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Major upgrade to live streaming

Our new TV console graphics package has proven to be a great success across many athletics competitions throughout Europe this season, as ever more events look to step up their broadcasting and media coverage to the next level.

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Having watched many a livestream from someone’s phone, and relied upon whichever training partner was present at an athletics event to share grainy photos of paper results print-outs in group chats, it was clear to see that athletics was crying out for better media coverage at the grassroots to sub-elite level.

Many people had begun to take it upon themselves to do this, most notably Tonbridge coach Mark Hookway filming every race he went to (which was pretty much all of them) and uploading the race footage to YouTube the following day, or Dave Norman setting up the Facebook page RunningLive to collate budget streams in one place and provide more easily accessible coverage. This obviously requires a lot of time and effort, but it doesn’t go unappreciated.

OpenTrack’s TV console has been very effective at lowering the bar for hosting professional quality livestreams, and has allowed us to provide coverage of the University of Birmingham Track & Field Series, Belgrave & Herne Hill’s “Comeback 5000s”, the Leeds Midsummer 10,000m classic, Soar MK5000 in Milton Keynes, and the prestigious Oxford Cambridge Varsity Match this year for a fraction of the cost it would have taken to hire in a professional broadcasting company.

The more tools available to people the better, as crowd-sourcing innovative ideas leads to greater end results and overall improvement in standards. OpenTrack’s open data and open standards policy goes a long way towards facilitating this.

- Jonny Currie, PR & Digital Media, University of Birmingham Athletics Club

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With the number of spectators allowed on site for the UoB Track & Field Series being heavily restricted due to COVID-19 restrictions, we were keen to provide a livestream as a way of both allowing family and friends to watch athletes compete and to attract interest and investment for the meets. Over the course of the four events, the livestreams have attracted more than 27,000 cumulative viewers, with more than 8,000 watching the April and May meets when restrictions were at their strictest. We were able to appeal to a new audience, and the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive with other clubs around the country asking how we were able to successfully stream the events.

The OpenTrack TV console provided the perfect way to present start lists and live results to our audience, and especially for our field events where we could provide round by round updates. The newest feature showing field results as they happened worked brilliantly, allowing the audience to engage with competitions that weren’t necessarily being shown on screen at the time.

Having a popular livestream, with clear and informative graphics, enabled us to increase the publicity for the series, especially for the lead entries in our blue riband event at each meet. We have even bigger and better things planned for the coming year, with the livestream playing an integral role in showcasing our events.

- George Loxton, President & Competition Director, University of Birmingham Athletics Club

Our TV console docs explaining how to use it can be found here. This is expected to be a premium feature from next season with increased development resources available for improvements.

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