Eurovision Sport and EBU Members are gearing up for a record-breaking year of top-quality live free-to-air sport in 2022.
EBU Members’ schedules, which already featured several World Championship athletics events and the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, plus the second edition of the multisport European Championships in Munich, are augmented by major events postponed to 2022 as a result of the COVID pandemic. These include the UEFA Women’s Euro England 2022 and road cycling’s Tour de France Femmes.
Eurovision Sport manages the media rights for dozens of sports on behalf of its public service media members, delivering up to 30,000 hours of sport a year through agreements with international sports federations including FINA, Tour de France, ISMF, Ski Austria, World Rowing, Union Européenne de Cyclisme and European Gymnastics.
In addition to 470 free-to-air TV channels, EBU Members will make use of nearly 700 radio stations, 1,300 plus online simulcast channels and stations and nearly 300 exclusive online linear services to reach sports fans across Europe and beyond in 2022.
Operating as a ‘one-stop-shop’, Eurovision Sport works with colleagues in Eurovision Services to offer its partners the latest, reliable solutions at all stages of the value chain from production to broadcast rights distribution (on TV, radio and online), event organization and archive management. It is at the forefront of innovation and continually adapts its technologies to an ever-evolving industry.
In preparation for this unprecedented activity, Eurovision Sport engaged with Blackbird to drive cloud native video production workflow efficiencies for its members in a multi-year deal.
The reasons are multi-faceted and speak to Blackbird’s ability to meet several Eurovision Sport goals.
Delivering digital transformation
In pure production terms the deployment accelerates and smooths content creation and publishing workflows for Eurovision Sport’s editorial team and EBU Members.
Blackbird is enabling video production teams to immediately access multiple live streams, seconds behind live, from any location in the world through its browser-based editor. Not only can users perform fast, collaborative clipping in Blackbird, but they can also take advantage of a multi-track non-linear editor with a professional toolset, creating high quality content that would be impossible with any other video editing technology.
The deployment is also designed to complement Eurovision Sport’s digital services by providing cloud native editing tools for EBU members to take advantage of within their media supply chains. Content can be rapidly published to media partners and multiple digital endpoints including social, web and OTT platforms for viewers to enjoy.
Blackbird further enables EBU members to switch on the efficiencies of remote production. By removing the need for production teams to travel to a facility or event Blackbird also eliminates the need to transit material to and from multiple local storage environments.
“In this time of digital transformation where not only EBU members but also all our Federations’ partners are aiming at publishing more content on their various platforms, having the possibility to quickly turn around content and enrich it through the Blackbird solution is really effective for us.
We are now able to reach more fans in a more effective way and are aiming at developing our ecosystem further within the coming months. Last but not least for the EBU community, we are aiming at being more sustainable within our workflow and Blackbird is definitely a great partner in this journey.”Franck Choquard, Eurovision Sport Head of Content and Services
Sustainability leads to lower costs
By working together, Eurovision Sport and Blackbird can form strategies that not only are better for the environment, but are also economic.
Like all industries, the broadcasting sector has a responsibility to improve its environmental performance. The area is of vital importance to EBU Members’ audiences and to their staff, hence the creation of the EBU group on Sustainable Technology in Broadcasting.
Proven to reduce carbon emissions by up to 91% compared to traditional video editing workflows, Blackbird is playing an active role in supporting Eurovision Sport’s sustainability goals. Blackbird also reduces infrastructure costs by up to 75% due to its cloud native architecture.
Green production is no longer a fringe activity. As more sustainable approaches are fast becoming a ‘business as usual’ way to work, the EBU group aims to implement and deliver sustainable production transformation.
Increased engagement in sport for the good of all
Above and beyond these tremendous practical benefits, Blackbird is inclusive of the EBU’s founding ethos of solidarity and co-operation to create and deliver world class content to as broad an audience as possible.
Free-to-air channels reach over 800 million Europeans – dwarfing the reach of the premium channels. Not only does that provide immense value for sponsors, it leads to increased engagement and participation in sport.
Public service media also reaches a much wider demographic. Women and younger audiences are particularly hard to reach through traditional pay TV.
“Our Members’ digital footprint cannot be underestimated and allows us to exploit all the rights of sports events, beyond the confines of the linear schedule, and engage with a much broader audience.
Sport should be for everyone. We need public service media to bring audiences together to enjoy big national moments, to inspire the next generation of athletes and to grow fanbases for new and emerging sports.”Noel Curran, EBU Director General
Eurovision Sport believes sport is for everyone and not just for the privileged few. That’s why they endeavour to keep the best sporting events free to all – everywhere, on every platform.
With Blackbird that vision is sustainable for the long term.
Blackbird is best-of-breed
Jon Hanford - Group CTO, Deltatre