagement,” believes Chris Wagner, executive vice president. “We apply machine learning and statistical analysis to visitor behaviour and viewer ‘watch data’ to tailor category and video content pages, without the need for rule configuration. That makes targeting effortless, and delivers viewers the content they want to watch, whenever they want to watch it.” NeuLion’s Digital Platform was deployed to deliver over-the-top coverage in 4K at the historic UFC 205 Alvarez vs. McGregor mixed martial arts event late last year at Madison Square Garden. UFC.TV provided fans with a ‘digital ticket,’ offering live and on-demand payper-view access to all the UFC content, in up to 4K. Fans with a 2015 and/or 2016 Sony HDR UltraHD TV, anywhere in the world outside of China, were able to watch all the action in 4K. “The next best thing to sitting front row, ringside,” smiles Wagner. The company recently announced NeuLion ACE Analytics, a new component of the NeuLion Digital Platform that Wagner says leverages business intelligence to drive growth, quality of service and quality of experience for OTT services. “With ACE Analytics, content owners now can answer marketing questions in realtime such as ‘What are my most effective and profitable marketing channels and campaigns?’, ‘Who are my most valuable customers and how do I find more of them?’, ‘Who is likely to cancel and how can we keep them?’ and ‘How do I convert customers from free to paid?’” Wagner explains.



product marketing and sales enablement at ‎NewTek. “IP Series enabled Twitch to drive onstage video and simultaneously deliver a broadcast feed to Twitch at a fraction of the cost and complexity a traditional coax based system would demand.”

April saw the launch of the NewTek TriCaster TC1, which the company says is the first affordable end-to-end 4K IP video production system. “Powered by NewTek’s NDI technology for IP-based workflows, TriCaster TC1 offers uncompromising support for 4K UHD switching, live streaming, recording, datadriven graphics, virtual sets, social media publishing and more,” enthuses Waters. TriCaster TC1 supports 16 external inputs of up to 4K UHD 60p resolution with full functionality. It also offers multiple studiograde Skype TX channels for adding remote video guests to live productions. “For sports broadcasters and content producers, using the TriCaster TC1 can offer the capability to stream live and encode/publish video straight to social media quickly and easily,” adds Waters. “It enables users to ‘go live’ for breaking sports news or post recorded video clips that viewers can see on demand. Users can stream directly to Facebook Live, YouTube Live, Microsoft Azure, Periscope, Twitch, and other streaming sites, or deliver video clips directly to social media sites from the TriCaster TC1 interface.” Unsurprisingly, TriCaster TC1 will feature heavily on NewTek’s IBC booth.

According to NewTek, its most significant highlights in the last year have been the use of its IP Series at two of the world’s largest gaming festivals — TwitchCon 2016 and Insomnia 360. The company says that e-sports are increasingly becoming an important sector. NTT Electronics Europe “Using NewTek IP Series, Twitch was MARCO FABI able to combine video sources from HD-SDI BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT MANAGER cameras, gaming machines, gaming consoles, and graphics across an in-house network, to Televisa, one of the largest create a single interconnected production television broadc a sting environment to drive the Kappa Theatre companies in Latin America, stage,” explains Will Waters, director of chose NTT Electronics’ HC10000E H.265/ EUROPE SportTechJOURNAL AUTUMN 2017


Sponsor Update

HEVC Video Encoder and HC10000D H.265/ HEVC Decoder for the transmission to Mexico of the FIFA Confederations Cup. Televisa said that it selected NTT’s offering “because of its high quality picture and low latency even during fast movement of soccer games”. “Using HEVC instead of H.264 gave Televisa the option to reduce the bit rate and improve the quality,” explains Marco Fabi, business development manager. “But not only is compression important, latency is extremely important as well. Currently, NTT Electronics supports 33ms end-to-end latency for HD and 100ms end to end latency for 4K.” Sky Sports made a similar decision in favour of the HC10000E and HC10000D for its 4K coverage Formula One and Premier League football as it moved from an HD workflow to 4K, looking to be first to achieve end-to-end HEVC UHD delivery. Sky cited the discernment of sports viewers when it comes to quality of video, together with the increased efficiency it gave its workflow, as its reasons for making the choice. Using HEVC instead of H.264 enables Sky

Timeline TV SVG Europe Journal 0717.indd 1 EUROPE SportTechJOURNAL AUTUMN 2017

to make the decision to improve quality or to reduce expensive satellite bandwidth costs. It also saves on rack space. Sky is using NTT encoders and decoders in its three primary UHD contribution vehicles supporting Premier League football on Sky Q. The broadcaster is also using NTT platforms for primary contribution of its coverage of the 20 Grands Prix in 2017. The latest version of NTT’s UHD products can deliver a transport stream of up to 160Mbps, with end-to-end delay of 120 milliseconds, and support Dolby E pass through. The same platform also supports H.264 encoding, as well as HD and SD resolutions for even greater flexibility. “The HC10000 and HC110000 are the only hardware-based HEVC products in the world that can achieve 4K HEVC transmission at a bit rate of over 100 Mbps hi-bitrate yet still deliver a picture of the highest quality,” says Fabi. “They are highly appropriate for sports contribution workflows. “We are seeing an increasing demand for migration from HD to 4K,” he continues. “It’s

very important to use the highest compression efficiency in order to maintain the best picture quality during the transmission. This is extremely complicated when using low latency transmissions but thanks to our HEVC technology, customers can achieve this target in their workflows.” According to Fabi, NTT’s continuing emphasis is on improving the picture quality of its HEVC platform, using a single-chip HEVC encoder LSI that supports 4K/60p 4:2:2. “Our focus is on giving our customers the best performance in terms of reliability, encoding specs, latency and picture quality,” he says. “That’s why, today, our HC 11000E encoder supports not only UHD/4K 10bit 4:2:2 HEVC encoding, HDR and low delay, but also HD H.264/AVC encoding in the same unit. The HC1000D decoder is capable of decoding HEVC, H.264/AVC and MPEG2.” IBC will see NTT showcasing its new “multi-channel encoding” functionality on the HC11000E/HC10000D and “smart contribution” workflow for remote production over an IP network.

5/7/17 10:25:01





There is perhaps no bigger club football match globally than the El Clasićo games between Barcelona and Real Madrid. Broadcast in 170 countries with an estimated audience of 600 million, the production company in charge is Mediapro. Mediapro deploys more than 300 professionals and seven OB trucks, one of which is equipped with eight Panasonic AK-UC3000 4K cameras.

In Turkey, Mediapro also uses the AK-UC3000 in the UEFA Europa League, and was responsible for the first ever UEFA game broadcast free-to-air in 4K — Galatasaray vs Astana — using eight AK-UC3000 cameras, Ultra HD lenses and HEVC H.265 encoding. In partnership with Mediapro, the EBU has also delivered a number of UEFA Europa League matches using eight cameras in Ultra HD format. “NEP Switzerland has also put the camera through its paces on selected matches in the Swiss Raiffeisen Super League, broadcasting in Ultra High Definition,” says André Meterian, Director, Professional Video Systems Business Unit, EMEA. “The company has a UHD capable transmission car featuring the 4K-capable UC3000.” Earlier this year, Panasonic announced more details of the prototype 360 degree camera, first showcased at IBC, which will be available from September this year. Comprising a camera head and base unit, the system uses four cameras to produce 360-degree video in uncompressed 4K with a 2:1 image format ratio (equi-rectangular video). “Thanks to its real-time, live active stitching feature and super low latency, it achieves excellent picture reproduction equivalent to post-stitched content,” observes Meterian, “and is aimed at use in the live broadcast of 116

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sports, as well as concerts and other stadium events.” The 4K image is claimed to provide an immersive experience for the viewer. As well as automatically controlling the exposure and white balance, the camera uses high-precision ‘real-time active stitching’ to automatically change the stitching position to ensure the most accurate and natural image.



The past year has seen content solution provider PLAZAMEDIA enter into key strategic cooperation agreements with Tata Communications and Comcast Technology. “Our partnership with Tata Communications involves joint operation of a connectivity hub on the PLAZAMEDIA premises,” explains Robin Seckler, managing director, digital products. “The agreement firstly allows Tata to offer its services to German, Austrian and Swiss media clients, assisted by the Constantin Medien Group — our parent company — as its preferred sales partner. Secondly, Constantin Medien will in future be able to market its entire service portfolio worldwide via Tata. “At the same time,” he continues, “Tata is to become the preferred technology partner for Constantin Medien´s own needs in the field of connectivity and cloud infrastructure solutions. In future, PLAZAMEDIA will be broadcasting content for its clients via the Constantin Medien hub.” PLAZAMEDIA has also entered into a partnership with Comcast Technology Solutions, consisting of a sales alliance for online video platforms based on Comcast’s ‘Video Platform’. “Via the ‘Video Platform’, PLAZAMEDIA will be offering a range of services for the management, distribution and monetisation of videos from the Comcast Technology Solutions portfolio, with focus on German-speaking countries,” says Seckler. “By supplementing our own established service portfolio for such solutions, PLAZAMEDIA will be able to provide even more efficient support for the OTT value added chains and OTT workflows required by leading broadcasters and content providers across this region.” The advantage of the ‘Video Platform’-

based solution is, according to Seckler, its great flexibility, as PLAZAMEDIA is able to adjust video platforms to individual requirements, while carrying out simultaneous scaling at any time. All relevant consumer devices, such as normal websites, mobile apps or various OTT products can be integrated. Seckler notes that PLAZAMEDIA is currently also working towards offering possibilities to integrate a highly diverse range of digital rights management standards (DRM).



