Remotely produced live 2020-21 UEFA Champions League group stage draw powered by TVU Networks
UEFA recently selected TVU Networks to deliver its first-ever remote production for the 2020 UEFA Champions League and Europa League Final 8 Draw, as well as the 2020-2021 UEFA Champions League Group Stage Draw and awards ceremony.
The COVID-19 pandemic meant that representatives of the participating teams were unable to physically attend the draws and ceremony hosted at UEFA headquarters near Geneva, Switzerland.
To solve this issue, UEFA appointed TVU Networks to provide a turnkey remote production solution to allow some of the participating clubs to attend live from their respective home locations, as well as providing on-site technical and training support for the clubs and UEFA .
The project took TVU Networks two weeks to prepare working remotely, and then three days on site. Speaking to SVG Europe, Rafael Castillo, VP Europe, TVU Networks, commented on the biggest challenge for the company in completing this project: “The biggest challenge was to coordinate with all the Champions League and Europa Football clubs [that were] part of the Final 8 throughout Europe in a very short time period, so that they all use a similar set up to secure the live broadcast ran flawlessly.
“We managed to secure a professional video and audio quality for all clubs even though they were all using different networks and devices, phones, tablets and laptops,” he added.
Many of Europe’s top clubs from across the continent attended both draws, including eventual UEFA Champions League winners FC Bayern Munich, and Europa League winners Sevilla FC. To connect each location, the remote production set up had to include return audio feeds, mix minus feedback elimination for team member interviews, synchronised intercom communication for the camera operators at each site, and transmission with less than one second delay.
Castillo went on: “The cleverest (and unique) part of this remote solution was the possibility for all the clubs to participate in the draw in real time, with broadcast quality and less than one second delay, and they could witness each club’s reaction to the results almost instantly thanks to our unique video feedback technology with less than 300ms delay and mix minus technology.
“So each football club had real, instantaneous reaction from all the participants throughout Europe, and UEFA production team could easily switch for one to one interviews and reactions with each participant.”
He added: “Also part of our remote solution workflow included our renowned TVU One transmitter, which gives you peace of mind when it comes to broadcast quality live video transmission even in complex situation, with congested or public networks.”
TVU used its Partyline technology to ensure each of the football clubs remotely participating could receive the video return of the live programme output in real time (less than 100ms delay). Mix/minus feedback elimination insured clean interviews.
For the awards ceremony, TVU Networks delivered turnkey packages to some of the attending clubs at their home location. Each TVU production package included a camera operator, technical and training support, TVU One mobile transmitters and the TVU Anywhere mobile broadcasting app for transmission redundancy. Live feeds from the remote locations were sent to Radio Télévision Suisse (RTS) studio in Geneva for final production and broadcast on the UEFA website and on other major sport channels throughout the world.
Also Videolink, TVU Networks’ Switzerland-based partner, provided extensive technical support on the ground in Geneva.
Castillo added: “We are thrilled with UEFA’s confidence in our remote production solution. UEFA has always been a technologically progressive organisation with the highest standards. And their UEFA Champions League draws are prestigious live events with a huge worldwide audience. There’s no room for error. The success of both events was a solid affirmation of our remote production technology.”
The 2020-2021 UEFA Champions League Group Stage Draw was held at the RTS Studios in Geneva, Switzerland on 1 October 2020.