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Olympic Broadcasting Services to employ ’10 firsts’ for Tokyo 2020

Company has laid out 10 'firsts' it plans to implement across the production for the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Remote production, immersive audio, multi-camera replay systems and cloud-based solutions are among a number of ‘firsts’ being employed by Olympic Broadcasting Services for Tokyo 2020.

The company has laid out 10 ‘firsts’ it plans to implement across the production of the Olympic and Paralympic Games.


OBS will have a full native UHD HDR production, with 5.1.4 immersive audio (only the coverage of the seven outside Tennis courts will remain in HD) during Tokyo 2020. The company says it has transitioned its contribution and distribution networks to an all-IP infrastructure to support the UHD HDR production workflow.

New technologies

Among the new production technologies being employed for the Games are

  • multi-camera replay systems across several sports
  • 3D Athlete Tracking for the flagship 100 metres event which is being produced in partnership with Intel and Alibaba
  • Basketball coverage will include True View, which builds three-dimensional (3D), 360° video through an array of cameras installed high in a stadium or arena
  • Biometric data (Archery) in partnership with Panasonic
  • Live and on-demand immersive 180° stereoscopic and 360° panoramic coverage (several sports)
  • Virtual 3D graphics (Sport Climbing)
  • 2D image tracking (several sports)

OBS plans to employ remote production across the seven outside tennis courts, as well as certain press conferences. The remote production gallery will be set up at the IBC.

Cloud and virtualised workflows

In partnership with Alibaba, OBS has rolled out a set of cloud-based solutions specifically designed for high-demanding broadcast workflows. OBS Cloud allows for greater flexibility and remote production in partnership. The company has transitioned part of its broadcast workflows to the cloud and plans to extend the OBS video server to increase capacity and worldwide accessibility.

Sustainable IBC design

The company says it has been looking for efficiencies in the design of the IBC, notably introducing mini data centres known as Centralised Technical Areas (CTAs).

New content formats

OBS intends to produce additional Multi Clip Feeds (MCFs), as well as fast-turnaround sports highlights, short-form content and mobile-generated clips. It also plans to deliver a record 9,500+ hours of content in more formats and profiles in support to the rights holding broadcasters’ (RHBs) multi-platform strategies.

Digital and social media and fan engagement

OBS has introduced new positions close to the field of play and in back-of house areas at selected venues to help RHBs engage their audience on social media. It has also created an innovative digital fan engagement suite, which allows remote viewers to interact with live events in Tokyo and RHBs to connect athletes with their fans.