Remote broadcasting report
In this part of our report series, we'll look more deeply at how network slicing is enabling the development of remote live broadcasting and its opportunities. For service providers, this technology provides a wealth of potential new revenue streams, while broadcasters of all sizes stand to benefit from flexible, cost-effective, high-quality productions.
Greater coverage for broadcasters
5G network slicing combines the ubiquity of the mobile network with the high quality that viewers expect from TV broadcasts. It removes the need for large on-site crews and OB vans, enabling easier broadcasting from remote locations. Broadcasters will be able to justify live coverage from smaller, more niche events or use of more cameras at major news or sporting events.
Opportunities for smaller players
This technology allows reliable, high-quality live broadcasts from remote locations for smaller tier 2 and tier 3 players, not just the national TV networks. We believe that their demands for consistent service will be the key to opening the market, especially in the areas of niche sports, announcements, corporate broadcasts and, even vlogs and streams from online influencers.
Comparable performance to existing standards
Broadcasters have historically relied on satellite solutions for a connection. Today, 5G network slicing can offer comparable performance, with a guaranteed throughput of +25 Mbps/camera and a stable latency of <20ms. This would make slicing comparable to a fiber connection, opening more possibilities in venues like stadiums where fiber connections are not always easily accessible.
New business models for service providers
We see network slicing creating opportunities for a range of business models in the live broadcasting space, such as slice-on-a-SIM solutions or resource reservation services. Bespoke production solutions, which combine slicing-based connectivity with on-site equipment and crew services, as well as "broadcast-in-a-box" solutions also represent a viable path forward for service providers.
There are plenty of revenue opportunities in several segments of the value chain—but service providers will have to partner with other players to boost their credibility in this vertical. The most interesting partners are broadcast content capture players, but there are also possibilities with camera providers and event space owners, among others.
The journey of 5G monetization must start with analyzing and creating a strategy. In the report, we describe the journey through the stages Explore, Define and Commit, Build, Launch and Operate and Ecosystem Growth. As service providers start this process, validating the target customer base and business model and engaging key partners will be major building blocks.
What 5G means for broadcasters
We break down the main broadcast markets segments into two groups – tier 1 broadcasters, and tier 2 and 3 broadcasters.
Tier 1 broadcasters are typically incumbents from the early days of national, state-owned television, such as BBC (UK) and NBC or ABC (US). Their live content typically consists of premium mass market content such as major league live sports, news and other live events. These broadcasters have a wide reach, and while quality and reliability are their chief concerns, cost and sustainability are becoming important issues where 5G network slicing can provide a solution.
Despite their historical dominance, a Deloitte study found that the viewing share for traditional broadcasters fell from 73% to 53% between 2017 and 2022. This creates space for the tier 2 and 3 broadcasters, such as newer and smaller companies that have emerged since the advent of satellite and cable TV in the 1980s in tier 2, and internet-based broadcasters in their 3, such as newspapers, enterprises and YouTubers and bloggers.
Regardless of the tier they belong to, broadcasters and content creators can benefit from the lower cost, high quality and greater speed that 5G network slicing offers.
The network slicing proposition
The remote broadcasting market has existed since the early days of television, and despite advances in technology, broadcasting live from remote locations still requires large crews and bulky equipment, often contained in OB vans. The advantages of using 5G coupled with network slicing for remote broadcasts are many. Broadcasters can benefit from lower costs across the board, from production to transmission, and using the 5G network makes indoor capture easier as well as cameras on drones plus removes the need for additional spectrum permits often required by TV crews.
Broadcast teams using the mobile network and cameras with built-in 5G capabilities will see easier setup and quicker time to deploy, as well as a high degree of security for potentially sensitive broadcasts. Additionally, we see the growth of 5G in this segment contributing to the growth of the market as tier 2 and 3 broadcasters begin to cover hundreds of smaller events that were not easy to cover with previous standards.