EE and BT Sport perform live broadcast with remote production over 5G
Written by: Sam Fenwick | Published:

On 21 November, BT Group’s EE and BT Sport claimed to have demonstrated the first live broadcast with remote production over 5G. BT Sport will use this approach to increase the coverage available to viewers with more matches and faster highlights.

Ahead of the FA-recognised EE Wembley Cup 2018’s final on 25 November, EE and BT Sport delivered a live, two-way broadcast over 5G from Wembley Stadium to London’s ExCeL Exhibition Centre. The live broadcast trial was hosted by BT Sport presenters Matt Smith and Abi Stephens. The broadcast was carried over 5G in Wembley Stadium, and then produced remotely by the BT Sport production crew at BT Sport’s base in Stratford, East London.

According to EE, the EE Wembley Cup 2018 final will be the world’s first live sporting event to be broadcast over 5G using remote production. The event, featuring YouTube’s biggest footballers alongside international football legends, will be broadcast over EE’s 5G network live from Wembley Stadium on the channel of YouTube star Spencer Owen.

EE’s 5G test network in Wembley Stadium operates in the 3.4GHz band and is connected to a 10Gbps backhaul link. The operator stated that it will deploy 5G network slicing technology for broadcasters to provide guaranteed latency, bandwidth and quality required for live broadcast. EE claims that 5G will enable broadcasters to send match footage back to base within minutes, opening up more coverage possibilities and reducing costs by reducing the number of technicians required at each game.

EE recently announced plans to rollout 5G to 16 cities across the UK in 2019 and earlier this month, went live with nine 5G trial sites across East London (it had already been trialling 5G in Canary Wharf, and new device functionality at the Borehamwood test lab.

Jamie Hindhaugh, chief operating officer, BT Sport, said: “BT Sport has a rich history of the latest broadcast innovations, whether it’s ultra-high-definition with Dolby Atmos or 360Virtual Reality. 5G will next season enable BT Sport to deploy the most advanced remote production of any broadcaster. It will allow us to cover more live matches from more leagues and competitions, and to bring fans highlights action closer to the final whistle than has ever been done before in the UK.”

Marc Allera, CEO of BT’s consumer business, said: “This trial is another showcase of what our 5G network can do, and is a big part of our continued investment in using 5G across the whole of BT Group. The EE Wembley Cup Final 2018 will be the world’s first live sporting event to be broadcast over 5G, and that’s part of our ongoing commitment to innovation for our customers.”

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