Ericsson upgrades Premier League football distribution quality for IMG

To maintain the value of the high quality premium content arising from the English Premier League, IMG Premier League Productions is upgrading its existing system based on the Ericsson Content Distribution Solution. Key to the upgrade is the ability to distribute the content in its origination colour format (4:2:2 chroma) to ensure the highest quality source for all subsequent live production and delivery stages, allowing operators and broadcasters to provide Premier League matches to consumers at the highest quality.

IMG is the world’s largest independent distributor of sports programming, distributing over 20,000 hours of content to major global broadcasters annually across all forms of media, including audio, fixed media, inflight and closed circuit, broadband and mobile. For the last nine years, IMG has relied on Ericsson’s Content Distribution Solution to deliver the majority of its sports output, including coverage of the Premier League and the Wimbledon Championships. IMG has already registered more than 1,100 Ericsson Integrated Receiver Decoders (IRDs) from around the world on its Premier League platform.

“Viewers all over the world are captivated by the varying fortunes of the 20 Premier League football clubs, so our customers demand a high quality, reliable service, to ensure these sports fans do not miss a single second of their match day experience,” says Ollie Scott, director of business development, technical Services, IMG. “Equally, the popularity of this content means it is imperative we protect its value from piracy. We had no hesitation in investing in the upgrade of our existing system; the Ericsson solution offers a robust, high quality service which safeguards against theft and unauthorised viewing, while also future-proofing our content distribution needs.”

The Ericsson solution includes the AVP 4000 System Encoder and the RX8200 Advanced Modular Receiver, offering delivery of video in all formats (from MPEG-2 to MPEG-4 AVC, from SD to HD) and total connectivity for all transmission mediums (including IP and satellite). Control and management are provided by nCompass Director, a critical component in managing a large distributed population of receivers, control content rights and robust conditional access.

Dr. Giles Wilson, head of TV compression at Ericsson, comments: “We are the market leader in content acquisition, exchange and distribution solutions, and have a long history of delivering top sports events such as the Premier League. With this upgrade, IMG will be able to retain pristine high quality video throughout the production process, while also enhancing the clarity and colour of the pictures it sends out via its service providers to the hundreds of millions of football supporters across the world.”

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