When the first match kicks off on June 10, 2016 in the Stade de France, Paris, with host France playing Romania, a huge global audience will be watching. UEFA anticipates a total of 1.9 billion fans viewing this year’s tournament of 51 matches played at various venues throughout France, with a projected 300 million watching the final on July 10. Audiences will be watching through a variety of options ranging from TV broadcast to Live Streaming OTT services. As major sporting events such as this traditionally use the latest in broadcasting technology, it’s worth a look at the coverage planned for this event.
Leveraging the Very Latest Broadcasting Technology
Football fans are as enthusiastic as any in sports, and have the same high expectations for a “just like being there” viewing experience. To deliver this, the production will include 38 live match cameras for each game. UEFA is again at the forefront when it comes to 4K, which will be deployed to cover the opening match, quarter-finals, semi-finals, and finals. 4K will be a separate 12 camera production. In addition, three aerial systems will be deployed at each stadium. Specifically these will be a Spidercam, a helicopter, and a high mounted camera outside each stadium.
To reach this huge audience, UEFA assembled a massive broadcasting and production team. All broadcast quality video content will be delivered via the EURO 2016 Livex broadcast media server, UEFA’s content publication and distribution platform, across the purpose-built cross-France fibre network. From Livex, which is based on EVS technologies, broadcasters will have access to video and audio clips, data, graphics and statistics, as well as all additional programming content. Viewers will be able to access tournament video from several platforms, including a live match streaming player and separate video streams, data feeds, and VOD content on their mobile devices.
Large Event Challenges
The infrastructure to support these viewers will face challenges. It must be capable, without notice, of handling traffic spikes that occur during a match, especially with a tie score in the waning minutes, and live post-match commentary and results. It is common to have to handle 250,000 unique visitors within a small time window. Given the global nature of the football audience, world-wide scalability to deliver video to any device, including any mobile screen is of paramount importance.
These are the reasons global Content Delivery Networks (CDNs) like Limelight’s, will be deployed in the video delivery infrastructure. As one of the world’s largest private CDNs, our network is particularly well suited for events of this size. Fan traffic will bypass the congested public Internet, ensuring a great experience anywhere. Unmatched stability and performance means availability at all times, with scalability to meet peak demands for video streams or game results. Mobile is expected to be the largest source of traffic in all markets for the matches, and our robust mobile solution will detect viewer’s devices, transcode/transmux video streams on-the-fly, and deliver them directly to the user.
Lastly, Limelight’s experience with large scale live events and proven history of superior hands-on technical support and responsiveness around the clock, means these broadcasters can have confidence in their delivery of the experience their football fans demand.
Enjoy the matches. Celebrate your team’s victories.