Jul 31

Clearing the sports hurdles with WHATS’ON

Wednesday July 31st, 2019

The budgets spent on sports broadcasting and streaming rights have skyrocketed in recent years, only exceeded by the revenues generated from those rights. As ever more media companies jump on the bandwagon they find out that sports or live broadcasting is very different from non-live broadcasting.

The differences in workflows and required functionality span across all departments. Live events have their very specific challenges, what with the inherent unpredictability (cancellations, delays, uncertain durations, …) and last-minute changes. You have to deal with concurrent events and overlaps, diverse sources and feeds, graphics, different commentary languages, … and not to forget the ever increasing importance of huge amounts of real-time metadata.

“WHATS’ON manages live sport events in a separate structure, providing users with a central view on all content related to the specific event.”

Rights, restrictions and obligations

Channels and networks, whether OTT or Linear, can use the sport module of Broadcast Management Platform WHATS’ON to capture the increasingly complex sport rights, restrictions and obligations. Restrictions may be related, among other things, to the teams, the teams’ home location, match day and kickoff time. Obligations can be to broadcast a specific game or game day, a magazine, a sponsorship or a specific graphic event.

Centrally managed metadata

WHATS’ON manages live sport events in a separate structure, providing users with a central view on all content related to the specific event. The metadata (such as the teams, players, kickoff date & time) can be imported from online databases that keep their information up to date. The changes and updates in these databases will ripple through to the schedule. According as a team goes through to the next phase of a knock-out competition, for instance, the system fills in the next events according as they keep winning. No need to alter the rights descriptions.

Clear overview

Planning is easy as users can filter down on an overview of all games that happen in the period they have opened in the schedule. WHATS’ON enables the schedulers to quickly verify what transmissions have valid rights or a signed contract, or whether the feed is booked, whether the media files are ready in case of non-live etc.

Depending on parameters, such as the importance of the game, WHATS’ON automatically applies a suitable break structure, which users can adapt and finetune.

For live transmissions WHATS’ON typically also sends requests for feeds to the source booking system, including a request for an audio feed for every commentary language and requests for graphics. After getting the details of the feeds, WHATS’ON will forward these to the MAM system so the media file can be created for playout of repeats or for creation of highlights.

Extensive toolset

An extensive set of tools is available to automate the scheduling process of trailers and bumpers with an autorotation pattern, import commercials from the ATS, automatically schedule trailers based on target ratings and forecasts, etc. Next, secondary events and graphics are scheduled based on business rules, the playlist is timed up and sent to playout.

Prepared for any contingency

Short-term schedules can easily be adjusted or even replaced by an alternative schedule, and the play-out system is steered accordingly. These last-minute changes are also pushed to the EPGs. With WHATS’ON, broadcasters and streaming services easily clear any sports hurdle.

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Nick Couck

Business Development Manager

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