Norway’s TV 2 and telecoms operator Telenor to build a groundbreaking sports production ecosystem with Nevion

Thomas Heizer, Nevion [left] and Svein Henning Skaga, TV 2 Norway [right] at IBC 2022

Norwegian broadcaster TV 2 and telecom service provider Telenor are building a groundbreaking sport production ecosystem using Nevion solutions, products and services.

TV 2 owns the television rights to multiple domestic sports leagues in Norway, including men’s and women’s football (soccer), handball and ice hockey. The broadcaster’s objective is to deliver the highest possible live coverage of the games to its audience.

With over 60 venues and multiple simultaneous games involved, TV 2 has contracted several production companies to produce content. The technical ecosystem defines how sports venues and production companies can participate in TV 2’s production workflows. Today, all games must be produced remotely, with TV 2 producing the final programme to be aired, effectively making this a distributed production with centralised production hubs. TV 2 can also produce other events directly, from the venues or new locations.

TV 2 has contracted Telenor to build the wide area network (WAN) infrastructure needed to achieve these objectives and provide it as a service to the broadcaster. TV 2 with Telenor and Nevion, a Sony Group company, are now creating the contribution solution linking venues, production companies and the broadcaster itself. The solution is based on Nevion’s software-defined media node, Virtuoso, its SDN media fabric, eMerge, and its media orchestration platform, VideoIPath.

The Virtuoso’s are used to provide the reliable and secure transport of video, audio and data signals over Telenor’s network which connects venues, production companies and TV 2. This involves, amongst others, the encoding on uncompressed SDI and SMPTE ST 2110-20 signals with JPEG XS (SMPTE ST 2110-22). The 25G/100G eMerges are used as access switches, providing aggregation amongst others.

VideoIPath orchestrates the media flows between every location involved. Using the multi-tenanting feature of VideoIPath, Telenor enables the production companies to control the flows involved in their own productions, effectively offering orchestration as a service to them. Some production companies are also using VideoIPath’s new broadcast control functionality to manage the connectivity. VideoIpath is also to be federated with TV 2’s existing VideoIPath system, which already orchestrates media flows within and between the broadcaster’s SMPTE ST 2110 production facilities. The VideoIPath federation allows media flows to be controlled easily end-to-end by TV 2, without compromising on the performance, resilience, and security of their own system.

In addition, Nevion is providing a full range of professional and support services, including consultancy, infrastructure design, device configuration, device integration, setup of the orchestration system, testing and troubleshooting.

Svein Henning Skaga, solutions architect at TV 2, said: “Our objective is to create the most compelling sports content for our audience, and that means using the highest production values for all leagues, both elite and lower tier. This would normally be a logistical and financial challenge, but the new production ecosystem allows us to overcome this.”

Torbjørn Hulbak, chief marketing officer responsible for the business segment at Telenor Norway, added: “From a telecom service provider point of view, creating this new infrastructure and delivering it as a service presents an outstanding new business opportunity. It leverages our strengths to provide real additional value to an important customer of ours.”

Thomas Heinzer, CEO at Nevion, concluded: “This project is highly innovative from both a business and technical standpoint, and we are excited to be part of it. We are obviously pleased our flagship products and their latest features are being used. We are also very happy about the collaboration between TV 2, Telenor and Nevion to make this production ecosystem as reality.”

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