LiveU at the London 2012 Olympics
The London 2012 Olympic Games were an undoubted success, not only in terms of the event itself but also in terms of the breadth and depth of coverage available. LiveU’s pioneering portable uplink technology was deployed for the first time at the 2008 Beijing Olympics where NBC Universal used LiveU’s live mobile units to broadcast live from the games - a landmark event for the company.
Since then, LiveU has been covering the world’s top news and sporting events for hundreds of customers including tier-1 broadcasters, global news agencies and online media, notably the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, the annual Super Bowl and NBA Finals.
At this summer’s London Olympics, LiveU came full circle, providing over 100 units of its third-generation LU60/70 bonded uplink solution on the ground for its global customer base covering the event for viewers around the world. This was an event where the mobility and flexibility of the technology came to the fore with the figures below showing a massive leap in usage since Beijing.
LiveU, along with its exclusive UK partner Garland Partners Limited, further enhanced its technology for the Olympics using QoS SIM cards. The services, backed by the onsite support team, enabled LiveU customers to deliver the best broadcasting and online video experience. In addition, LiveU used dedicated network resources, supplied by Broadnet Communications.
Data (as of 7th August, 2012)
- Transmission hours - over 2,500 hours
- Data transmitted - approx. 1.5Tb
- Over 100 LiveU units in use to cover the games - on average 20 were broadcasting at any given time during the day
- Usage split between live and store and forward
- Live Transmission, File Transfer of Edited Stories and Store & Forward Tennis at Wimbledon - exclusive interview with Roger Federer as he walked off the practice court ahead of the final with Andy Murray
- Triathlon, following the players and their families Rowing at Eton Dorney - following the races and broadcasting alongside on a bicycle!
- Olympic Cycling at Box Hill
- Olympic Equestrian at Greenwich
- Olympic Park, on the perimeter for live interviews
- Sailing at Weymouth and Portland
- Football at Coventry Stadium
- Riverbank Arena in the Olympic Park to cover the Hockey
Specific broadcaster activity:
Swiss TV achieved the only exclusive interview with Roger Federer as he walked off the practice court ahead of the tennis final with Andy Murray using LiveU technology. For the women’s Triathlon the broadcaster followed the husband of the Swiss competitor Nicola Spirig who won the Gold medal, providing unique insight into the event. Swiss TV also deployed LiveU to cover the Olympic rowing races by filming alongside on a bicycle! Coverage was also completed of the cycling road race at Box Hill as well as the equestrian events in Greenwich, London. Swiss TV took advantage of LiveU’s store and forward as well as live. “We have been everywhere with the unit,” Michael Beuhler, Sports Journalist, said.
Sky NZ has been planning its use of LiveU for the Olympics for the last two years with three units in London. They have used the technology for live pieces for their "Prime News" Show in New Zealand and also a live magazine show called “The Crowd goes Wild”. Sky NZ found the technology ideal for reaching locations that would otherwise be impossible for the broadcaster, including standing in front of well-known London sites and venues such as Big Ben to capture the atmosphere of the games. The technology was used to film from Kiwi House in London where the broadcaster was able to take advantage of wired internet giving them a cheap fixed video link that provided them with great live-to-air transmissions. As well as live, Sky NZ also used LiveU’s store and forward capabilities a great deal to send higher quality content back to the studio. Other examples of usage include outdoors at Weymouth and Portland to cover the sailing as well as at Coventry Stadium for the soccer. LiveU was also used at the Riverbank Arena in the Olympic park to cover the Hockey. "We have found it great to be able to stand in front of well-known London sites and venues, such as Big Ben, to get the atmosphere of the Games' stated SkyTV's Technical Production Manager, Kerry Phelvin.
CH2 – Israel
CH2 deployed LiveU’s technology outside the Olympic Park and set up on the perimeter conducting live interviews using LiveU’s interview mode which minimizes delay time. Producer Itay says, "It is working perfectly, working really nicely indeed and we have been everywhere around the outside of the Olympic park filming.” The broadcaster also took a second unit down to Weymouth to film the sailing, which was also a great success.