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5G & Remote Production in Live Sport

5G & Remote Production in Live Sport


What was the Challenge Objective? 

The challenge was to explore remote production use cases for live sports-based use cases, utilising 5G to experiment with and assess a range of capabilities ahead of the FIFA World Cup in Qatar, and the Beijing Winter Olympics in 2022.  

Taking the learnings of 2020’s IBC 5G and Remote Production Accelerator project, this team of Champions, comprising world leading sports and news broadcasters, set their sights on what capabilities 5G may bring in the near term for coverage of some of the biggest sporting events on the planet in 2022. Looking ahead to these events, they began the project with a definition of the key use cases in sports coverage that could exploit some of 5G’s much anticipated capabilities on the roadmap, such as ultra-low latencies, enhanced bandwidth and device capacity plus network slicing and EDGE Computing). 

From Ai-enabled cameras (transmitting over 5G) to automate the process of directing the action (selecting frames and shots), to delivering deeper fan engagement through immersive viewing experiences, inside and outside stadia.

The innovation?

Among the many elements that this Accelerator explored included 5G’s low latency capabilities (in the context of encoding and decoding bottlenecks and in stadia bandwidth) wired and wireless multi-camera synchronisation, addressing the constraints of network uplink and QoS, 5G millimetre wave (mmWave) for greater propagation at lower frequencies, leveraging 5G within a post-production environment, Edge Computing, network slicing, latest contribution capabilities as well as the deployment of AI enabled cameras tracking on-field action and the use of drones.  The team has also delivered some next level experiences in immersive fan engagement, bringing UGC views and perspectives into the production mix.  

Final PoC Results

This extraordinary international collaboration involved more than 60 people from over 12 countries, deployed 5G for remote production across multiple sites during the FIFA Arab Cup in Doha, including in the main stadiums at Education City and Al Bayt to capture live action from the fans viewpoint (‘the best seat in the house’) providing the broadcasters with live action from multiple angles for additional broadcast footage. The UGC coverage from inside the stadia captured unique high quality, high definition and exclusive content that added a significantly more immersive feel to the action. The team also demonstrated substantial benefits from 5G’s coming capabilities including lower latencies, high bandwidth for uplink, edge computing and mmWave, in and around the main soccer locations as well as for nimble, low cost compelling coverage at amateur sports using AI enabled cameras to automate direction in more  remote locations, such as at Doha College.

2021 Champions:

2021 Participants: