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Farewell Stratford: Industry marks closure of BT Sport’s studios

Industry figures reminisce about some of the major events that took place in the recently closed BT Sport studios in Stratford

On Saturday 10th June, BT Sport broadcast its final programme from its base in Stratford.

BT Sport has been based at the studio since its creation in 2013.

However, the studios have been decommissioned as part of the launch of the joint venture between BT and Warner Bros Discovery, which will see the broadcaster in its new guise as TNT Sports move to WBD’s West London base.

TVBEurope asked members of the UK broadcast industry for some of their favourite memories of the studios.

Paul Seamon, head of technology, MOOV, on graphics and data development for BT Sport Score:

Seeing the first live show of the BT Sport Score show, using all the live data and graphics systems we built over the months before was a real highlight. It was a complex graphic L, using combinations of automated and operator-controlled graphics, mixing in the studio guests giving their hot takes on all the matches, it made for a really busy show! In addition, to keep across all the scores and day’s action, we even created an application for the presenters, which gave them a real-time view of the standings and match events across football leagues on their own tablet. Going on to support and evolve that production, by adding new features and new graphics across the entire run of the show was really good fun for the software team.

Laurie Beamont, head of graphics delivery, MOOV, on UEFA Champions League launch:

Working alongside BT Sport for the UEFA Champions League launch was an experience I’ll never forget. The trust they placed in us to deliver quality broadcast graphics across multiple platforms after securing the exclusive rights for the tournament from the 2015 season onward was truly humbling. The scale of the project was enormous, with 145 games per season and our involvement in 10 simultaneous productions on a typical group stage evening.

We were responsible for providing graphics for all eight matches, studio presentations, 4K UHD outside broadcasts, highlights edits, and the acclaimed Goals Show that received award nominations and became a benchmark for other broadcasters. The launch required a vast graphics pack and marked the introduction of AR Graphics for the studio, adding an extra level of immersion and excitement. The whole endeavour was a massive undertaking, but thanks to the dedication of our incredible team of over 30 MOOVers, including operations, coordinators, designers, and software developers, we were able to deliver flawless broadcasts and uphold the highest production standards.

Our collaboration with BT Sport truly exemplified the power of innovation and technology in sports broadcasting. It was a testament to the remarkable teamwork, creativity, and perseverance of everyone involved. The memories we created together will forever remind me of the excellence and partnership that can be achieved when passionate individuals come together for a common goal. 

Sadie Groom, founder, Rise on the Rise Awards 2022:

Last year BT Sport Studios partnered with Timeline Television to host Rise’s most significant award show to date. The studio housed over 200 in-person guests whilst its state-of-the-art facilities and cutting-edge technology were utilised to live stream the award presentation globally on Rise’s YouTube channel, allowing the celebrations to reach winners and viewers around the world. BT Sport Studios and its team played an integral role in the success of last year’s award ceremony, and I even got to sit in the gallery as assistant director (well that’s what I called myself) and this was an amazing experience.

Niki Whittle, business strategy executive, MOOV, on the Rise Awards 2022:

One of the most favourite memories I have is the transformation of the BT Sport studio for the Rise Awards 2022, where MOOV had the privilege of supplying the graphics. The dedication and attention to detail that went into creating the production were truly awe-inspiring. It was a great event that celebrated and highlighted the achievements of women in the broadcast industry.

The atmosphere was electric, with over 250 guests present to witness the awards ceremony and the event was streamed globally on Rise’s YouTube channel. It was a powerful moment, showcasing the talent and contributions of women in broadcast and inspiring others in the industry.