Globecast takes Indian Premier League cricket worldwide
India: The final of this year’s IPL takes place on Sunday and much of India is forecast to grind to a halt as the Chennai Super Kings take on the winner of today’s match between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Mumbai Indians. Globecast is playing a crucial role in making sure the signals get out to the wider world, but then it’s used to that nowadays, after having spent the past few months ensuring the TX of 122 matches from both the Cricket World Cup and the 2011 IPL tournament itself.
The company deploys mixed 2.4m and 3.8m antennas at each location/stadium for the delivery of the HD world feed plus SD feeds. “First hop from the stadiums goes up on Asiasat 5 for Asia,” explains Soo Yew Weng, Snr VP Sales, GlobeCast Asia. “The signal is then downlinked at our HK facilities and delivered via our GlobeCast Backbone Network fibre to London (BT Tower) where the rest of the rightsholders from the ROW pick the signal up.”
The kit is moved around India from location to location according to the match day schedules, which is where Yew Weng says that things start getting complicated.
“The biggest logistical issue is the tight turnaround time in moving the kits from location to location,” he says. “This requires precise logistical planning utilising flights and road (trucks). GlobeCast have provided services not only for past IPLs, but for the Cricket World Cup as well, and it is the experience of having provided multiple events that has enabled us to overcome most logistical issues not only in India, but also in whichever country we operate in.”
There is a view – normally espoused in Europe, admittedly – that working in developing countries like India is the main challenge that such an operation faces, but Yew Weng disagrees. “It is not the challenge of working in India, but the challenge of running and operating such a large event over multiple locations in any country,” he says. “The challenges are quite similar across many countries where we have deployed and operated major sports events, like the 2007 Cricket World Cup in West Indies, the 2008 Beijing Olympics, the 2009 Asian Games in Doha, etc, where license applications, obtaining regulatory approvals as well as importing (then shipping out) broadcast equipment is par for the course.”