According to Quantum’s senior director of media and entertainment Dave Frederick, organisations are placing increasing importance on data management and data intelligence. “Companies are struggling under the weight of more and larger files,” he believes. “It’s not enough just to know that something is stored; it needs to be easy to find and access; and even more, it needs to be understood for remonetisation opportunities. We see artificial intelligence combined with built-in data management as key to mining video archives and new material for valuable information in a way that no manual process could match. Sport is rich with historical, commercial and teachable moments. The ability to find these golden moments among hundreds of thousands of hours of content makes data storage and archiving far more valuable.” The past year has seen BBC Sport expand its StorNext environment with the addition of a L attus object storage system to act as an additional copy location for all content and archives. This system, says Frederick, provides durable, scalable, and low-cost disk-based content protection while maintaining fast access and the ability to deliver directly from Lattus without involving the primary storage system used in production. Over the same period, Quantum has announced StorNext 6, which adds new advanced data management, including more efficient and cost-effective ways to meet project EUROPE SportTechJOURNAL AUTUMN 2017


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performance demands, share and access content across geographically distributed teams, and manage and protect archived content. “This version’s new features are particularly useful for sports productions where there may be different groups of people working on the same content at the same time across regionally or globally disparate locations,” observes Frederick. IBC will see Quantum highlight StorNext 6, including new features like FlexSync highspeed remote synchronisation and FlexSpace cloud-based collaborative storage. The company will demonstrate the StorNext platform running on Xcellis workflow storage performing uncompressed 8K colour correction and VR workflows.


on-demand sports streaming service that’s production workflow and ecosystem is simply currently available in Germany, Austria, more efficient,” says Ward. “It can also provide Switzerland and Japan. tremendous cost-savings, which we’ve seen through our experience working with OTT providers like DAZN.” RCS also recently teamed up with Discovery Networks Norway (DNN) on a new graphics package for its Eliteserien studio programming. The package includes a bottom ticker for live scores, standings and breaking news; a permanent score strip that populates real-time scores and clocks that display elapsed match times; and extensive sidewing graphics. RCS also built a similar package for DNN’s coverage of other Norwegian football properties “We took inspiration from the DAZN brand including OBOS-ligaen and Mester Finalen. and developed an eclectic mix of vibrant The company has also been active on the designs that we then translated into a full new product introduction front.“A few months graphics package,” notes Mike Ward, managing ago, we announced the release of Singular. director, EMEA at RCS. “At the same time, we Live in partnership with Singular,” continues MIKE WARD took the opportunity to add some workflow Ward. “Singular.Live is a web-based platform MANAGING DIRECTOR and data integration enhancements.” that allows content producers to easily design, Earlier this year, DAZN Ward sees digital distribution becoming build, control, publish and author interactive approached RCS to ask for more popular, with interest in cloud production graphics for live video feeds distributed to a help with the redesign of its and Internet delivery peaking. “An all-digital range of connected devices. This summer,

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we released a free pared down version of the platform so that consumers and digital video enthusiasts can quickly and easily integrate high-end graphics overlays into social streams and other live webcasts.” Developments to Singular.Live that Ward says respond directly to client requests will be a feature of RCS’s IBC participation.



This year‘s FIS Alpine Ski World Championships in Switzerland was supported by Riedel’s extensive radio network providing the backbone and expanded by Artist and MediorNet. “We created an integrated communications infrastructure that helped ensure the success of the World Cup and heightened spectators’ experience,” said Christian Bockskopf, head of marketing. “This event is one more example of how Riedel has become the communications leader for international winter sports events.” It’s not just winter sports, however. Telegenic’s T-Wiz OB van — which it sent to the USA to cover the professional golf tour for Sky — uses MediorNet to create a completely decentralised routing solution that allows it to acquire and distribute signals from the host broadcaster and from around the golf course for its weekly productions. This was also the first North American deployment for the MultiViewer app — which was launched at NAB — that runs on top of the MediorNet MicroN hardware.

“The MultiViewer app can take any signal from the MediorNet ecosystem and output multiviewer screens that can used locally or distributed back to the network in a flexible way,” explains Bockskopf. Riedel is excited by the company’s new Bolero wireless intercom solution, which it describes as “game changing” and which was 118

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used at this year’s Wimbledon tournament by Riedel partner RG Jones Sound Engineering. “Bolero is perfect not only for broadcast production, but also for the sports environment,” smiles Bockskopf. “An expandable, full-roaming, DECT-based intercom system in the license-free 1.9GHz frequency range, Bolero is fully integrated into Riedel’s Artist digital matrix intercom platform. Bolero offers a rich set of features and connectivity that can be applied three ways: as an exceptional wireless belt pack, as a wireless key panel, and — in an industry first — as a walkie-talkie radio.” Bolero will be at IBC for the first time this year.



Formula 1’s first race of the season in Melbourne saw the introduction of a new production switcher to Sky’s latest UHD Gallery in Isleworth, West London — The Carbonite Black from Ross Video. “It was great to see Ross as an integral part of the workflow,” smiles Phil Ventre, business development director at Ross. “The Carbonite continues to enjoy success as the world’s bestselling midsize production switcher range, and the Black version is one of the most flexible and versatile performers we’ve ever made. We’re naturally very happy that Sky are using the Carbonite Black, and we’re looking forward to developing our relationship with Sky across Europe and working more closely with them.” According to Ventre, the release of Graphite at NAB earlier in the year created a huge amount of interest for the product. “As an all-in-one solution, it’s allowing broadcasters to create more with less,” he believes.“We’re seeing partners and customers developing schedules for multiple sports that would otherwise not be cost-effective to cover. Feedback has been great so far and we expect Graphite to go from strength to strength over the next 12 months.” Ventre notes that the noise and discussion around remote production and IP carry on —

but what he’s really looking forward to is seeing how VR affects the viewing experience. “We’ve seen in EMEA broadcasters using a more presenter-led show, but there are a number of interesting trials going on across the region that link the presenters with VR,” he says. “I’m keeping a close eye on how this pans out over the next year or two. “It will be also interesting to see how the English Football League gets on in the 2017 season as they look to become their own broadcaster,” he adds. “Their OTT model, if successful, could possibly be replicated across other sports opportunities.”



IBC 2017 will see the launch by RT Software of a completely new version of its Sports Telestration solution, tOG-Sports, with a redesigned intuitive interface. “That will make it fast and easy to get complex graphics sequences to air,” says Luke Harrison, technical product marketing manager. “The new version will also include ground-breaking new functionality to help tell the story. We’ve received incredibly positive feedback from current as well as potential new customers With our live demos, we’re looking forward to getting plenty of interest.” Over the past few years, graphics company MOOV has been using RT Software products for its horse racing coverage to generate virtual distance markers, finish lines and even jockey silks on to the race track surface during live races.

“This year, Dubai racing at Maydan racecourse started off the racing season doing a similar thing through Timeline TV,” enthuses Harrison. “They were so impressed at the ease of creating such graphics that for their flagship event, the Dubai World Cup, they went even further and employed MOOV’s expertise to use augmented reality graphics for EUROPE SportTechJOURNAL AUTUMN 2017


Sponsor Update

the pre-race discussions. Graphics such as a 3D model of the racetrack and images of the star horses were placed virtually on a table in front of the presenters.” A major UK broadcaster also made use of RT Software technology for its cricket coverage to bring augmented reality graphics into its studio show this year. “With cricket being a sport that makes heavy use of statistics, they wanted to use augmented reality graphics to show these statistics to the viewer in a more interesting way than just full screen graphics,” explains Harrison. “Instead, graphics such as results or player stats would appear in the studio with the presenters. This allows the presenters to talk to the viewer on camera whilst referencing the stats, using augmented reality to help tell a story.”

phrase attributed to American merchant John Wanamaker — and it’s somewhat in response to that conundrum that new SVG Europe sponsor SAP launched SAP Brand Impact in April. “Global sponsorship spending is projected to reach over $62.8bn in 2017,” notes Mike Kemelmakher, founder and head of the SAP Innovation Center in Israel.“Sports sponsorship is responsible for 70% of that — yet brands spend a mere 1% of their sponsorship budget on measuring ROI. “Historically, there has been a lack of solutions to enable broadcasters, brands and media rights owners to automatically analyse their video content with accuracy,” he continues. “This leads them to spend more time and money than they should, and lessens transparency. SAP Brand Impact — which is scalable — automatically analyses brand SAP Innovation Center exposure in video and images by leveraging MIKE KEMELMAKHER advanced computer vision techniques. It helps FOUNDER AND HEAD media agencies, production companies and “Half the money I spend on brands to gain accurate, timely insights into advertising is wasted; the trouble sponsorship and advertising ROI.” is, I don’t know which half” is a He explains that, with more than 15,200


hours of video to review among the seven main US/European sports leagues, manually examining every hour represents a huge cost in human resources and time. SAP Brand Impact can process an hour of video in under 60 minutes — a fraction of the time taken by a manual process. He goes on to explain how SAP Brand Impact offers efficient and clear analysis of brand exposure. The detected brands are framed in the analysed video, and appear clearly in an interactive frame. Reports are provided on brand exposure in terms of frequency, duration, size on the screen, location, and additional parameters that influence viewer recognition. “With the release of SAP Brand Impact, April 2017 became a milestone in the evolution of the sponsorship market,” believes Kemelmakher.



