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Fox Sports' FIFA World Cup Now Show Produced Live for Twitter with Wirecast - TvTechnology
Broadcaster uses Telestream platform to create a linear TV type experience

MOSCOW--Fox Sports (the exclusive English-language home of the 2018 FIFA World Cup) and Twitter are collaborating on a live daily online show that is being streamed directly to Twitter using Telestream’s Wirecast live video streaming production software. Hosted by Rachel Bonnetta (@rachelbonnetta), the FIFA World Cup Now show is streamed exclusively on Twitter from Moscow’s Red Square each match day (27 shows, in total). It provides post-game recaps of all events, news, analysis, player and manager interviews, social media reaction from around the world, as well as original segments produced by Fox’s team in Moscow. The live coverage is in the United States to Twitter’s audience and can be viewed via @FOXSoccer on computers, tablets and mobile devices.

To create the live stream, the Fox Sports digital content group chose Telestream Wirecast to create a professional looking live stream that mimics the Fox Sports TV broadcast while offering digital elements such as responding to social media. The switcher inside Wirecast enables operators to switch sources and feature guests from anywhere in the world. The layers interface inside Wirecast enable operators to feature multiple picture-in-picture displays with graphics such as scores, stats, Tweets, and other relevant match data. Wirecast’s internal encoder will package and send the resulting live stream to Twitter.

"As soon as we started working with Wirecast, the quality of our productions increased dramatically. We're now at the largest sporting events in the world and we're happy with the partnership," said Daniela Mayock, who oversees the technical operations for the FIFA World Cup Now show.

The goal for the streaming show is to be an extension of everything the audience sees on linear TV, produced in a slightly different way, with a raw, in the moment feel. The same graphics packages and set location/desk (Red Square) are being used as well as high-quality broadcast cameras. Producing live streams at an event like the FIFA World Cup can be raucous, chaotic, and extremely fast-paced. It was important to the crew that they have an intuitive, stable and reliable tool that is cool under pressure and handles varying internet environments when working remotely.

“Wirecast is helping us extend our reach and increase engagement, particularly with a growing audience that is consuming their content on mobile, and many via social,” said Michael Jankolovits, Senior Director of Video Production for FOX Sports Digital.

The Fox Sports digital team used Wirecast previously for 4 shows at SXSW, and it was used for all of their major digital livestreams including:

Superbowl LI and 2017 NFC Championship Game

  • 2016 MLS Cup
  • 2017 MLS All-Star Game
  • 2016 Big East Basketball Tournament Final
  • College Football games
  • 2016 & 2017 World Series
  • 2016 & 2017 MLB All-Star Game
  • 2016 & 2017 Big Ten Football Championship Game
  • Daily FIFA World Cup digital on Twitter

The FIFA World Cup represents one of the most challenging and rewarding productions yet undertaken by the Fox Sports digital content team.

Scott Murray is vice president of product management for Telestream.