The world of Live sports production is gearing up to see history being made. BT Sport in partnership with group company EE is ready to host world’s first live sporting event broadcast using a 5G network at Wembley on Sunday.
The final of the FA-recognised EE Wembley Cup 2018 will be the world’s first live sporting event to be broadcast over 5G using remote production. The event, featuring YouTube’s biggest footballers alongside international football legends, will be broadcast over EE’s 5G network live from Wembley Stadium on the channel of YouTube star Spencer Owen.
Building to the hotly anticipated live final, EE and BT Sport partnered to showcase the capability by delivering a live, two-way broadcast over 5G from Wembley Stadium to London’s ExCeL Exhibition Centre. The live broadcast trial was hosted by BT Sport presenters Matt Smith and Abi Stephens.
The broadcast was carried over 5G in Wembley Stadium, and then produced remotely by the BT Sport production crew at BT Sport’s base in Stratford, East London.
Jamie Hindhaugh, chief operating officer, 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.”
The 5G broadcast from Wembley Stadium, using EE’s 5G test network in the stadium, showcases the capabilities of 5G. The test network uses EE’s 3.4GHz spectrum from its first 5G antenna in the stadium, connected to a 10Gbps backhaul link.
Marc Allera, CEO of BT’s Consumer business, said: “This trial is another showcase of what our 5G network can do, and is a big part of our continued investment in using 5G across the whole of BT Group. The EE Wembley Cup Final 2018 will be the world’s first live sporting event to be broadcast over 5G, and that’s part of our ongoing commitment to innovation for our customers.”
For broadcasters, EE will deploy 5G network slicing technology to create a broadcast grade network providing the guaranteed latency, bandwidth and quality required for live broadcast. 5G will enable broadcasters to send match footage back to base within minutes, opening up more coverage possibilities and reducing costs by reducing the number of technicians required at each game. By adding 5G to EE’s award-winning 4G network, EE is creating a more reliable data connection even in the biggest crowds.Adding 5G to EE’s 4G network will increase reliability and speeds, and keep customers all connected where they need it most.
EE is the lead partner of Wembley Stadium. Since the partnership kicked off in 2014, EE has introduced several technological advancements to the stadium, including delivering significant network upgrades preceding the latest 5G implementation, ensuring fans can stay connected during events. EE also worked with the Wembley team to deliver the first official Wembley app.
EE will be continuing the rollout of 5G in Wembley Stadium throughout 2019. EE recently launched 5G trials in London and announced plans to rollout 5G to 16 cities across the UK in 2019.