BBC, NBC and others to rely on deltatre data for 2012

Olympic Logo - classic varietyA whole raft of deltatre technology, from its DIVA platform and on to specialist data-driven services, will be front and centre for Olympic coverage from the BBC, NBC, CTV Olympics and South America’s Terra. Sky Sports, meanwhile, is expanding the range of its DIVA-driven Events Centre.

On the player side, as it did in Beijing for NBC and Vancouver for NBC and NRK, deltatre is using its DIVA (Data Integrated Video Application) technology to drive a range of online and mobile applications for CTV Olympics and Terra (which holds the Olympic rights in 19 South American countries).

“Some of our clients will be streaming up to 22 concurrent events,” comments Jim Irving, Head of Commercial and Video at deltatre. “I don’t want to oversell it, but I think it will be a real watershed moment in TV terms regarding the sheer amount of content that is going to be delivered.”

DIVA is, of course, the technology that underpins Sky Sport’s Event centre, which last weekend saw the broadcaster soft-launch an expansion of the service to the Heineken Cup rugby tournament. It’s already firmly established as a component of Sky’s coverage of the Champion’s League, and the expansion is all the more impressive when you consider that while deltatre collates and manages the CL data, the HC data comes via Opta. Irving also hints at discussions about further expansion, with golf and cricket being obvious candidates.

“Sky love the fact that you can access eight games concurrently on the Events Centre on a Champions League night, and what is happening at the Olympics will triple that,” he says, putting 2012 in context.

And, regarding the Olympics, deltatre is also building an Olympics Results Pipeline which takes the Olympic Data Feed, and the raw data provided by ATOS and Swiss Timing, and turns that into what Irving describes as ‘web-friendly flavours’ which can then be used to power multiple outlets. “In the case of the BBC, for example, that will be powering all of the results on their Olympic website and also be powering the TV graphics. It will also be powering the results of all the other Olympic websites we’re building – the official London 2012 site, NBC, CTV Olympics, and Terra.

“The idea is that it is truly multiplatform and we’re able to do quite sophisticated things,” he continues. “Say you take the name Christopher Hoy output by the ODF, the BBC can change that to Sir Chris Hoy if it wants, both in the unilateral graphics and on the website, so that there is consistency across the board. The whole idea is that it is a write once read many dataset delivering multiple services.”

And if there is any lingering doubt remaining that 2012 will truly be The Year of Living Digitally, here are some bullet points from an IRB statement following the conclusion of the Rugby World Cup last month:

  • Official mobile application downloaded more than 3 million times
  • Over 1.4 million fans of the official RWC Facebook page
  • More than 17 million video clips viewed on the official RWC 2011 mobile app
  • Usage on mobile devices outstrips usage of through a ‘traditional’ computer

That last point is especially significant, especially in the run up to next year’s Games. “The six minute edits we provided were massively popular,” says Irving (deltatre built a whole ecology of products for digital distribution of RWC content). “The quality of the video on a smartphone – and the audio – just works really well. I hope more rights holders and more broadcasters will take up the IRB’s mantle and start giving viewers more and longer highlights packages. I’m not sure that goal and try clips have ever worked that well. To give people a properly edited highlights package within ten minutes of the final whistle – that’s the model that should be being looked at.”

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