RCS and Fotball Media score with SBS Discovery for UEFA Euro 2016 qualifiers

When Scandinavian media group SBS Discovery acquired broadcast rights for all of the UEFA Euro 2016 football qualifiers and European qualifiers for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, it enlisted broadcast graphics technology developer Reality Check Systems (RCS) and sports production company Fotball Media to reimagine its on-air image.

Collaborating with Fotball Media, RCS overhauled SBS’s studio with an integrated graphics workflow that includes two video walls powered by VizRT solutions and an interactive touchscreen solution for match analysis. A seven-person RCS crew, including two on-site team members, completed the studio configuration and setup of systems provided by SBS within ten days.

“After purchasing the rights, we knew we’d need an innovative technology partner that could build us a graphics workflow to differentiate our coverage with a stylised aesthetic. RCS has worked with ESPN and NFL, so we knew we’d be in good hands, and they were the perfect fit,” said Jan-Erik Aalbu, head of sport, SBS Discovery. “We’re constantly brainstorming ways to stay ahead of the curve, and both RCS and Fotball Media have proven instrumental in helping us move in the right direction.”

Fotball Media first enlisted RCS’s creative team to present designs and ideas to enhance the look and feel of supplemental production elements beyond the core studio graphics package provided by UEFA to all broadcasters, including the two video walls that form SBS’s dynamic studio backdrop.

RCS’s crew devised a streamlined workflow that allows one graphics operator to distribute traditional graphics while simultaneously providing additional graphics and video content to both a main LED video wall and a smaller, standalone screen built into the desk on-set. The visually and editorially compelling video wall graphics portfolio includes several 3D animations, live video inputs, national flags and a countdown to kick-off clock.

RCS also designed an in-studio touchscreen solution for SBS to allow on-air talent to complete match analysis, video telestration and more, drawing on stats provided by sports data vendor Opta. To ensure on-air talent was comfortable using the solution, RCS not only provided comprehensive on-site training, but also supplied SBS presenters with a laptop-based test station for practice at home. Since implementing the solution, SBS’s presentation team has deployed the touchscreen to transition from one match to the next, analyse key game highlights and controversies and to showcase detailed match analysis graphics.

“Working with SBS Discovery and Fotball Media was a fantastic experience. They gave us an incredible amount of creative freedom to bring the set to life,” said David Peacock, project manager, RCS. “Together we were able to build a studio that not only facilitates more visually compelling broadcasts, but one that also gives on-air talent the ability to engage viewers with statistics about the game, their favorite teams and players.”

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