Earlier this year Signiant launched three major platform advancements, focused on



accelerated transport to the cloud, universal access for the entire ecosystem, and storage choice. “These capabilities further our mission to provide the distributed media enterprise with fast, secure, reliable global access to their content,” says Greg Hoskin, managing director, EMEA and APAC,“no matter where it is created or stored.” Signiant unveiled what it describes as a revolutionary new transport architecture that brings its file acceleration technolog y to standard HTTP(S) transfers. It is designed for a cloud-centric, standardsfocused world, delivering multi-Gbps throughput to cloud storage, over any distance. “This standards-based approach allows customers to easily accelerate transfers via familiar interfaces such as web browsers or CLIs and SDKs from cloud vendors,” explains Hoskin. “A further benefit is the ability to seamlessly optimise delivery of either file-based content or live video feeds over the same link, ensuring speed, reliability and security for all media transfers — as well as compatibility with emerging IP production environments.” For the broadest possible access to content, Signiant also introduced functionality that enables authorised users to access their files from anywhere, on any device, without any special software on the user’s computer. “While most users engage with our systems via an installed application or browser plug-in to take advantage of accelerated transport, there are some situations where this is impractical,” continues Hoskin. “By accommodating users who want to use a mobile device or are unable to install software, Signiant enables adoption across the entire media ecosystem. System administrators can maintain full control and visibility of every transfer, while all end users enjoy a simple, uniform experience.” As storage choices continue to proliferate, Signiant says it remains committed to the notion of storage independence, and the company now offers support for S3-compatible local object storage offerings from vendors such as Dell EMC, NetApp, and Quantum. 120

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Having connected a further 25 SmartCart SVX is described as horse racing venues in Ireland a mobile, custom-built, highly this year with its Anylive fibre adaptable, ultra-bright, allnetwork, with more to come, SIS LIVE will be weather touchscreen analysis and presentation promoting Anylive at IBC as its solution for system for broadcasters. The technology can, remote production services. says Gil Cowie, the company’s founder and CEO, also serve as a standalone mobile ‘studio’ for remote productions, delivering significant cost savings and providing new opportunities for sponsorship as well.

“We’ll demonstrate how the technology and extensive skills base that we have available enables us to lead the way in remote production innovation,” says David Meynell, managing director.“Hybrid systems that allow a transition from traditional to full remote production have been developed by SIS LIVE and these solutions can be deployed for any customer.” The enhancement of the SIS LIVE’s Anylive+ Remote Production services has been a very important development, notes Meynell, particularly when more and more sports events and sports broadcasters are considering how this technology can enhance their output and reduce costs. SIS LIVE, he says, now offer a variety of flexible, cost-efficient solutions from hybrid to full IP services as well as designing remote production solutions for all scenarios. “Live OB production in traditional scenarios is resource-intensive,” continues Meynell,“which limits the amount of live content that can be produced cost-effectively. Remote production via IP all but eliminates cost bottlenecks in live workflows, which enables users to deliver more for less. The opportunity to not only centralise some of the operation, but also have every live feed available to the end-user, is extremely powerful and we have only scratched the surface when it comes to enhancing production and the viewing experience to all.” He goes on to explain how SIS LIVE’s broadcast and retail customers for horse racing are always looking to bring an extra dimension to their racing coverage, in response to which the company developed a cost-effective camera capable of providing a smooth, dynamic tracking shot of the horses as they emerge from the stalls and race towards the finish line.

“The SmartCart SVX adds a new dimension to TV sports coverage,” says Cowie. “Sports fans have seen sports analysis from inside a production centre studio, thereby losing the drama and immediacy of the live event. The touchscreen system has left the production studio and gone live into the field, bringing TV fans closer to the action — giving them the feeling of being more ‘at the game’. “At live events, TV presenters, and sports analysts discuss performances with players or competitors and use the mobile cart to dissect video replays and sift through stats and data that accompany key moments,” he continues, “giving the fans a true inside story, uniquely from the competitor’s perspective. They highlight the challenges the competitors face as the drama of the event unfolds, thus providing an improved fan experience.” The customisable carts have been deployed at the PGA Tour event, and one was used for live match analysis at the Euros for ESPN’s coverage from its Paris operation. SmartCart also provided services for IMG with IBM at this year’s Wimbledon. Predecessors of the current production version of the SmartArt SVX were delivered to several national and international sports events such as NFL International, the Ashes and the Ryder Cup, among others. “The SmartCart SVX can be described as ‘Get inside the game’,” concludes Cowie. “You get EUROPE SportTechJOURNAL AUTUMN 2017


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that unique viewpoint from the competitors bandwidth. And further workflow innovations themselves reviewing their performance on the are planned for the future that are only possible screen and talking to the fans who are watching with SAM LiveTouch.” on TV — which is something broadcasters have not been able to provide before.”

Snell Advanced Media TIM FELSTEAD


Few types of content benefit from the degree of detail possible with UltraHD more than sport — and Formula 1 has now moved to the higher definition, with Snell Advanced Media (SAM) deeply involved. The company provided switchers, routers and replay, together with innovative workflows that, according to head of product marketing Tim Felstead, have changed the way F1 works and allows faster, more creative output. “All recordings made in the 60-channel system are available to all operators,” he explains, “and local, immediate editing is available with Rio. Avoiding moving or copying 1080p files saves time, storage cost and network


The past year has also seen SAM provide 11 Kahuna production switchers for the UEFA Champions League final. LiveTouch servers were used in what SAM says was the world’s first curated UHD VR sport production, and Kahuna switchers and Format Fusion 4 signal processing technology were used for HDR workflows in Telegenic’s production for BT Sport. Snell has been no less busy on the new product development front, responding to the challenges posed by UltraHD and HDR — and especially the strong preference to eliminate compression in an IP environment, which it has addressed with the provision of 50Gb/s and 100

Gb/s interfaces on its IP multiviewers. “Wide bandwidth IP links take compression out of the UHD over IP equation,”notes Felstead. “The development of 25Gb/s, 40Gb/s, 50Gb/s and 100Gb/s and the introduction of these interfaces on products has meant the messy used of compression in production systems is now no longer needed. This technology trend will shape future production systems and move them towards uncompressed over IP, rather than a compromised UHD compressed solution over 10Gb/s. “The requirement for HDR, whatever the resolution — HD or UHD — has introduced new complexities in sports production,” he continues. “How to solve these complexity dilemmas will be a key trend in the future, one in which SAM has multiple solutions ready for customers to explore — including file-based converters like Alchemist XF and XS and realtime production solutions like Format Fusion 4 in Kahuna.” Felstead also believes that the introduction of social media as a core function in sports production has hugely increased the complexity



for both sports and sports news production, while at the same time increasing the need for speed to publish/air while complicating the processes required. “SAM’s LiveTouch recording and replay product is part of an ecosystem, and provides the ability to manage not just broadcast formats but also phone and other social formats with such a system — square, vertical video, different frame rates — take inputs and create outputs to social media platforms,” he says. “What that means is that sports production workflows, while complex, can be made much more efficient with SAM technology.” At IBC, SAM, with partner RTSoft, will demonstrate a live sports event focusing on live social media delivery in parallel with a real-time recording/replay/editing augmented reality and graphics heavy workflow.



Acknowledging the accelerating significance of IP to the broadcast world, sonoVTS — who have been involved as a prime system integrator for major sporting events throughout the past year — will take the opportunity in September to introduce new additions to its range of IP-enabled HDQLINE broadcast displays, which the company says are ideally suited to critical, high-end applications. HDQLINE broadcast displays already fit seamlessly in the majority of today’s broadcast environments, according to Wolfgang Huther, head of products and displays, with a futureproof platform design that allows adaptation to new technologies and emerging standards. “In short,” he says, “it’s a safe and powerful investment in the future. “In addition to the existing features of no-compromise colour fidelity, resolution, precision, and image quality,” says Huther, “sonoVTS will demonstrate interoperability with IP-based products of several other brands. Interoperability is the key to getting to grips with many aspects of the complexity of multiplatform, multi-resolution broadcast systems. “There is increasing interest in IP for both studio-based and remote sports productions, and while we are very confident in the products and services we have historically provided in baseband, we are very aware of developments in IP,” notes Huther. “The move to IP is now 122

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irreversible and, as always, whether we are designing and integrating OB vans, broadcast studios or live events for fixed installations or mobile applications, we’re staying very much on top of IP — and baseband — developments to ensure we deliver the most appropriate solutions for our clients worldwide.” sonoVTS will also introduce a new modular videowall that it believes will be very useful for sports productions. It consists of 3x8 55” hd2Line Pro Series FHD monitors, supported by an extremely small bezel and a self-supporting rack system. “What makes it ideal for sport among other applications is that it is exceptionally scalable, adaptable, and lightweight, and is easy to transport and assemble,” says Huther.

