BBC, Sky Sports, BT Sport, Premier League Productions, Super Sport, NBC Universal, and Albert were involved in the trial

Premier League sustainability test event

A trial involving a number of broadcasters, rights holders, and technology vendors has demonstrated how remote & cloud production workflows can improve sustainability and environmental impact. 

BBC Sport, BT Sport, Sky Sports, Premier League Productions, IMG, Super Sport, and NBC Universal, as well as sustainability initiative Albert, experimented with multi-provider cloud technologies, formats and workflows, sharing camera feeds, audio, graphics and human resources to avoid duplication and reduce travel and other energy requirements in the production chain as part of IBC’s Accelerator Media Innovation Programme

The vendor participants were Amazon Web Services, Blackbird, Hitomi, Microsoft, M2A Media, Singular.Live and Zixi.

The project team deployed bespoke workflows and architectures alongside a traditional OB production to compare carbon footprints during the Premier League game between Liverpool and Newcastle United on 16 December. 

Findings include confirming that cloud production reduces the amount of technical infrastructure required for the gallery production, for some broadcasters by up to 70%. It also further reduces the requirements for significant onsite technical facilities. 

Andy Beale, project lead and chief engineer at BT Sport, said: “The future of our planet depends on a collective effort to become carbon net zero. With this IBC Accelerator project, we wanted to tangibly experiment together to understand the alternatives to traditional OB production in live sport, in order to make carbon metrics more readily available so companies can benchmark what they are doing and help motivate them to do more to reduce their own carbon footprints.”

Inga Ruehl, executive director of production services and operations at Sky, added: “The promising results from the trial show that the industry goal of a drastic reduction of emissions through means such as cloud production workflows is very much attainable. If the industry continues to work together towards this goal it can make a huge difference.”

Mark Smith, leading the Accelerator programme at IBC, commented: “It’s impossible for the media and entertainment industry to become more sustainable without qualitative data. The team behind this unique collaboration helped create all-important metrics by analysing the carbon footprints from high-profile Premier League games, providing actionable data so the entire industry can do its part to help solve the climate crisis.”