The English Premier League entered its twenty-second season in 2013 and is the most popular league in world football, broadcast in 212 territories by 80 different broadcasters. With a TV audience of 4.7 billion, the Premier League’s broadcasting rights are amongst the most highly sought after anywhere in the world. To maintain the value of this high quality premium content, IMG Premier League Productions is upgrading its existing system based on the Ericsson (NASDAQ:ERIC) Content Distribution Solution. Key to the upgrade is the ability to distribute the content in its origination color format (4:2:2 chroma) to ensure the highest quality source for all subsequent live production and delivery stages, enabling operators and broadcasters to provide to consumers Premier League matches at the highest quality.
IMG is the world’s largest independent distributor of sports programming, distributing over 20,000 hours of content to major global broadcasters annually across all forms of media, including audio, fixed media, inflight and closed circuit, broadband and mobile. For the last nine years, IMG has relied on Ericsson’s Content Distribution Solution to deliver the majority of its sports output, including coverage of the Premier League and the Wimbledon Championships. IMG has already registered more than 1,100 Ericsson Integrated Receiver Decoders (IRDs) from around the world on its Premier League platform.
"Viewers all over the world are captivated by the varying fortunes of the 20 Premier League football clubs, so our customers demand a high quality, reliable service, to ensure these sports fans do not miss a single second of their match day experience," said Ollie Scott, Director Of Business Development, Technical Services, IMG. "Equally, the popularity of this content means it is imperative we protect its value from piracy. We had no hesitation in investing in the upgrade of our existing system; the Ericsson solution offers a robust, high quality service which safeguards against theft and unauthorized viewing, while also future-proofing our content distribution needs."
Ericsson’s Content Distribution Solution has been designed to enable content owners and service providers to maximize the efficiency of their distribution network, while also retaining content value. This solution enables IMG to deliver high-quality high-value programming most efficiently, while also protecting its content assets through a powerful encryption module. The solution also supports existing legacy infrastructures by enabling content transcoding from MPEG-4 AVC to MPEG-2.
The Ericsson solution includes the AVP 4000 System Encoder and the RX8200 Advanced Modular Receiver, offering delivery of video in all formats (from MPEG-2 to MPEG-4 AVC, from SD to HD) and total connectivity for all transmission mediums (including IP and satellite). Control and management is provided by nCompass Director, a critical component in managing a large distributed population of receivers, control content rights and robust conditional access (CA).
"We are the market leader in content acquisition, exchange and distribution solutions and have a long history of delivering top sports events such as the Premier League," said Dr. Giles Wilson, Head of TV compression, Ericsson. "With this upgrade, IMG will be able to retain pristine high quality video throughout the production process, while also enhancing the clarity and color of the pictures it sends out via its service providers to the hundreds of millions of football supporters across the world."
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