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eSports and alternate sports key to broadcast expansion

Findings from new survey conducted by TVBEurope and Snell Advanced Media

A survey conducted by TVBEurope among top tier UK sports broadcasters has revealed eSports and alternate sports coverage (e.g. drone racing) to be the largest areas of industry expansion, among other key insights into how live production and sports will evolve in the following 18 months.

The research explores topics including future trends, innovation, technology and infrastructure priorities, which will also be discussed during the ‘Live Production & Sports’ webinar hosted by TVBEurope and Snell Advanced Media (SAM) on 7th September.

The webinar, which will go live at 3pm (BST), will explore the state of the broadcast industry and the challenges faced by live production and sports, including TVBEurope’s recent survey results.

The discussion will also be focused on HDR and 4K, including high-profile case studies from Formula One and BT Sport.

SAM’s EVP and general managers of media software solutions, Neil Maycock, and live production and infrastructure, Robert Szabó-Rowe, will be part of the discussion and take part in a live Q&A.

“At SAM we’re currently designing business solutions across the media production ecosystem that aim to enable sports broadcasters, content owners and service providers to evolve their business models. During the webinar, we’ll discuss the key issues in the migration to UHD, for example, as well as the opportunities and challenges for remote production,” stated Szabó-Rowe.

According to the survey, when it comes to trends set to affect the industry over the next 28 months, live social media broadcasting is the main focus (60 per cent of respondents), followed by live app development to increase fan participation and engagement and augmented reality. Furthermore, according to those surveyed, the belief is that internet players, the IT sector and telecoms companies will be jointly driving innovation in live sports broadcasting.

Increasing production value while saving costs is set as the main technology priority for live production within the next 18 months, followed by managing increased bandwidth demands to accommodate the transition to UHD and HDR. When asked what the next infrastructure step was for live production operations, an equal 40 per cent of those surveyed stated it was IP and HDR, followed by 20 per cent who believed it was UHD. Furthermore, when it comes to migrating to UHD, professionals revealed the biggest issues to be editing workflows and multi-restoration delivery to accommodate traditional platforms.

Professionals see cost-saving opportunities with live sports production in a number of areas such as automated workflows, as well as the shift to online broadcasting and remote production. Remote production and new competitive, low-cost options were also regarded as other areas where savings could be made.

The biggest opportunity that remote production provides, according to the survey, is centralised operational control for multi-site events, such as the Olympics, followed by both reduced operational costs including travel, and business model flexibility. Expanded regional event coverage and the ability to maximise investment in emerging network technologies were also mentioned as remote production opportunities.

The biggest challenge today for remote production, according to 75 per cent of respondents, is bandwidth connectivity to and from a stadium or venue, followed by ensuring network reliability of live production equipment.

Survey results and key broadcast industry issues will be discussed during the ‘Live Production & Sports’ webinar hosted by TVBEurope and Snell Advanced Media (SAM) on 7th September. Register today to secure your place.