Wimbledon the latest winner for The Switch as it provides live video delivery for every tennis Grand Slam in 2021
The Switch is in the midst of a connectivity and transmission tennis Grand Slam after supporting this year’s Wimbledon tournament. In working with multiple broadcasters at Wimbledon, The Switch is now providing delivery services for all four Grand Slam tennis tournaments in 2021, including the completed Australian Open and French Open and the upcoming US Open. All live feeds, capturing action from throughout each of the tournament sites, are carried via The Switch’s global network, ensuring tennis fans worldwide get uninterrupted coverage of every match.
To support the only grass court Grand Slam tournament, The Switch built a dedicated private dark fibre ring connecting the All England Lawn Tennis Club in Wimbledon to IMG Studios at Stockley Park, West London, where all production for the tournament is handled. The largest stadium point of presence (POP) that The Switch has built to date, the network delivers 100-200Gb capacity carrying every live feed from every court during Wimbledon. The flexible fibre network ensures redundancy and allows capacity to be spun up and down as needed.
“With big sporting events back on the calendar, tennis fans want to enjoy every second of the action,” said Nicholas Castaneda, senior vice president of sales at The Switch. “Our robust connectivity, knowledge and expertise, along with our commitment to going the extra mile, means the major rights holders for this year’s Grand Slam events can rely on us to deliver more live streams than ever and we are honoured to play a central role in bringing these iconic tournaments to even more fans around the world.”
For the French Open in June, The Switch deployed connectivity to support live coverage to the main broadcast rights holders, including ESPN, Tennis Channel and Nine. As the primary connectivity provider for the tournament, The Switch extended its network capability in France to enable a 100% IP-based production environment.
The new all-IP media workflow permitted the separate transport of video, audio and data from 17 courts at Roland Garros to facilities in Los Angeles, delivered as SMPTE 2110. The network also connected into The Switch’s London media hub, ready for delivery to international rightsholders. The Switch’s delivery network helped Tennis Channel reach its largest audience yet for the men’s singles semi-final between Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal, reaching 511,000 viewers.
Using its connectivity to Melbourne Park in Australia and its Nimbra gateway ports on site, The Switch supported ESPN’s remote production of the Australian Open from 8-12 February, with 110+ hours of live coverage and a further 1,000 hours of streamed content. The sports broadcaster leveraged The Switch’s fibre network to transmit over 40 live streams – from 100+ available live feeds – from Melbourne Park to a production facility in Bristol, Connecticut. The Switch also delivered live streams from all 26 courts at the Australian Open to its Los Angeles hub for pick up by Tennis Channel.
For the US Open, the final Grand Slam of the year at the end of August, multiple international broadcasters will capitalise on The Switch’s video distribution network to ensure uninterrupted, high-quality feeds from the US Tennis Association’s Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. In all, over 20 live feeds will be ingested on-site before being delivered around the world.
Castaneda added: “We are proud to be stepping up and delivering live feeds from all four Grand Slam tournaments, leveraging our extended network reach and capacity to meet the evolving needs of broadcasters of these events.”