The EBU, in partnership with its business arm Eurovision Media Services (EMS), is helping broadcasters increase audience engagement for the European Championships with a suite of new services and tools for Members.
While the focus remains firmly on driving linear television to reach mass audiences, new tools such as a fully immersive Virtual Reality app and video content creation solutions are enriching viewers’ second-screen experience and driving new audiences, enabling broadcasters to deliver the best and most innovative coverage of this inaugural multi-sport event.
Today the athletics action starts in Berlin, joining together with the six other sports in Glasgow. EBU Members are continuing to bring the full Championships to life through an extensive range of programming across TV, radio and digital. Some 3,500 hours of television are at the core of the offering, with many broadcasters providing audiences with over 100 hours from the event, ensuring extensive airtime for the Championships across Europe and Worldwide.
As a complement to the television coverage and designed to enrich the live experience, an innovative Virtual Reality App, European Championships Lounge, has been released and made available to Members. Offering new ways of consuming content, this official application enables audiences to experience the sporting action like never before. Broadcasters are able to personalise the VR experience and offer it to their audiences as a supplementary tool, engaging new audiences and driving them on to the extensive television coverage on offer.
Over 50 hours of VR content from the athletics events at the Olympic Stadium in Berlin is being made available on the App, alongside live feeds from the other sports taking place in Glasgow. 180˚ and 360˚ cameras will enable viewers to choose between multiple live feeds and enjoy the live statistics integration to keep track of the leaderboards and their nation’s rankings. The App is available in Google, Apple and Oculus stores.
Broadcasters are reaching new communities through digital content on the web and social media, raising awareness of the coverage and driving viewers back to the primary broadcast offer. Working together with EBU Members and event rightsholders, EMS identified a portfolio of cloud-based services to manage and publish content. These allow rightsholders to use readily available event branding assets, combine them with their own look and feel and access real-time event content, provided as a part of Host Broadcaster services. All digital services are integrated, interconnected and can be used before, during and after the event.
In addition, EBU Sport has commissioned promotional assets, enabling member broadcasters far and wide to put together branded promotional trails for the Championships, tailored for their own audiences and languages. These complement work by European Championships Management, who commissioned and developed items such as the opening titles, and other key stakeholders who have all worked together to ensure the first-class broadcast presentation of the Championships. These partnerships and assets, combined with a dedicated content delivery platform for rights-holder material, all combine to create EBU Sport’s most comprehensive broadcast offer to date.
Stefan Kürten, Director EBU Sport explains “The EBU has been a supporting partner of the European Championships since its inception, with a clear desire to not only bring the widest possible exposure for the event, but to also lead the way in innovation for how the event is promoted and presented to audiences. This approach will drive new audiences to the coverage, creating a massive footprint across all screens, supporting and helping our Member broadcasters and partners to the fullest. We’re proud to have worked together with our Members, EMS and key event stakeholders to deliver on this ambition.”
The European Championships is a major new multisport event taking place every four years, which aggregates the existing senior continental championships of Athletics (European Athletics), Aquatics (LEN), Cycling (UEC), Gymnastics (UEG), Rowing (FISA), Triathlon (ETU), with a new Golf Team Championships (ET & LET) – all unified under a common brand. Athletics will take place in Berlin from 7-12 August, while athletes from the other sports compete in Glasgow 2-12 August.
The vision for the event is to create a must-watch, must-attend experience that elevates the Champions of Europe during an 11-day celebration of sport and packed 10-day broadcast schedule.
The EBU and EMS will act as both the broadcast partner (representing European public service media) and the Host Broadcaster (overseeing the overall production of the event). EMS will also distribute the event to media organisations for TV and online platforms.