Arqiva provides ESPN with HD distribution for Barclays Premier League football

Gerrards Cross, UK, 18th February 2011:
Arqiva has announced that it is providing co-located HD playout and distribution of Barclays Premier League football for leading international sports broadcaster ESPN. The solution employs a dedicated HD Playout Centre purpose built for ESPN at Arqiva’s Chalfont Grove Teleport. This is also responsible for the playout and distribution of eleven ESPN channels to countries throughout Europe, Africa and the Middle East.

Barrie Woolston, Commercial Sales Director at Arqiva Broadcast & Media, said: “ESPN chose Arqiva to build, staff and manage a state-of-the-art dedicated HD Playout Centre which would handle its premium sports content for Europe, Africa and the Middle East. Their decision leveraged our expertise and infrastructure for global playout and distribution of live content in High Definition. Arqiva ingests and provides live playout of a wide array of sports action for ESPN, including major football, rugby, basketball, motorsports and American football events from locations around the UK, Europe and the USA.”

ESPN worked with Arqiva to design and direct construction of the Playout Centre, based on the sports media company’s specific needs – including High Definition and Dolby Surround Sound technology. It features four live playout suites, a multi-channel playout pod, production areas, a supervisory control area and an edit suite. Arqiva’s infrastructure and teleports provide international satellite and fibre connectivity, while a dedicated fibre IP circuit to ESPN’s HQ in the USA enables rapid sharing of content between locations by ESPN’s global teams.

Barrie Woolston added: “The entire Playout Centre utilises the very latest technology to simplify and enhance processes from bulk ingest and data archive storage, to the playout of multiple language audio streams and targeted live in-programme graphics insertions. The Playout Centre is manned by Arqiva technicians trained to work specifically and exclusively with ESPN’s content, and they work very closely with ESPN production and engineering personnel in both the UK and US. By working together in such close cooperation we can efficiently and effectively manage and control live HD feeds into ESPN programming at any time.”
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