BBC and TVU Networks revolutionise UK election coverage ingesting 369 live feeds into cloud workflow

 London, July 2024: The BBC, in partnership with TVU Networks, elevated their 2024 UK General Election coverage with an innovative, highly engaging, and environmentally conscious remote production.

Utilising TVU's cutting-edge cloud platform, the BBC remotely managed 369 live feeds from vote counting locations across the UK, all captured using the TVU Anywhere mobile app. The feeds were streamed on BBC iPlayer, the BBC News website, and transmitted to a giant virtual mosaic screen at the BBC’s London studio headquarters London Broadcasting House, providing audiences across the UK and around the world with an unprecedented, immersive experience. The broadcast reached a peak audience of 4.6 million viewers in the UK.

Live election streaming of the election results.

A BBC custom-created tripod and smartphone kit running the TVU Anywhere app for cellular bonded live transmissions was sent to every count, allowing BBC News to capture real-time video feeds regardless of local pressures on cellular networks. The user-friendly remote production setup was easily configurable, even by staff without a technical background. The compact design of the kit assembled by BBC representatives already attending the count combined with the lack of reliance on broadcast vehicles allowed the corporation to generate more live content in an environmentally friendly way.

“This approach not only upheld the BBC's highest quality standards but also pioneered a new method of election broadcasting that would have been near impossible using traditional methods” said BBC News’ Geraint Thomas, who led the project. “The TVU cloud platform allowed us to scale up a vast number of feeds and handle peak traffic seamlessly without investing in additional hardware. This was both an editorial and technological innovation that transformed the viewing experience, bringing the vote counting process closer to our audience, setting a new benchmark in election coverage.”

TVU video streaming technology being used by the BBC for its election coverage.

Hundreds of live feeds, which would typically require extensive server setups, were ingested and recorded in real-time on the TVU Search cloud platform. These feeds were displayed in a large mosaic view using TVU Partyline, allowing viewers to see all voting locations across the UK simultaneously and access custom mosaics for their local regions.

The BBC managed 21 regional workflows through TVU Partyline, providing tailored coverage for different areas of England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. “We delivered the most personalised election coverage ever in live video. Across the UK, wherever you looked you could see democracy in action, live” said Jonny McGuigan, BBC News’ Streaming Editor. “The ability to choose from any one of 369 counts on the night meant we could always be where the story was. When augmented with our traditional broadcast live SNG and bonded connectivity, we could guarantee we’d be where audiences needed us, on digital platforms, TV and radio all night long”.

Viewers could tune into live feeds via BBC News’ website constituency pages, creating a personal connection to the electoral process. The BBC’s London studio featured a massive virtual LED wall connected to all feeds, while the national programmes in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland also all had access to the live content. The live streams were also used as political commentators provided real-time updates and expert analysis in a split screen, making the coverage as interactive and visually engaging for the audience. The TVU platform was able to output IP for OTT, as well as SDI for the TV and Radio programmes seamlessly integrating into the existing broadcast infrastructure.

BBC - TVU Networks - election coverage in UK.

"When we started planning this project, many believed the election would be held later in the year” added Geraint. "In a matter of weeks, we managed to achieve what we thought would take months to develop, and integrated the TVU cloud platform with our on-premise workflows in a cost-effective manner."

“It’s about innovating together and redefining the boundaries of broadcast technology,” says Paul Shen, CEO of TVU Networks, praising the BBC for leading the way in blending linear and digital broadcasting across their media supply chain to offer a wider variety of content. “This collaboration is a testament to what’s possible when we combine our strengths. The future of broadcast is now, offering an accessible, sustainable model that opens up endless possibilities for storytelling to audiences everywhere.”
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