IMG launches online sports archive

IMG Sport Video Archive has launched a new state-of-the-art online platform allowing access to the world’s largest dedicated sports library via the internet for the first time. According to IMG, the new archive will allow customers to search, browse, watch, clip and download some of the world’s greatest sporting moments, with highlights including: Seve Ballesteros’ three Open titles, Bjorn Borg’s and Roger Federer’s five in a row Wimbledon wins, Jonny Wilkinson’s 2003 Rugby World Cup winning drop goal, David Beckham’s goal from the halfway line in 1996 and action from The ATP, The Ashes, the Ryder Cup, and the US Open and US PGA Championship golf events.

And if that sounds like a lot of content, it is, with the volume of the digitised archive currently standing in the region of 10,000 hours and counting.

“We contracted Technicolor Creative Services to manage the digitisation of our media,” says Guy Taylor, head of digital media services at IMG Media. “Technicolor used Front Porch Digital’s SAMMA migration hardware for migration of SD footage (BetaSP and Digi Beta tapes only, which represents the vast majority of our archive holdings). They installed a SAMMA Clean unit and a SAMMA Robot on site here at IMG for the migration, so we avoided any unnecessary transportation of tapes.

“HD and non-standard SD formats such as 1” video were digitised at Technicolor’s Perivale facility.”

The vast majority of the logging was done via EVS’ IP Director (which Taylor describes as “pretty much the best system on the market for detailed shot logging”) with a few details finished off in its proprietary MAM. All digitised footage is contained within Ardome, IMG’s MAM, in IMX50 for SD and DNx120 for HD, and is stored on LTO5 within a SpectraLogic T950 tape library server.

“Once the content is logged it is sent from Ardome via REST push to Imagen, which is the asset management system underpinning the website. The REST call initiates a transcode in Ardome and content is delivered to the website in a Flash Video file format,” Taylor explains.

IMG’s clients will have their own branded pages within the IMG Sport Video Archive site which allows access to full-length coverage as well as highlights of major events. New content will be continuously uploaded every week as other major sports and federations come onboard. And while the priority is to upload the most recent footage, the archive dates back over 100 years.

“The physical archive has over 500,000 items, mainly on tape,” says Taylor. “The digital archive (held within Ardome, as opposed to published to the website) now numbers over 10,000 hours and is growing on a daily basis as we churn through the aforementioned 500,000 items, plus new content incoming content. In parallel we are working through the aforementioned 10,000 hours in Ardome and publishing it to the website. There is a lot more content to come!”

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