From site to screen – Innovative global delivery of live sports

We provide end-to-end solutions for the global delivery of high-profile live sports content. We’re essentially the bridge that links site to screen.

OU calls for a flexible and bespoke service, which is exactly what we provide

OU calls for a flexible and bespoke service, which is exactly what we provide

Arqiva’s role in sports broadcasting

We can transfer the action from almost anywhere, whether it‘s a 90,000-seater football ground in London, a beach hosting Volleyball in Long Beach or a cycling velodrome on the other side of the world.

How does our Occasional Use service work?

OU is generally designed for events which are short in duration – that could mean 15 minutes for a live news bulletin or a tournament spanning over a month. Either way, it calls for a flexible and bespoke service, which is exactly what we provide to our wide range of customers - from dedicated sports broadcasters and rights holders to federations, agencies and production companies.

Wherever the event is taking place, we’re able to deliver your content. At the heart of our service is a resilient and divers satellite, IP and fibre network that stretches across the world. Our dedicated OU Master Control Room (MCR) is fitted out with state-of-the-art specialist equipment this, paired with a specialist delivery team, allowing us to exceed the live broadcasting needs of any content owner – whatever the event, whatever the scale.

Unrivalled service

A quick Google search will tell you, we’re not the only provider of OU broadcasting services – there are companies out there with the necessary technology to deliver live content. None, though, are quite like Arqiva.

The fact that all of the equipment we use is owned by us means we – and more importantly, you – have full control of the whole process. This makes it possible to keep standards high at all times, minimising delays and outages. If there is a problem, we’re set up perfectly to identify it and rectify it straight away; there’s no relying on anyone else, so everything is seamless.

Add to this a wealth of technical knowledge, a successful 90-year broadcasting history and service excellence, and you have the ultimate sports broadcasting partner.

A focus on quality and innovation

Quality is hugely important in the sporting arena. Here you have events that demand visual consistency and accuracy across a broad range of displays – from four-inch smartphones to 100-inch projector screens. This is one reason why we use satellite – it offers superior HD transmission, ensuring the pictures being broadcast meet the needs of an increasingly demanding audience.

The areas we’re currently focused on developing are IP delivery and contribution, but this does bring its own challenges. In live broadcasting, particularly at the scale of a World Cup-size event, reputations are constantly on the line, so there’s a justified preference for tried-and-tested technologies. This does mean there’s a bit of nervousness around anything new, but we’re working hard to change attitudes.

With IP in particular, we’re committed to building resilience, so while you might be reliant on the internet as opposed to satellite, the whole process – from site to screen – is closely monitored and controlled by Arqiva. It’s still going through our infrastructure, just on a slightly different route.

New opportunities

The obvious benefit of adopting new techniques and technologies is reduced cost – as efficiency increases, prices will drop. This not only saves people money, it opens new opportunities. For one, smaller broadcasters will be given the chance to get their content out and in front of global audiences. We’ll also likely see instances of events that might not have been seen as financially viable making it to consumers’ screens – niche sports and smaller tournaments, for example.

The increased cost-efficiency will come not only from the use of cheaper technologies but also from changes to the way deals are negotiated. Associations or governing bodies have previously sold their rights through third-parties, who then determine how the content is distributed. With IP, they’ll be able to monitor and sell their own rights – therefore cutting out the middle man and achieving better value.

We might not be quite there just yet, but rest assured that’s where Arqiva’s attention is focused right now. We’re confident that everything we’re trialling behind closed doors right now – IP, 4K and HDR all included - will have a massive impact on the delivery of live TV in the future. Just watch this space…

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