Telstra delivers America’s Cup to a record-breaking global audience
Telstra Broadcast Services (TBS) has delivered the 36th America’s Cup presented by Prada (AC36) to a worldwide audience reaching nearly one billion viewers in 236 countries and territories, making it the most-watched America’s Cup in its 170-year history.
Working with America’s Cup and the host production provider for AC36, Austria’s circle-o, TBS designed a bespoke network encompassing a wide range of different services.
AC36’s key requirement was for scalable and reliable contribution and distribution services that could meet the demands of 55 major networks, as well as global online distribution through YouTube, Facebook and the America’s Cup website. Alongside that, large amounts of broadcast-quality content needed to be regularly uploaded to a media cloud as part of the production workflow, and a 24/7 connection was required to circle-o’s remote centre in Wuppertal, Germany.
“Telstra had a technical service that was outstanding,” commented Werner Eksler, managing director for circle-o. “It was important for us to have one partner and not three partners for three different services, and the communication with Telstra was excellent.”
TBS curated an international contribution and distribution solution from its high-bandwidth media network, known as the Special Events Network, to meet these challenges. This solution managed end-to-end IP broadcast network provided services, including on-site and remote broadcast operations; remote production; the distribution of world feeds and streaming feeds to global rights holders; the contribution of signals (including 24/7 upload and point-to-point IP connectivity); and bespoke internet services onsite, including Ethernet private lines.
“We had a great experience with Telstra,” said Stephen Nuttall, head of production and distribution at America’s Cup. “The fibre delivery, I think, was a major plus; it was pretty straightforward for broadcasters to plug into the Telstra network. They were always available and very proactive in doing testing with broadcasters. And they delivered an operation which was, from my point of view as a rights holder, seamless and very, very reliable.”
Andreas Eriksson, head of Telstra Broadcast Services, said: “When we won the AC36 contract in January 2020, we could not have foreseen the challenges ahead due to the pandemic. The team rose to meet every one of them to deliver a high-quality, high-profile service from a country that was effectively in isolation and made AC36 one of the standout global sporting successes of the year.”