Sony Professional Solutions Europe NORBERT PAQUET


The launch of HDR/wide colour space-capable consumer TV sets has triggered a new set of demands for content producers, notes Norbert Paquet, strategic marketing manager, live production at Sony Professional Solutions Europe. This has seen his company rolling out the necessary support across the product family, whilst also expanding the capability within products like the XVS switcher to enable parallel UHD HDR/ HD workflows. “Gaps in the workflow have been filled by components like the HDRC-4000 HDR Production Converter,” he says, “which are now available and are being used at the biggest sporting events.” It has, says Paquet, been a very busy year for Sony in sports production and sport officiating, with teams from Sony Professional Europe and Hawk-Eye Innovations working globally to support customers. That included facilitating projects from UHD HDR BT2020/HD Rec 709 production flows to the introduction of VAR (Video Assisted Referee) at international football competitions. For example, in June Sony supported BT Sport by acting as host broadcaster for this year’s UEFA Champions League Final. The broadcast was available in UHD HDR/wide colour space for the first time, expanding the content offering from the event. At IBC 2016, Sony exhibited its concept

for a VR live sports experience utilising the PlayStation VR headset.

“Since then,” explains Paquet, “Sony has been working with clients like ATP Media, UEFA and Sky Sports to refine the capture platform and the client VR experience. This all came together in Cardiff at the UEFA Champions League Final when Sky Sports subscribers in Germany who owned PlayStation VR headsets were able to watch the match live in VR.” And at IBC 2017? “We’ll be highlighting our latest ideas for workflow innovations built on our product technology. As part of this, we’re keen to hear from customers about what’s keeping them awake at night so we can help take their stress away,” smiles Paquet.



It was Benjamin Franklin who reportedly coined the phrase “to fail to plan is to plan to fail” — and that, according to Michael Tenenbaum, managing director of global logistics and transportation company SOS Global, is at the heart of how his company does business.

“Event logistics is more about preparation than innovation,” he suggests. “That’s why we at SOS Global start so far in advance to prepare ourselves for the challenges that big sporting events present. Even though a World Cup takes place every four years, and an Olympic Games every two, many changes occur from one event to the next since a different nation is hosting it every time. Most of these events take place in such countries once in a lifetime — so, there’s no previous local experience to fall back on. Available infrastructure, rules and regulations, traffic network — everything’s different from the previous host country. “That’s why SOS Global starts sourcing EUROPE SportTechJOURNAL AUTUMN 2017


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and planning far upfront, making sure that our transport service offer is adjusted to the location,” he goes on. “Whether cargo arrives by air, sea or road, our early process allows us to offer a service that runs smoothly and without last minute surprises.” Warming to the theme of planning and preparation being everything, Tenenbaum notes that, not only is the FIFA Confederations Cup a significant exercise in itself — this year, SOS Global handled around 140,000 kilos of broadcasting equipment for the event — but it has also become something of a test run for the following World Cup, which takes place in the same country. “Most of the companies involved start their engines and discover if all the theoretical preparation actually works in practice,” says Tenenbaum. “From the transport logistics point of view, it’s a pity that FIFA is considering eliminating this tournament. Particularly when it comes to special customs clearance procedures, it allows federal customs services of the host country to run a trial and error process. It enables there to be a solid solution in place for

the much bigger World Cup event a year later.” It was customs procedures in countries such as Taiwan, Russia, China, Qatar, Mexico and Colombia that provided significant challenges for SOS Global as it supported the World Tennis association 2017 Tour, for which the company handled equipment for three broadcast vendors in parallel. Tenenbaum says he has noticed a discernible trend in the industry in that customers are becoming more aware of the importance of an impeccable transport logistics operation. Regardless of how state-of-the-art the broadcast engineering is, it would count for nothing if the cargo doesn’t arrive intact and on time, he points out. “Clients are also becoming aware that there is a diverse range of logistics services available — but if they’re moving broadcasting equipment worth millions, it’s not the best decision to hire inexperienced suppliers that offer a cheap service,” he explains.“That almost always backfires, and today, most companies realise that spending a little more on transport logistics is mostly a very smart investment.”



It’s said that it’s not the winning that’s important — it’s the taking part. Supponor might disagree, having recently been awarded gold — with ADI — at the 2017 Sports Business Awards. ADI’s innovative Virtual Hybrid digiBOARD, which integrates Supponor’s virtual replacement technology, picked up the honour for Sports Tech of the Year.

Virtual Hybrid digiBOARD combines traditional LED, visible to fans in the stadium, with Supponor’s augmented reality technology, making it possible to change the perimeter content seen by different international

RAI, Amsterdam, from September 15 to 19, HALL 10, STAND A16


With HDR and 4K a reality, the switch to IP production is now. Designing and implementing next generation OB trucks for the English Premiere League like ARENA ultra HD trucks requires system architects that master the technology and have the integration skills.





audiences watching the same match. Judges praised the innovation, which has the potential to transform club revenues by allowing brands to tailor their message for individual territories. “Our main development this year has been the launch of the industry’s first deployment ready ‘LED/Virtual Hybrid’ technology solution,” explains Charlie Marshall, Supponor COO. “In other words, bringing the already commercially deployed virtual billboard advertising replacement technology of Supponor to compatibility with the latest generation of in-venue LED systems, providing rights owners and their broadcast and brand partners a highly compelling augmented reality solution for maximising sponsor value and audience engagement.” Supponor’s technology has been used in Spain’s La Liga — where matches featuring Barcelona and Real Madrid have carried regionalised virtual signage for a number of years — Italy’s Serie A and in England’s Premiership. It’s not just football that’s benefiting, though. Supponor also provided augmented reality digital advertising replacement solutions at the World Cup of Hockey which saw dasherboard advertising in the Air Canada Centre being transformed. “We were delighted that our belief in the power of augmented reality technology to deliver the most powerful, engaging brand and broadcaster communication medium available in sport is shining through,” says Marshall.“We have worked hard for many years to ensure that we can deliver a solution of the quality required in this kind of top-tier broadcast environment.”

Tata Communications BRIAN MORRIS


Tata Communications was selected as the exclusive video distribution partner for MotoGP and WorldSBK by Dorna earlier this year, while it also kicked off its fifth season as the official connectivity provider for Formula 1. The company says it is establishing itself as an expert in enabling motorsports to seamlessly reach millions of racing fans worldwide. According to Tata Communications, it is committed to pushing the boundaries of technology in F1, including proofs of concept in 124

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areas such as live OTT and UHD video, with the aim of bringing F1 fans closer to the action. This same mentality, says Tata Communications, is reflected in the company’s work with Dorna too. The two organisations will collaborate on several innovation projects involving technologies such as low-latency UHD, 360 degree and live OTT video feeds, as well as remote production and High Dynamic Range imaging, enabled by Tata Communications’ Media Ecosystem.

“Remote production is changing the way sports broadcasters work for good,” believes Brian Morris, vice president and general manager of global media and entertainment services. “With the world’s largest and most advanced fibre network and global cloud capabilities, we are best placed to deliver feeds with extremely low latency, high capacity, reliability, stability and consistency to match broadcasters’ requirements for faster turnarounds at lower costs. “To quench sports fans’ thirst for live content anytime, anywhere, on any device, and allow them to engage with other fans on social media platforms without missing a second of the action, more and more sports organisations are turning to Ultra Live OTT video with Tata Communications,” says Morris. “From enabling content to be delivered from anywhere in the world to any device, to delivering efficiencies through remote production and cloud media storage, we are committed to propelling our sports customers forward on their digital journey.”



With a global TV audience running to hundreds of millions, Telegenic knew it had to perform. “The stakes were high and the pressure was really on,” smiles Eamonn Curtin, the company’s commercial director. “The job went without a single technical hitch and, once again, Teamgenic worked under massive pressure to deliver the perfect product. To be the technical heartbeat of such a huge event

viewed by millions was a very proud moment for Teamgenic.” Telegenic’s contribution to the UEFA Champions League Final 2017 included the supply of facilities for multilateral HD, multi 4K, multi HDR, BT Sport unilateral and UEFA fan unilateral. “We also provided the facilities for the biggest fight of the year at Wembley Stadium for Sky Sports — Joshua v Klitschko,” continues Curtin. “The fight, which aired live on Sky Sports Box Office, was one of the most watched fights of all time. Pay-per-view boxing events are always challenging, but the televising of this momentous bout was faultless — due in no small part to the hard work of Telegenic.” For Curtin, the introduction of slow motion options in the latest generation of cameras is a significant development in sports production workflow, giving productions different and more cost-effective options ranging from 2x to 6x in HD. “Also,” he says, “it’s increasingly apparent that simulcast UHD/HD OBs are becoming commonplace.” Since September last year, Telegenic has built three UHD trucks to cover over 150 live simulcast events covering rugby, Champions League football, Europa League football, Premiership football and boxing — and Curtin says a fourth is on the way. Telegenic’s fleet is equipped to handle HD, 3D and 4K production of the biggest events. It commissioned what the company claims was the UK’s first HD vehicle in 2001, launched the world’s first 3DTV mobile unit in 2010 and produced the world’s first live 4K workflow trial in 2013.



