Snap election coverage … live and in a snap!
The votes are in: with Garland and LiveU on side, leading broadcasters’ live coverage of the General Election is all arranged on time and in pristine quality from across the UK and around the world.
When Prime Minister Theresa May called a snap general election in mid-April of this year, Garland immediately swung into action to begin preparing to meet the complex live-delivery needs of its broadcast customers at home and abroad. With only 7 weeks to prepare for the 8th of June election date, the team was not only able to provide the technology needed, but on-site election night support as well. In total, Garland provided almost 200 additional LiveU units. and helped support more than 100 other deployed units.
After the success of its 2015 General Election coverage, Sky News made use of 172 units for the most recent election.
“In 2015, we worked with Sky News to stream live from 150 of the most hotly contested constituencies,” recalls Malcolm Harland, Managing Director at Garland. “The result was 1,200 hours of content delivered with high clarity and without interruption. The coverage earned a Guinness World Record for Most Concurrent Live Web Streams for an Event and The TVB Europe Best Live Broadcast Award 2015. We knew they would want to top that with the world watching this election closely.”
For their 2017 General Election coverage, Sky News upped the ante calling the event Sky 250, with coverage from 250 of the 650 seats designed to tell the story of the election. In actuality, Sky sent camera crews out to an unprecedented 300 locations. An IP set-up was used in a specially built studio that included a massive video wall of its live streams from across the UK. LiveU Central, a unified management platform, provided those in the studio with remote monitoring and control capabilities, providing essential access to units in real-time. In addition, to live television coverage, live feeds were also available via YouTube Live.
“Our Sales Manager Matt Stringer and I worked all night at Sky along a team from LiveU as the election story unravelled,” says Malcolm Harland, Garland’s Managing Director. “We had one exciting moment when we even had to recruit the efforts of my wife, Gill, to make an emergency delivery of an LU500 at 9pm to Sky’s crew in Loughborough. This was due to their unit being delayed by a train cancellation. But we were prepared for any contingency … although when asked by the Loughborough crew whether the LiveU unit was set up properly, Gill did decide her night’s work was over!
“Back at our own office, Dave Fowler our Technical Manager, and Cosmin Burlacu our Senior Technical Support Engineer, offered additional support to Sky and all our other customers.”
Garland provided the additional LiveU units to multiple broadcaster from the UK and around the world, many of whom rented the units to supplement their own units. Garland provided the SIM cards and extensive support, along with all logistics. Some customers also expanded their downlink server capability with IFB return audio to their crews in the field. As a result of their successful coverage, many are now actively reviewing expansion of their LiveU fleets.
“While Prime Minister May’s gamble on a snap election may have backfired, the team at Garland and LiveU were ready, and by all accounts, the live-streaming of the election coverage was a huge success,” states Malcolm. “You never know; we just might have undertaken a full-scale rehearsal for another election in October.”