EE and BT Sport demonstrate live 5G broadcast
EE and BT Sport, respectively the mobile phone network and sports broadcaster belonging to BT Group, the UK telecoms giant, have demonstrated a live broadcast with remote production over 5G, amid plans by BT Sport to use this approach to boost coverage available to viewers, with more matches and faster highlights.
EE and BT Sport plan to broadcast the final of this year’s EE Wembley Cup, a four-team tournament of social media-created stars captained by ‘legends’ of the game, over 5G using remote production, the first live sports event to be broadcast in this way.
The event is scheduled for 25 November.
Jamie Hindhaugh, chief executive of BT Sport, said: “BT Sport has a rich history of the latest broadcast innovations, whether it’s ultra-high-definition with Dolby Atmos or 360Virtual Reality. 5G will next season enable BT Sport to deploy the most advanced remote production of any broadcaster. It will allow us to cover more live matches from more leagues and competitions, and to bring fans highlights action closer to the final whistle than has ever been done before in the UK.”
This week, Sky, the rival pay-TV broadcaster, landed exclusive live rights in the UK to the top-tier Scottish Premiership for five seasons from 2020-21 onwards as sports cutbacks at BT Sport continue to take effect.
The duo, which presently share live rights to the Scottish top tier until the end of the 2019-20 season in deals worth close to £20 million ($25.7 million) per season, both bid for exclusive rights in the invitation to tender process, but Sky’s offer was comfortably higher and was accepted at the league’s board meeting.
BT’s loss of one of its flagship domestic properties is further evidence of the waning appetite for sports rights at BT’s plc board, following on from the telecoms group's loss of rights to the NBA, UFC and Serie A.
BT still holds its core rights to the likes of the Premier League and Uefa Champions League and Europa League, although Team Marketing, which distributes the Uefa rights, is sure to be looking on with caution as it considers when to go to market with the rights from 2021-22 to 2023-24. The exact nature of BT's sport strategy in the wake of the departure of chief executive Gavin Patterson is still to be seen.