Sky Deutschland and Vodafone Team Up with LiveU in Bundesliga 5G Test for Next-Gen Sports Production

Sky Deutschland and Vodafone Team Up with LiveU in Bundesliga 5G Test for Next-Gen Sports Production

The German pay-TV broadcaster and Vodafone deployed the LiveU LU800 solution to enable faster time-to-air and greater flexibility for Tier 1 sports coverage

LiveU played a central role in a successful 5G test with pay-TV operator Sky Deutschland and Vodafone, trialling wireless 5G transmissions with multiple cameras to demonstrate the powerful possibilities for engaging live sports provided by the integrated workflow. The test also highlighted 5G network slicing capabilities, providing guaranteed bandwidth. It took place at a recent Bundesliga 2 match between Fortuna Düsseldorf and VSL Osnabrück at the Merkur Spiel Arena in Düsseldorf. The trial was supported by LiveU’s German partner netorium.

The test showed the reliability and mobility of LiveU’s wireless technology for major sports, allowing camera people to take a more innovative approach to increase fan engagement with greater dynamism and a faster set up time than using traditional methods. The test also explored the important network slicing feature possible in 5G networks, ensuring highest service reliability required for such major sporting events. An LU800 was deployed for the trial, LiveU’s recently launched production-level field unit, alongside two LU-Smart-equipped smartphones.

Network slicing, an important next-gen 5G capability, was used in this test to provide ultimate stability and speed by guaranteeing network bandwidth to cover fast-paced Tier 1 sports. It’s one of the key potential benefits of 5G networks, allowing network operators to segment their networks to provide for specific use cases, with software defined architectures and capabilities suitable for each case, with bandwidth able to be dynamically allocated. This is particularly important in crowded stadiums.

Alessandro Reitano SVP Sports Production, Sky Deutschland, said, “This was an important test for us in terms of 5G, IP-bonding and network slicing capabilities and what this can achieve for premium level sports broadcasting. LiveU’s technology – with which we are already familiar – was key to the trial, showing how the latest wireless capabilities dovetail with these new network capabilities, allowing truly innovative workflows, with far greater camera position flexibility and very fast time to air. It means that we can now really begin to think differently and realise the full possibilities these technologies allow.”

Zion Eilam, VP Sales and General Manager, EMEA, LiveU, said, “This test shows the importance of 5G and the full potential it has for our industry, especially for dynamic live sports productions. Our technology, as Sky Deutschland recognises, allows increased flexibility, expanding coverage angles and allowing viewers to be even more immersed in the action. We are really pleased to have been selected for this important test, successfully supporting not only 5G but network slicing as well, and the fact that our market-leading position has again been recognised. This use case also moves remote production possibilities to the next level.”