The UK’s first uncompressed video contribution network, connecting all 20 Premier League football stadiums, has been installed by BT Media and Broadcast.
Described as a ‘breakthrough service’, the new contribution network enhances image quality and minimises delays for broadcasters. It’s managed by BT and includes having multiple 10Gbps links to Premier League Productions’ facilities in Stockley Park, London.
Premier League Productions is a joint venture between the Premier League and international sports production company IMG. It delivers every match live to the Premier League’s international rights holders, as well as additional production material such as instant replays, highlights packages and ready-for-air channels.
Under a three-year agreement BT will provide uncompressed live HD video feeds between the stadiums and IMG’s studios in London, enabling PLP to provide an enhanced service to their international customers by eliminating all the issues currently associated with distributing compressed video, such as delays and reduced image quality.
Nick Moody, Head of Premier League Productions (PLP), IMG, said: “We are constantly looking to innovate on behalf of the broadcasters we serve all over the world. The BT network has allowed us to greatly increase flexibility and give us the ability to scale up our service as and when we need to and, in turn, has been extremely well-received by the Premier League’s international licensees.”
It was initially anticipated that each venue would need up to 12 uncompressed visions on a match day, however due to the success of the deployment and customer demand, the requirement is frequently 20 uncompressed visions per match. On occasion, the demand has been for 32 per match
Mark Wilson-Dunn, Vice President of BT Media & Broadcast said: ‘’This has never been done before for Premier League football, so we’re extremely proud to be serving PLP, playing a crucial role in delivering the world’s most popular football league to fans across the globe. This service offers PLP a launch pad for the move to UHD delivery, with the bandwidth provided through our optical network and market leading experience in UHD outside broadcast services.”
The new service has been in place since the beginning of the 2016/17 Premier League season.