Announced just before IBC 2016, Telestream’s Wirecast Gear is a portable computer workstation fully configured for live event production and streaming. In the subsequent 12 months, it has found favour with the New York Yankees (Yes Network) for streaming to Facebook Live and other streaming social media platforms. In addition, many major professional sporting teams have purchased Wirecast — said to be the only cross-platform, all-in-one live streaming production software that enables capture, live production, and EUROPE SportTechJOURNAL AUTUMN 2017


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INTERNATIONAL SERVICES FOR LIVE AND NON-LIVE COVERAGE OF SPORTS-EVENTS. Converging broadcast and telecommunication  System integration  Contribution



Among the collectv’s highlights of the past year has been the supply to Presteigne of all the editing equipment for Whisper Films’ coverage of Formula 1for the UK’s Channel 4, and EVS integration for its 2017 and 2018 season, with remote support. “This includes running the latest versions of Adobe CC with the latest software from EVS, including IP Link,”notes Chris Sarson, managing director. “The equipment will fly around the world with the technical and production team on site at every F1 race.” Sarson notes another highlight as having been supplying CTV for Sky Sports for test cricket over the summer, including an Adobe edit system with integration and remote support for Sky’s 50P workflow. “Our most important developments have been creating 4K/ 50P workflows that are reliable and affordable, while also keeping the EVS integration as slick as the operators have

Fotos: © lukl, © ToheyVector –

encoding of live streams for broadcast to Real Madrid, Barcelona, Ajax Amsterdam, multiple servers and platforms simultaneously Manchester United and Liverpool.” — to stream to their fan base. Since IBC a year ago, Telestream has announced the latest version of Lightspeed Live Stream and Capture that integrates with Vantage. “We can now simultaneously capture and stream the live event while integrating into a Vantage workflow to create VOD assets,” notes Murray. “The integrated system is important and unique in that the system recognises the SCTE triggers used for ad insertion. This enables monetisation of assets in the C3 and D4 windows, server-based ad insertion and also complete sports broadcasts can be generated with commercials removed -all done automatically without any operator “But we’re not just about North America,” intervention.” laughs Scott Murray, vice president of marketing According to Murray, an important trend in at Telestream. “Live Arena, a Stockholm-based his market is simultaneous broadcast of the broadcast solutions company, has hundreds of game on traditional networks and streaming Wirecast installations to stream live sporting the game to reach the ‘cord cutters’. events in Europe, most notably ice hockey. “To fully monetise this correctly,” he says, And we include a number of major European “you want different ad streams and thus ad soccer clubs amongst our customers, including insertion needs to be carefully managed.”

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been used to with HD,” says Sarson. “There is a push for having technically advanced equipment with little to no support directly on site, so we have to ensure systems are tested rigorously and are robust, while fitting within the client budget.” He believes that virtualisation is something coming to the media management and server areas of an OB, foreseeing that it has huge potential to be able to spin up and pay for machines only when a production is running. “However,” he cautions, “we still come across the issues of high bandwidth capacity from some sporting areas — and also needing a lot of raw computing power as close to source as possible to then minimise the bandwidth we require.” Remote production and 4K replay systems with flexible workflows, believes Sarson, is another consideration for shaping future workflows, which include how TSL best supports equipment when not on site.



In November 2016, The Switch acquired Pacific Television Center (Pac TV) offering a fully integrated global hybrid fibre/satellite network service that, in addition to The Switch pointsof presence in North America and The United Kingdom, opened new markets for existing and future customers in the world of sports and other Switch verticals including Australia, France, New Zealand and Singapore. The acquisition also gives The Switch studio and production services in London, Los Angeles and New York City.

Sponsor Update

Brainstorm Teletransporter, and integrated a live VR camera provided by C360. In June, ESPN became the first to test Cumulus and SkyCam’s SkyCommander system on a live sports telecast during the NCAA Division I Women’s Lacrosse Championship. “The Switch Cumulus is the next-generation of remote television production, sharing television equipment in a private cloud environment, allowing access via television “control surfaces,” enabling television production from anywhere in the world,” said Scott Beers, CEO. “We expect The Switch Cumulus to lead to the development of a new model for the television sports production business. By creating a shared-services/private cloud environment for the use of television equipment, electronics and systems, ‘control surfaces’ that can live anywhere, with no compromise to the customized television production experience, a new model to produce television sports, entertainment and news programming to all platforms is achievable.” According to Beers, models like The Switch Cumulus, an enhancement to the HomeRuns production model, will enable content to be efficiently acquired, managed in a private cloud environment and offer personalized and customized content to be delivered to linear and non-linear/OTT platforms in a highly efficient manner.

view cameras on the port and starboard hull, and under-slung on the bowsprit. A live bodyworn camera integrated into the helmsman’s clothing, four crew radio mics and four cabled mics around each yacht completed the set-up. Additional RF facilities include live radio links from two helicopters, a chase boat, a committee boat and a live drone, as well as two land-based hand-held radio cameras. “Much like Formula 1 cars, the America’s Cup yachts have design parameters to include TV infrastructure,” explains Malcolm Cowan, head of technology, Timeline Television at BT Sport. “Timeline’s custom-made yacht systems, including remotely controlled mixers, transmitters and telemetry control for the cameras, are housed in an integrated media bay near the mast base, while a space is available for Timeline to mount a custom-made carbon-fibre enclosure at the top of the wing-sail.” Since IBC 2016, Timeline has introduced its triple-expanding, IP 4K HDR outside broadcast truck which Cowan says is one of the most advanced in the world. “With an Arista 100G switch at its heart and SAM IP infrastructure, UHD2 delivers large scale complex OBs simultaneously in uncompressed 4K UHD HDR and 4K UHD SDR,” he says. “IP technology removes traditional SDI matrix limits, enabling production teams to fully harness the power of UHD 4K. UHD2 is based on the SMPTE 2110 standard, enabling Timeline Television both audio and video to be processed in the IP MALCOLM COWAN stream. HEAD OF TECHNOLOGY, TIMELINE “Sports broadcasting has always been at TELEVISION AT BT SPORT the forefront of new technology,” concludes The Louis Vuitton America’s Cowan, “and workflows and the world of Cup World Series came to a IP gives us many opportunities to push the conclusion in May-June 2017, with Timeline envelope further.” having provided RF facilities and bespoke Trimaran on-board cameras for the prestigious sailing OLIVIER EMERY event. CEO

Earlier this year, The Switch demonstrated a private cloud/television production-as-aservice model — The Switch Cumulus. A SkyCam Wildcat Aerial Camera system at Timeline provided each yacht with four Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Denver was remotely controlled agile cameras mounted controlled remotely. The demo also featured on the aft horn, port and starboard beam and SMT’s Camera Tracker virtual graphics and bowsprit, augmented by three fixed point-of126

This past year has seen Georacing — Trimaran’s race GPS tracking and virtual visualisation system for outdoor sports — deployed at new events in the Middle East (the Dubai Jet Ski Marathon and the Al Gaffal Dhow Final) and in India, where it was in Mumbai for the live video broadcasting of a UIM-recognised World Championship Event, the NEXA P1 Powerboat Indian Grand Prix of the Seas. The event was broadcast worldwide by ESPN India, and Georacing supplied EUROPE SportTechJOURNAL AUTUMN 2017


Sponsor Update

all the virtual graphics for the channel. In addition, its GPS tracking system enabled TV viewers to better understand the race with live information about speed, gaps, ranking, number of laps, individual information and so on.

says Olivier Emery, CEO. “The 3D graphics simulation integrated — in real-time — the height and direction of the waves, the weather forecast, the orientation of the sails based on the force and wind direction, and enabled different points of view such as on-board skipper’s views, wide views and close-up views.” Emery believes that these technologies are the future of this type of sports production, capturing the live action in a different way and delivering it to the audience via virtual and immersive technologies. “Nowadays,” he concludes, “people want to take the place of the sportsmen, feel what they Trimaran was involved in the coverage of feel. That’s why we are investing a lot in this the Vendée Globe — a non-stop solo offshore kind of development.” sailing race around the world — in November TSL Products 2016. Georacing provided 3D technology for MARK DAVIES the daily TV programs and interactive 2D/3D DIRECTOR OF PRODUCTS AND players for the digital market (web and apps for TECHNOLOGY mobiles phones and tablets). “It was at this event that we unveiled a new ‘SWaP’ is increasingly the 360-degree immersive technology in order to acronym on everyone’s lips. It provide spectators with a simulation of the real means “size, weight and power” — and the navigation conditions faced by the skippers,” aim is to reduce all three to the minimum. TSL

Products’ MPA1 audio monitors are just 100mm deep — ideal for the confined spaces found in OB trucks and remote production workflows. “The unique web GUI feature allows remote configuration, management and control and the unit comes in MADI, Dante/AES-67 and newly-released SDI forms,” says Mark Davies, director of products and technology. “It allows at-a-glance confidence monitoring of all SDI embedding audio channels. NEP UK recently purchased 14 MAP1 Solo SDI units for use in its new HD truck.” Davies also reports that TSL’s control system — TallyMan — has now passed over 1,000 installations worldwide — which he says proves its ability to be far more than just Tally management. “As an advanced broadcast control system, TallyMan allows broadcasters to maintain high production and quality values while automating tasks and simplifying complex system due to its ability to integrate with any device protocol,” Davies explains.“Virtual panel control has developed significantly; a simple client application that runs on a computer or

Instant sports highlights online Be the first to get the biggest sports stories to the fans. Viz Story is the easy to use browser-based editing system that allows sports journalists to share their stories from the laptop in the field to online within minutes. Viz Story provides a video editing workflow with custom branded informative graphics that are tailored to any output channel and resolution, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and custom VoD platforms.

