This article was first published in the IBC Daily on Sunday, 16 September 2018:
With more content available than ever before, major sporting events compete for viewers' attention. To get ahead of the game, it’s important for sports federations and event organisers to provide a more personalized experience for their audiences, no matter where they are in the world or which device they use. One of the main challenges for major events with international broadcast coverage is adapting the language of TV graphics to make the content more accessible to audiences in any region of the world.
Since TV production for sports events is usually centralised at the event venue, it is difficult to customise the TV graphics (e.g. language, units, and sponsor logos). Until recently, the only way to achieve some level of personalization was to produce several signal versions at the origin and transport them separately to rightsholders – a costly and complex operation. Therefore audiences had to accept uniform content and local brands had to leave space for global multinational event sponsors.
Eurovision Media Services (EMS) – the business arm of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) – has developed a remote graphics solution to allow sport federations to adapt TV graphical overlays for different geographies to get closer to key audiences and maximise the event value for sponsors and partners. Using one single signal, uplinked at the origin and distributed across different geographical zones, sports federations can remotely insert different graphics for each destination. For example, the name of an athlete could be shown in Latin, Cyrillic, Chinese or Arabic characters depending on the country of reception and the sponsor's logo could also be adapted to a nationally known entity. The whole process is centrally controlled by the production crew onsite to ensure a full alignment with the predefined graphical chart.
"Working closely with sport federations, managing and transporting their content, we understand their ambition to address audiences around the world and the challenges they face in doing so. By inserting the graphics at the destination, clients can limit the costs associated with their feeds distribution and make their events more attractive to rightsholders and sponsors," said Michele Gosetti, Head of Global Sales at EMS.
A successful preliminary pilot took place earlier this year during the 2018 FIS Ski World Cup in Crans-Montana, Switzerland. In addition, the solution was also showcased at SportsInnovation 2018 in Dusseldorf, Germany, where the original TV graphics of 3 live football matches (in German) were replaced with Spanish, Russian and Chinese versions.
Want to learn more? Meet with one of our experts and see the Eurovision Remote Graphics Solution in action during the IBC Show at Stand 10.F20.