SVG Europe announces BT Media & Broadcast as latest Gold Sponsor

Mark Wilson, BT M&B Vice-President; Credit: VisMedia +44 (0)20 7613 2555

Mark Wilson, BT M&B Vice-President; Credit: VisMedia; +44 (0)20 7613 2555

SVG Europe is delighted to announce a new addition to its roll-call of SVG Europe sponsors in the form of BT Media & Broadcast. BT M&B is the digital media and broadcast solutions arm of BT, with more than 60 years’ experience in providing global media solutions.

BT M&B’s core business is to support the workflow of getting content from glass (of the camera) to glass (of the consumption or viewing/listening device) through a complex, multifunctional, multi-organisational supply chain which is geographically spread out. This applies to all aspects of the supply chain for television and film production, post production, contribution and distribution.

Among other headline statistics, BT M&B currently: serves over 500 media production and distribution customers worldwide; operates almost 100% terrestrial TV networks/100% Freeview digital TV networks across the UK; distributes international TV, including NBC Universal, Viacom, Fox, Star TV, CNBC and BBC World Service; moves up to 16,000 hours of content a day through the BT Tower; provides the backhaul network for most UK sport to be transmitted to global audiences (Premier League, European Champions League, Wimbledon, Ryder Cup, Olympic Games); and operates one of the biggest satellite teleports in Europe as well as maintaining close relationships with all major satellite operators.

PLP project

BT M&B has been involved in a number of high-level infrastructure deployments related to sports broadcasting. One of its most significant recent projects revolved around its securing of a competitive tender to provide Premier League Productions (PLP) with a fibre-based terrestrial contribution service from all Premier League grounds to IMG’s operational facility in Stockley Park.

The agreement is to provide PLP with up to 20 linear, uncompressed HD visions, with an additional four visions delivered as either MPEG4 or J2K. The 20 uncompressed HD visions are 1.5Gbit/s each and the other four are 150Mbit/s.

The new solution had to be fully operational at each of the 20 stadiums in time for the start of the 2016/17 season. Since August 2016, each Premier League ground has enjoyed 40Gbit/s of connectivity from environmentally controlled, UPS (uninterrupted power supply) protected cabinets, allowing up to 20 bi-directional uncompressed HD visions simultaneously with 4-wire comms and IP data.

Initially PLP anticipated utilising 10-12 visions per match, but by the second week of the season this had doubled to 24 visions. And over the Easter weekend this peaked at 34 visions from a single stadium. BT M&B believes that this volume of simultaneous visions into and into/out of a single venue is unrivalled anywhere else in the UK, and possibly in Europe.

The network has enabled PLP to move production from on-site to semi-remote. On match days, PLP bring 80 simultaneous uncompressed HD feeds into their operational and production facility at IMG Studios at Stockley Park.

Unilateral content can be delivered from site to international broadcasters seamlessly. Plus, international broadcasters benefit from the network by PLP having the flexibility to accommodate dedicated cameras, commentary feeds, on-site studios etc – whatever’s needed to make a great programme. The network can also provide a return feed from BT Tower. This enables commentators, production staff on-site and in the studio, to see the output of the content in real-time.

According to BT M&B, the internet and data services available through the cabinet make on-site working for the OB and production staff easier and more reliable. It’s not just used for match day coverage either. The network is ‘always-on’, so is available for PLP’s journalists to cover any breaking news or midweek news conferences quickly and easily, in a quality way. The OB teams cab remotely open the cabinet within a matter of seconds and a reporter can simply plug-in to the data and power sockets inside.

Joining SVG Europe

Explaining the decision to join SVG Europe as a Gold sponsor, BT M&B Vice-President Mark Wilson Dunn comments: “As a company, we share SVGE’s ethos for wanting to advance the industry. Our strategy is to deliver greater quality and efficiency for broadcasters and in turn enable them to innovate and provide a fantastic viewing experience for fans. Our next-generation networks and the propositions we have built around these are delivering game-changing services for our customers. We’ve got a proud history of technology ‘firsts’ in this market, and we’re excited about the opportunity to collaborate with the sports community as a whole.”

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