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tablet, and visually represents the task at hand. This is particularly useful in live events where quick understanding and reaction to changing events is vital.” At IBC, TSL says it will also be highlighting the power of TallyMan’s third-party integration capabilities with some very exciting demonstrations that will take place on the stand and across the show floor. Davies goes on to express his belief that IP is a “massive game changer”. It allows for more efficient remote production, he notes, and sees a shift occurring in a skillset traditionally reliant on complex engineering. “That’s where products that remove complexity are essential,” he says, “whilst maintaining the high production quality that is expected.”



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think IP needs more time to play a major role in outside broadcasting. “12G infrastructure would generally offer a simple installation,” adds Reeh, “but there is still not enough equipment available — and 12G as a standard is still struggling with the problem of high frequency.” Another area in which Reeh sees a need for extensive training is HDR.“Dealing with HDR is a completely new thing for engineers,” he says. “It´s not just more resolution, like in the past. It´s a new workflow; there are new parameters to take care of — and at the same time, a good SDR signal is still important.” TV Skyline has provided substantial facilities over the past year at both the 2017 Nürburgring 24 Hours and the FIFA Confederations Cup — the latter featuring Skyline’s OB 7 HD, which Reeh says is the only German OB van for HBS.


DIRECTOR OF BROADCAST SERVICES For Wolfgang Reeh, founder and CEO of TV Skyline — July 2’s Sunday Night Baseball which became an SVG Europe telecast from St. Louis saw sponsor earlier this year — remote production ESPN debut its new mirroris a trend that he sees growing and that is being based robotic Front Row Cam system, requested with increasing frequency. developed in conjunction with VER. The system aims to bring the low-home position, which gradually disappeared over the past two decades in favour of premium ballpark seating, back to live MLB telecasts. “The camera provides the tight shot of the pitcher’s face and super-slo-mo, but needs to be small and “We’re seeing increasing demand for fit alongside the remote production at big events,” he notes. advertising signage “But remote production is dependent on the behind home plate,” availability of stable fibre connections — and explains David their price. In our opinion, it’s not always O’Carroll, Director of sensible to undertake a production remotely Broadcast Services. “It just because it’s technically possible.” features a VER panReeh is also not convinced that IP is yet and-tilt controller for the robo operator and a ready for prime time. “With IP technology, the VER 3D-printed pan-and-tilt housing that took broadcast market will experience the biggest more than 200 hours of printing to change in its technical history,” he continues. manufacture.” “However, working with SDI or HD-SDI via a VER was also onsite at Super Bowl LI, BNC cable is quite simple compared to working overseeing a central equipment room centred with an IP signal on an RJ45 cable. For the first on a Grass Valley NVISION 288×576 router that time, a cable connection between equipment served as a central hub for signal distribution. will become really complex, and there is a The FATS (Feed All Trucks Signals) cabin need for education and training for almost features Evertz multiviewers that feed the all broadcast engineers. Because of all this, I network transmission cabin located next door, 128

the NVISION router, Cobalt frame syncs, Lawo Pro8 video processors, and more. “VER also provided flypack facilities to the NFL network for use at Discovery Green Park. There, VER provided an Evertz EQX 28×824 router, as well as three Calrec Artemis audio consoles and video monitoring for quality control,” adds O’Carroll. “The Fox Sports VR production featured VER’s EVS XT4K servers and Harmonic MediaGrid storage.” FACEIT has quickly become the leading platform for online competitions in PvP multiplayer games. With nearly 6,000,000 users, FACEIT now hosts over 2,000 tournaments and 5,000,000 game sessions per month and this year, from the SSE Arena at Wembley packed with 10,000 CounterStrike and e-gaming fans, it live-streamed an impressive 36-hour YouTube broadcast of the ECS Season 3 Finale tournament, at which VER provided camera, fibre, rigging, LED and video services. VER has supported ECS Finals with equipment and services for two major events.



Videlio has been working with Arena Television, which has a fleet of over 20 OB units, to develop Arena’s latest generation production vehicles as the company makes the transition to IP for its new 4K/UHD fleet.

The fleet upgrade includes three vehicles: OB-X (used to cover the English Premier League in 4K for BT Sports), OB-Y (following the English Rugby Union in HD for Sky Television), and the future OB-Z. Additionally, Canal+ wanted to create a state-of-the-art production centre that would further enable its existing remote production the football program each Sunday. Working with Videlio, Canal+ completely renovated its existing production, postproduction and studios. EUROPE SportTechJOURNAL AUTUMN 2017

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“Videlio have become the experts in 4K over IP,” says Malcolm Robinson, director of operations. “Since last IBC, we have focused primarily on the development of IP infrastructure for live production onboard OB vehicles and studios, as well as for remote production. With the ongoing advancements of IP and the arrival of the SMPTE-2110 standard, our industry is in a prime position for an overhaul in infrastructure. Particularly when it comes to sports, 4K (and beyond) is an absolute must for catching every down-to-the-second piece of action. IP and remote production make all this possible.” In support of the company’s vision of the future, IBC will see Videlio launch the 4K over IP Academy. “This will be a set of training courses specifically aimed at broadcast engineers to help them manage the transition from SDI baseband infrastructures to software defined networks,” explains Robinson. “The technology is there, but the know-how isn’t necessarily, and change management is an absolute must in order for CTOs and their teams to embrace these changes. There’s a real need to train broadcast



engineers and help them understand that the “This represented a significant responsibility paradigm shift of moving to IP networks is a lot for our engineers, who were tasked with simpler than they believe.” handling the signal transmissions sent from the individual stadiums to the IBCC and for VIDI forwarding them around the globe to the many ROBERT OSZVALD rights holders,” continues Oszvald. “In Russia DIRECTOR, EVENT SERVICES alone, the signals need to traverse enormous For those who were dreading distances — for example, the distance from St. a football-free summer, the Petersburg on the Gulf of Finland to Sochi on the Confederations Cup came to Black Sea is nearly 2,000 km in a straight line.” the rescue — and VIDI engineers were there to The past 12 months also saw VIDI providing design and operate the live video network. the integrated network and transport solution “To ensure the signalling pathways for Germany’s Bundesliga, as well as supplying throughout the national network were coverage of a number of skiing events and protected against outages during the live championships, including the Four Hills transmissions, a complex network topology Tournament and the Biathlon World Cup on with redundant signalling channels was set Oberhof, Germany. up,” explains Robert Oszvald, director, event VIDI has continued to enhance its network services at VIDI. “This meant that, in the event management capability, and now offers a of problems, it would be possible to switch to customer web booking portal, additional XY the backup channels using hitless switching switch panel functionality, and a VLAN module technology without viewers noticing anything.” with path finding. Audio and video data from the cameras in IBC 2017 sees VIDI with its own stand for the the stadiums was received in the IBCC, where first time, as well as being present on the stands it was processed and then forwarded. of numerous partners. In addition to hosting



demonstrations of the company’s network management capability, the stand will provide a convenient location for meetings.


Vizrt has seen its solutions deployed around the world since IBC 2016. Australian broadcaster Nine Network chose to implement AR with Viz Arena, a real-time virtual sports enhancements graphics platform, at each of the network’s live televised National Rugby League games. Viz Arena is used in the OB van onsite at each rugby match to place virtual 3D and AR graphics (including advertising and visual analysis tools) into the live video coverage of the matches and on the pitch. In Norway, Discovery Networks Norway and Eurosport have expanded their coverage across their linear television, OTT and social media platforms with Vizrt’s video editing and publishing system, Viz Story. The Discovery team uses Vizrt’s media asset management system Viz One to ingest live feeds of matches from the Norwegian football league. The feeds are immediately available in Viz Story so that users can start editing content. Meanwhile, in Italy, La Liga has been investing in a number of new and improved graphics packages for match build-ups and analysis. Realistic 360° replays, virtual player runs and automatic player-tracking are just three of the graphics now used, provided by Viz Libero. With player-tracking, for example, players’ movements are automatically tracked on the pitch and their runs accurately shown virtually. The software corrects itself if the view of a player becomes obstructed at any point. “Viz Libero 6.5 ships with a new plug-in interface to extend its capabilities with data integration like player tracking, statistics, logging and much more,” says Dr. Stephan Würmlin Stadler, chief product officer. “This gives data providers the possibility to extend Viz Libero with their own data and visualising the data in a captivating way. Services included in the plug-in interface are the game selection including player rosters, event-based video browsing, statistics data integration, heatmaps, player tracking, and the newly added generic data service.” 130

Sponsor Update


Volcano City FABIO MURRA


IBC 2016 saw Eutelsat — as a result of deploying V-Nova PERSEUS to carry UHD feeds at Euro 2016 — take a minority equity stake in V-Nova. Since then, the companies have been busy with a number of customers, investigating and trialling the technology to enhance sports coverage. In March, V-Nova launched the second generation of P.Link, its professional encoder/ decoder. P.Link is a software-centric solution providing the ability to seamlessly switch between encode and decode, HD and UHD, within the same unit. “Being both dense and very cost-effective, the solution is particularly amenable to remote production applications,” explains Fabio Murra, SVP of product marketing. “We are working with a number of companies who have deployed it and trialed it to enhance their coverage of events, by carrying back more HD feeds and enhancing the coverage with UHD feeds — without dramatically increasing costs.” P.Link has also been deployed to remotely produce HD and UHD feeds from two different locations — studio and event — and deliver them to a separate master control room for distribution to affiliates. “We expect that these scenarios will become much more commonplace as V-Nova PERSEUS powered P.Link confirms live sports can be produced, contributed and distributed in a wide range of formats at a fraction of the traditional bitrates,” adds Murra.

