UEFA's innovative use of technology at UEFA EURO 2012 this summer has been honoured with the SVG Europe IBC Technology Award as one of this year's top achievements in sports broadcasting. UEFA was rewarded along with the Olympics production efforts undertaken by Olympic Broadcasting Services (OBS), and the BBC's coverage of the Olympic Flame torch relay.
The deployment of technology in the UEFA Host Broadcasting (UEFA HB) operations at UEFA EURO 2012 in Poland and Ukraine was highlighted in the cooperation between UEFA and EVS – designer of leading broadcast and media production systems for sports, news and television entertainment – and their second-screen technology, C-Cast. Thanks to the developments between the UEFA in-house team and EVS, this technology was used as part of the UEFA HB infrastructure at the tournament.
The application, launched at the start of this year, was offered to rights-holding UEFA EURO 2012 Broadcast Partners (UBPs). Subscribers to the service were able to choose between multiple angles of replays of any action on their chosen live match. The replay clips created at the venue on the UEFA HB trucks were then sent directly to the International Broadcast Centre (IBC) in Warsaw, and the clips were made available from there to application users around the world.
"This year's recipients all helped move the sport production industry forward in 2012 and once again showed the pivotal role that sport production plays in developing new workflows and technologies," said Ken Kerschbaumer, SVG Europe editorial director. "More importantly, the technologies and workflows can be used by all industry professionals, regardless of whether or not they are working in sport production."
It was the first time at a major live event that the TV experience was combined with a second-screen, tablet, iPad experience. Uniquely, viewers could watch the match live on TV and then view unseen replay angles on their tablet. The service was deployed by UBPs as a complement to their on-air live experience. The level of control that UEFA had on all aspects of the technology and production of the host broadcast allowed the implementation of such an advanced second-screen experience for the first time at an event.
The interest from broadcasters and viewers alike in this second-screen experience was confirmed by take-up and viewing times. One broadcaster had 340,611 visits with nearly 50,000 downloads. The real move within the market was the fact that the average visit for a user who downloaded the app was one hour, ten minutes.
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