Bringing the stadium to your home

Sports broadcasting gets real

4K and Augmented Reality

Sports broadcasters know how critical it is to continually delight their customers, to maintain their loyalty and keep them coming back for more. In the Networked Society, the possibilities to surprise and delight are seemingly endless, but the challenge is staying ahead of a rapidly changing game.

As one of the most experienced players in broadband infrastructure, Ericsson holds a uniquely strong position to understand how the internet and media worlds are combining. We have invested significantly to deepen our consumer and industry insights, to build the ultimate software and managed services portfolio, and to create global transformation services capabilities that enable our customers to realize their greatest success as TV service providers in the Networked Society.

Recognized with six technical Emmys and many patents, Ericsson today directly manages over 500 TV channels, enables tens of thousands of channels to be delivered, and powers the in-home experience for over 19 million homes globally.

4K and augmented reality (AR) will drive key new features that consumers are looking for, providing broadcasters with new challenges but also new business opportunities. And Ericsson has the global scale and expertise to help its media partners realize those opportunities as sports broadcasting gets real. 

Our challenge

Broadcasters understand the impact that live sports channels can have on broadband subscriptions and TV revenues. But the bar for live broadcasts is constantly being raised, and Ericsson Consumer Lab research shows that 41 percent of consumers think 4K or ultra high-definition (UHD) quality is an important TV and media feature.

With next generation compression and technologies like High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC or H.265), it is now possible for consumers to access high quality services at home, creating great potential for TV providers to improve their offerings and delight consumers with enhanced visuals. However, at the same time, providers must ensure that the underlying compression technology has the stability and the flexibility to support current developments and future upgrades.

With both the media industry and consumers undergoing continuous transformation, insight and experience are critical to running premium, live sports channels, and Ericsson is a key partner in all stages, from designing and building dedicated playout and media management services, through to recruiting and training operational staff capable of handling multiple live events.

Our solution

The following use cases spotlight Ericsson’s ability to support transforming TV businesses.

BT selects Ericsson to help launch a new range of high-profile TV services, including the UK's first UHDTV channel

"BT Sport's UEFA Champions League coverage sets out to bring viewers the best ever experience of football's leading club competition. Our 4K coverage of the UEFA Champions League alongside other competitions will bring a truly cinematic experience into fans' living rooms". - Jamie Hindhaugh, COO, BT Sport and BT TV

BT Sports case study

Video customer testimonial of BT Sport's COO Jamie Hindhaugh talking about the Ultra HD launch in August 2015 and the extension of the broadcast managed services deal with Ericsson. Ericsson is responsible for designing, building and running BT Sport Europe, free-to-air service BT Sport Showcase, and BT Sport UHD. BT Sport UHD was the first ultra-high-definition channel (=4k TV channel) to launch outside Asia. Ericsson also helped to deliver BT Sport’s new BT Sport Extra red button service, which enables viewers to choose between eight UEFA games broadcast live simultaneously – including UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League games.

BT Sports case study

  • Offer Media Management, Playout, and MCR
  • Manage VOD and interactive services, employing Piero for graphics and analytics
  • Provide access services: live and pre-recorded captions (subtitles) and audio description
  • Supply rich and consistent metadata for EPG listings
  • Create a unique and impactful brand identity for the channel

KT SkyLife, South Korea's leading satellite pay TV provider, has also chosen Ericsson to expand its Ultra High Definition (UHDTV) service. Read more here.

Piero - Augmented Reality

Piero Augmented Reality

Stunning, fast, and accurate analysis graphics for sports broadcasters

Ericsson launched Piero Augmented Reality in April 2016 as a cutting-edge software system to give broadcasters the ability to enhance sports programming and create more immersive viewing experiences.

Ericsson's Piero Augmented Reality enables broadcasters to overlay 3D graphics in real-time during live studio productions and sports games. Sports analysis graphics can be produced instantly either by a system operator or by a presenter using a tablet device. The graphics are then projected onto the studio floor in 3D allowing broadcasters to illustrate the analysis sequence without cutting away from the studio environment. The software is currently being tested by the BBC for its iconic football highlights TV program, Match of the Day.

Learn more about Piero

Ericsson LTE Broadcast supports rich sporting event coverage

With Ericsson LTE Broadcast, operators can serve content to a virtually unlimited number of users simultaneously, while maintaining efficient use of spectrum and network investments.

Find out more about LTE Broadcast

Ericsson supports broadcasters by managing their technology

Ericsson has a complete range of end-to-end managed services to provide broadcasters with Media Management, Playout, and MCR for their TV channels. This approach enables significant operational and capital savings by assuming responsibility for technical platforms, while speeding time-to-market and minimizing business continuity risks. As a result, broadcasters benefit from stronger revenue and broadband growth, with the ability to meet the tough KPIs that live sport events demand. 

Many broadcasters do not have the time, the scale, or the infrastructure to adapt effectively to today’s technical challenges. Our outsourcing of technical and operations management is the natural answer to broadcasters’ challenges, enabling them to focus on engaging their viewers and delivering the TV experiences that consumers want.

Find out more about our Media Industry portfolio
Our customer commitment

Our results

  • The launch of BT Sport creates strong revenues, and causes an increase in broadband uptake
  • Tough KPI targets are reached for live events
  • The project constitutes the first major UK adoption of the DPP AS11 file delivery specification for content with a completely file-based workflow

Piero delivers high-end analysis graphics straight to the studio floor. It is now possible to discuss a play and visualize events data without cutting to a full screen clip. The solution integrates with existing camera tracking equipment. 

The acclaimed Piero workflow allows a very fast turnaround of stories and graphics in real time.

Learn more about Ericsson broadcast services in the video below.

Ericsson Broadcast and Media Services

Ericsson Broadcast and Media Services is re-inventing services by creating an agile, flexible and innovative service platform and connecting the world's content to audiences everywhere.