“Since launch,” he continues, “we have consistently shown that in a software world, innovation can happen a lot faster. The launch of V-Nova PERSEUS 2 exactly two years after the launch of the first generation is further proof of this position. V-Nova PERSEUS 2 adds further quality improvements around the key operating points that really matter to service providers, operators and consumers. Based on customer feedback, it addresses the real bottlenecks of IP video delivery, allowing for better viewing experiences across all data networks and at the operating points that are key for service delivery.”



New SVG Europe sponsor Volcano City has been working with PokerStars for over a decade. “PokerStars uses our remotely managed services to stream from their international poker events,” explains Hassan Peymani, managing director. “We supply them with a fully managed remote commentary solution in eight languages, live stream personalisation — regional graphics, in-stream regional adverts — redundancy play out and simulcasting to multiple digital platforms, social media sites as well as their own platform. “We helped them engage with more than 3 million viewers on social media from the Monte Carlo stop of their flagship 2017 tour ‘The PokerStars Championship’,” he continues. “This is a very large number for a niche sport such as poker.” Beyond its involvement with PokerStars, ELC Gaming and its partner company Allied Esports harnessed Volcano City’s fully manned live MRC station (Stream Control Center) when streaming from the first-ever mobile Esports Arena (The Big Betty Truck). “We ingested their feeds into our Stream Control Center and delivered their world feeds to channel partners across the globe,” says Peymani. “We assisted multiple social media influencers who were acting as re-streamers in ensuring that all technical aspects were met as well as hand-holding all the technical producers throughout the productions.” The past year has seen Volcano City design and manufacture a custom remote commentary console which uses a standard USB port to connect to any PC. The broadcast quality device allows three commentators to control their in-ear levels while the output is controlled by Volcano City’s remote support team. “It’s very simple to use and removes the need for audio engineers to be with the remote commentators,” notes Peymani. Volcano City specialises in providing sophisticated solutions that enable its clients to offer global video content to all their fans and deliver localised content in multiple languages to a host of different platforms simultaneously. EUROPE SportTechJOURNAL AUTUMN 2017


Because Sport TV Leads the Way Leading sports television executives from across Europe are at the vanguard of Sports Video Group Europe. An independent affiliate organisation formed by the successful Sports Video Group in the USA, its mission is to advance the creation, production and distribution of sport content — on all screens — via information, events and industry initiatives. Make sure your company and your industry are represented in this vital collaborative initiative.

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808 Talent Aerial Camera Systems Aegraphics TV AJA Video Systems/Phosphor Akami Technologies AMP Visual TV Arkona Technologies Arqiva Aspera Ateme Avid Europe AWS Elemental Axon Bexel Blackbox Blackmagic Design Broadcast RF Broadcast Solutions Broaman BT Media and Broadcast Calrec Audio Canon Europe ChyronHego Clear-Com Cobalt CTV Outside Broadcasts Dell EMC Deltacast Deltatre Deluxe Digitarena Dolby ES Broadcast Euro Media Group Eurovision Evertz EVS FinePoint Fletcher Fujifilm Gearhouse Broadcast Georacing/Trimaran Globecast Grass Valley GTT Harman Ikegami Imagen Imagine Communications Interxion

- 12 17 18 24 26 29 30 31 - 33 33 34 35 35 1 38 39 39 41 41 2 43 43 45 45 47 47 49 50 - OBC 51 5 51 53 7 55 57 55 59 59 - 11 60 15 61 61 16 63

OB/SI/Other Gold OB/SI/Other Gold Gold OB/SI/Other Gold Gold Gold Gold Gold Gold Gold Gold Gold Platinum OB/SI/Other Gold Gold Gold Gold Gold Gold Gold Gold OB/SI/Other Gold Gold Gold Gold Gold Platinum OB/SI/Other Platinum Gold Gold Platinum OB/SI/Other OB/SI/Other Gold Platinum OB/SI/Other Gold Platinum Gold Platinum Gold Gold Platinum Gold




Ben Swanton +44 203 752 2895 Matt Coyde +44 1483 426767 Neale Connell +44 1442 234 531 Gina Georgallis +44 7984 143 056 Sharan Atwal +44 7881 854 739 Jerome Dugast +33 2 51 21 60 92 Rainer Sturm +49 6155 7802881 Matthew Neale +44 330 303 6707 Lisa Borg +44 203 651 2846 Thomas Dufermont +33 169 356 156 Stephanie Genin +44 1753 658628 Alicia Hunt +1 503 222 3212 main Geert Jan Gusson +31 161 850 452 Monique Aros +44 1284 776 772 Winfried Schultz + 49 1520 155 0502 Katie Colledge +7908 773 582 Chris Brandrick +44 1322 520202 Peter Jakobson +49 6721 40080 Tine Helmle +49 89 899 964 – 60 Felicity Webster +44 1977 598694 Kevin Emmott +44 1422 842159 Blazej Klacansky +44 7969 343 752 Mark Gederman +1 401 349 4351 Judy Cheng +1 510 337 6676 Bob McAlpine +1 217 531 0165 Adam Berger +44 1483 426 767 Bhavesh Lad +1206.753.1679 Erik Kampann +32 474 542 374 Katie Depaoli +39 011 384 18344 Sam Wolf +44 207 851 6205 Jean-Luc Affaticati +41 27 723 53 55 Miriam Wright Louise Snell +44 1923 650 080 Sylvie-Anne Burr +33 1 75 60 80 22 Agnieszka Czerska +41 22717 2138 Mo Goyal +1 905 335 3700 Sebastien Verlaine +32 4 361.58.04 Giles Bendig +44 1737 236 395 Richard Hingley +44 1753 576 861 Marc Homer +447825982586 Siobhan Murtagh +44 845 820 0000 David Barbosa +33 1 41 06 62 62 Bazeli Mbo +33 (1) 5595 2604 Tim Thraves +1 530 265 1000 Randy Slack +1.908.988.1909 Rachelle Avery +1 818 920 3295 Kenzo Ishizuka +492131123-150 Ian Mottashed +441954 262004 Sharon Kuhl +44 7771 518 626 Richard Craig-McFeely +44 20 7375 7000


IBC BOOTH 7.F11 5.B52 1.B61 7.G20 1.D71 7.J20 5.C80 10.A21 12.E65 8.B59 7.H20, 7.J14 11.D12 8.A74, 0.E02 8.C60 0.D02 8.C61 12.D60 7.D11 10.D29 10.B44 7.H10 7.A14 7.H30, 15.MS37, 15.MS38 2.A11 8.A46 1.D31, 1.F29 8.A96, 8.B90 12.B20 10.B39 1.A29 1.D11 8.D60 12.A31 14.B27 4.A01 EUROPE SportTechJOURNAL AUTUMN 2017


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Lawo Leader Level 3 Limelight Networks LiveLike LiveU Mark Roberts Motion Control Media Links Mobile Viewpoint MOOV MX1 NEP Net Insight Neulion NewTek NTT Electronics Panasonic PlazaMedia Quantum Reality Check Systems Riedel Ross Video RT Software S-A-M SAP SES Signiant SIS Live Sixty Skyline SmartCart SOS Global Express sonovts Sony Supponor Tata Communications Telegenic Telestream Telstra Team Marketing thecollectv The Switch Timeline Television TSL Products V-Nova VER Vidi Videlio Vizrt Volcano City

64 65 65 19 66 67 71 67 69 71 72 21 75 75 73 22 76 - 77 77 78 79 79 25 82 83 83 85 85 87 91 27 93 95 97 99 101 103 109 - 113 111 115 117 119 121 125 123 127 129

Gold Gold Gold Platinum OB/SI/Other Gold Gold Gold Gold Gold Gold Platinum Gold Gold Gold Platinum Gold OB/SI/Other Gold Gold Gold Gold Gold Platinum Gold Gold Gold Gold Gold OB/SI/Other OB/SI/Other Platinum OB/SI/Other Gold Gold Gold OB/SI/Other Gold Gold OB/SI/Other OB/SI/Other Gold OB/SI/Other Gold Gold OB/SI/Other Gold OB/SI/Other Gold Gold



