Sport Production Moving Forward

SOCHI, RUSSIA—Moving forward, sport broadcasting technologies and techniques will continue to evolve and impress. From amazing slow motion replays, to specialty camera shots from positions unimaginable a decade ago, to 5.1 Surround audio, the home viewing experience will rival and in some ways surpass the “live” stadium experience.

Technology is doing more than just satisfying “Gold-Plated” customers in developed countries with a long history of Games coverage. It’s also bringing the spirit of the Games to markets that have little or no historical Games background, whether in terms of participation or TV coverage.

“In Sochi we realized we were experiencing a huge paradigm shift in the way that the Games were becoming accessible in homes all over the world when our technical support was spending time remotely helping an Asia/Pacific broadcaster, located close to the equator, to receive over satellite our seven channels of HDTV live sports content”, said Sotiris Salamouris, head of engineering and technical operations for host broadcaster Olympic Broadcasting Services (OBS).

He added that as recently as the 2008 Games in Beijing, there were countries that would only broadcast a few highlights several hours after the live events.

“Nowadays, with the Host Broadcaster offering almost 100 percent of the ... content ready to be consumed on almost any type of screen and practically everywhere around the world, the Rights Holding Broadcasters’ efforts to bring the Games to their audiences becomes much easier and more cost-effective.”

(For more on the ways technology and OBS are improving Big Event sport broadcasting, see

In the 2016 Summer Games from Rio, technology will be front and centre. But before that, Rio will also be a showcase for technology at this year’s Football World Cup. What can we expect? We’ll surely see a bit of 4K coverage in trial formats, just as we saw in Sochi.

On the production side, host broadcaster HBS will be providing new media distribution capabilities to broadcasters. This process relies on EVS’ C-Cast multimedia distribution platform. C-Cast technology will connect the live production infrastructures at the FIFA World Cup to a central cloud-based platform, aggregating live streams, multi-angles clips, stats and social network feeds. These will then be distributed to affiliate broadcasters to offer extended multimedia consumption to their community of viewers as a second screen application.

NAB attendees can also see C-Cast at work within the Cisco StadiumVision Mobile solution, which uses the technology to make multi-camera content instantly available on web-connected mobile devices in sports and entertainment venues.

Mark Hallinger