Eutelsat’s KA-SAT boosting local sports coverage

In the words of Eutelsat Italy CEO Renato Farina, “our KA-SAT tries to open new doors and frontiers – that could mean new economic opportunities and promotion of important activities, [which are] particularly valuable in sports communication.”

The KA-SAT with its own characteristics and capabilities is a network that can be used for low-cost TV contribution. In fact, with the News Spotter service mechanism it is possible to deliver video services with accuracy at a cost that is about half that of the traditional one in the KU band. In addition, transmission systems are drastically reduced in terms of cost and size.

There are numerous sports applications, including football training sessions, where it can be useful to convey important information on the evolution of team tactics and match play. It is possible to install devices and satellite links in fixed positions on the field at relatively low cost (starting from €350) and with minimal set-up requirements; they are composed of easily transportable suitcases in the trunk of the car and it is very straightforward to make ftp transfers of video material, recorded or live feeds.

Speaking of costs there are variations from around €1000/1500, up to €7,000 in the case of the more sophisticated implementations. Self pointing small antennas that are very useful for installation on small vehicles are also available. This type of flexibility allows users to create investment both in content and by means of transmission equipment to manufacture highly agile OB set-ups that can easily enter urban areas.

An excellent example here is the Smart electric IcarusNet van, a mobile vehicle that is very compact in size but is perfectly equipped for live and recorded footage that allows users to create content at low cost, making it ideal for news and sports.

Farina points out: “News Spotter by Eutelsat is oriented not [towards] the typical market of the broadcaster that airs the football match of Italian Serie A, but all the related events. [Above all] it is dedicated to their ‘minor’ sports, because by its very nature it allows you to create a [truncated] programme or an entire broadcast, for example on the web, for commercial TV, local and regional authorities.”

Indeed, it is clear that regional TV stations must characterise and distinguish their programmes from those delivered by national TV and major broadcasters in order to survive; therefore, the main idea is to focus on events and local sports. Ideal customers include web TV providers and sports clubs who can capture events and create stories for distribution over local/regional networks.

Renato Farina concludes: “By lowering the cost of the satellite operator anyone may follow many more events on the spot and this is particularly feasible for numerous DTT channels that require fresh content. This new offering answers the need to cover many local events. The pointing of News Spotter can be made in a maximum of five minutes and it is even easy to do manually, given that a bipper is there to simplify the whole operation. Once on, the system provides internet connectivity, and through simple on screen graphics anyone can make an online reservation and request the bandwidth and the time slot needed. It starts with very minimal cost and you can get all the necessary requirements according to the quality that the broadcaster or sports club wants to convey – and at proportionate cost. In the event that [the user] does not require a live broadcast, having the availability of connectivity, one can simply make an ftp transfer since the speed provided by News Spotter is 6MB in upload, not guaranteed bandwidth.”

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