Andreas Hilmer +49 202 292 95 11 Kevin Salvidge +44 7286 178 752 Marie McMullan +44 7824 526 799 Nathalie Hoch +49 89890 584813 Fabrice Lorenceau Ronen Artman +972 9 763 2414 Assaff Rawner +44 1342 838000 Gill Payne +44 1252 622605 Charlotte van Hertum +31 7270 00502 Duncan Foot +44 208 221 6870 Michael Sion +44 20 8357 5400 Joanne Adams +44 1344 356743 Larissa Goerner +46 8 685 0400 Chelsea Nunn +44 20 7404 6333 Jane Johnston +44 1582 469555 Marco Fabi +39 249 537430 Nela Pertl +49 611-235-149 Andrea Schulz +49 89 99633 7316 Christine Bachmayer Mike Ward +44 7799 660 792 Christian Bockskopf +49 (202) 292-9516 Stuart Russell +44 7827 019494 Mike Fredriksen +44 207 384 2711 Kevin Omeara +44 1635 815804 Boris Mikhailovski +972 9-777-9400 Letizia Lottier Sharon Palermo +1 781 221 4000 Donna Palumbo +44 1908 865604 Jonas Bolge Tveit +47 (926) 25 945 Robert Kis +44 203 752 2895 Gil Cowie +44 7734 138 545 Michael Tenenbaum +49 40 611 6407 11 Ariana luna +49 89 419 671 114 Belen Arronte +34 671 756875 Charlie Marshall + 44 20 8992 1550 Kaveri Krishan +91 9892 765721 Eamonn Curtin +44 1494 557406 Rose Sponder +1 5302631644 Matt Quinn +612 2986 63643 Hannah Aitchison +41 41 368 18 18 Chris Sarson +44 20 3375 8532 Jessica Mintz +1 310 339 4017 Charlotte Wearden +44 8450 944 445 Chris Exelby +44 1628 564610 Jessica Smith +44 7881 384254 Gina Mcduffie +1 818 956 1444 Robert Oszvald +44 6151 9385 25 Kim Buiba +33 4 42 32 03 93 Andre Torsvik +47 5523 0025 Hassan Peymani +44 07837 347 081




8.B50 12.A10 14.G01 3.B62 12.F11 1.C31 14.F21 1.B24 14.A30 1.B40 14.F34 7.K11 2.C58 11.C45 7.B27 8.D16 10.A31 11.B08, 11.C10, 11.C23 9.A01 9.A01, 9.A02 9.MS51 1.B51 14.L08 1.C55 14.C20 1.A23

8.B44 13.A10 15.MS15 7.B26 14.F37

9.A01 10.B41 5.A28 2.C25 7.A20





BT Media & Broadcast








Mark Roberts Motion Control




svgeuropeupdate CLOSING COMMENT


2110 and HDR take lead in race to 2018 production


ow much change can the sports production industry undergo at once? We are about to find out as the next year will see many of the innovations in workflow, production tools, and content delivery options mature and become a larger reality for nearly everyone in the industry. And they will also be front and centre at the largest global sporting events: the Olympics and the World Cup. Arguably the most eagerly anticipated development is the expected ratification of the SMPTE 2110 standard. It may sound a bit dull from a production perspective but its impact will be exciting as it will give much more flexibility to live sports production by allowing audio, video, and ancillary data elements to be separated from each other and combined as needed. It is also expected to allow for much more interoperability between equipment from different manufacturers, solving a major problem for those interested in embracing IP-based production. It is believed that the SMPTE 2110 standard will be ratified this autumn. With that accomplished, the industry can turn its attention to making sure that interoperability becomes as seamless and simple as possible. It is not a given that making equipment 2110 compatible will be a quick or smooth process (as the saying goes “standards are great… everybody has one”) but the efforts will begin in earnest. With the vendors and manufacturers using the SMPTE 2110 standard to create real-world systems in 2018 (and most likely 2019) it is anticipated that more and more production professionals will feel comfortable making the move to IP-based production. And that move will begin a true revolution in production as it will allow for completely new workflows, including more complex at home productions, more robust 4K and HDR productions, lighter production trucks and flypacks, and much more. Most importantly, it promises to make IP a 136

BY KEN KERSCHBAUMER Executive Editor, Editorial Sports Video Group Europe

part of all future technical builds rather than just facilities designed for large productions that push traditional routing switchers to their limits. That massive transition to IP-based production will occur as the industry also grapples with the launch of 4K and/or HDR services for the home. Europe is the leader in the UHD movement and it is hopeful that others will follow sooner than later. But over-the-air channels are grappling with standards (and they play a big role in TV distribution) and most viewers do not have a TV set large enough (arguably in the range of 80 inches diagonal) to really see a difference between HD and 4K. In fact, the biggest legacy of the World Cup in Russia might be to lead to a 1080p/HDR baseline production and a 4K/HDR/Dolby Atmos production at the same time. What that will mean for consumers around the globe remains to be seen but, at the least, those broadcasting 720p or 1080i will have higher quality source material. And those rights holders looking for an excuse to offer up a UHD service will have a great opportunity to do so. HDR, of course, seems to be the future technology that sees the most interest today. Again, European sports channels are leading the charge and the workflows are still very much a work in progress. The good news is that the amount of viewers who can truly experience HDR in the home is very small compared to traditional HD and even SD delivery. That small audience gives the industry plenty of time to sort out workflows and ways to deliver it to the home without fear of losing out on revenue opportunities. It is often seen that change is good and the sports production industry is about to find out. It will be an exciting, interesting, and challenging time but you can rest assured knowing that SVG Europe’s events and educational efforts will make sure you and your team are up to speed and in the know.


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Ken Kerschbaumer, Executive Director, Editorial Tel: +1 212.481.8140 Fergal Ringrose, SVG Europe Executive Editor Tel: +353 872 348 311 David Davies, SVG Europe Editor Tel: + 44 7989 139816 Heather McLean, SVG Europe Contributing Editor Tel: +44 7986 473520 Clare Sturzaker, European Sponsorship Sales Manager Tel: + 44 7710 991595 Chris Cope, Sponsorship Sales Tel: + 44 7496 270322 Rob Payne, Managing Director, Worldwide Sponsor Development | Tel: +1 212.481.8131 Andrew Gabel, Manager, Sponsor Development | Tel: +1 646.998.4554 Dawn Boultwood, Content Production | Tel: +44 7967 197803 Livvy Maule Ffinch, Database Tim Frost, Digital and Database Development | Tel: +44 (0)14945 32112 Joe Hosken, General Manager, Europe | Tel: +44 7429 090134 Martin Porter, Executive Director | Tel: +1 516.767.6720 Paul Gallo, Executive Director | Tel: +1 212.696.1799 Magazine Production Dean Cook, The Magazine Production Company | Tel: +44 1273 467579 Magazine Printing Gemini Print Southern Ltd, Unit A1, Dolphin Way, Shoreham-by-Sea, West Sussex, BN43 6NZ. UK | Tel: +44 1273 464884 ABOUT SVG EUROPE Sports Video Group Europe supports the professional community in Europe that uses video, audio, and broadband technologies to produce and distribute sports content. Through SVG Europe, leagues, owners, teams, broadcasters, webcasters, OB companies, and technology providers learn from each other, turn vision into reality, and implement innovations. Sharing these experiences leads to advances both in the sports-production/distribution process and in the overall consumer sports experience. MISSION To advance the creation, production, and distribution of sports content. To provide a knowledge resource for the growing community of sports video professionals working for broadcast/broadband organizations, professional teams and leagues, collegiate and secondary schools, and facilities. To facilitate a dialogue with manufacturers, suppliers, and technology developers that will improve the quality and profitability of sports programming.


14 - 19 September RAI, Amsterdam


The Big Screen at IBC PROGRAMME HIGHLIGHT - HBO CAMERA ASSESSMENT SERIES Making full use of the Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos theatrical installation, the fifth season of HBO’s Camera Assessment Series is just one of the many highlights of the Big Screen at IBC this year. Taking place on Saturday 16 September, the 60-minute documentary provides insight into the imaging capabilities of each camera while also offering commentary from Directors of Photography, Producers and HBO Executives about how these types of tools are currently being used. Cameras being assessed this year include the ARRI Alexa 65, RED Epic Helium 8k, Panavision Millennium DXL, Canon EOS C700, Panasonic Varicam PURE and the BlackMagic Ursa Mini.

Featuring the latest in cinema technology with state-of-the-art cinema projection and sound installation, IBC Big Screen provides insight into the art, science and business of cinema. Visit today to find out more about the Big Screen Programme and to register for a free pass. Media Partner

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Take your entertainment experience to the next level with Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos Visit Dolby at IBC in Hall 2, Stand 2A11

Sport Tech Journal 2017  

Advancing the creation, production & distribution of sports content An SVG Europe Publication

Sport Tech Journal 2017  

Advancing the creation, production & distribution of sports content An SVG Europe Publication