Video: Esports for Broadcasters – Part III

In the last of three sessions on esports, the RTS Thames Valley looks at how vendors for the traditional sports market can adapt and serve this quickly growing market.

Guillaume Neveux from EVS sets the scene talking about the current viewing figures (44 million concurrent peak viewers for League of Legends) and revenue predictions of a 40% increase over the next three years. This is built on sponsorship and, like TV, this takes the form of ad insertion, and programme sponsorship (i.e. logo on screen) to name but two options. Esports has an advantage as they can control the whole world the sport takes place in. This means that advertising signs can be placed, live, on objects in the live stream which are seen by the viewers but not by the players, something which has been attempted in traditional sports but has yet to become common.

Guillaume also looks at how Twitch and YouTube Gaming work, commenting that one of their big differences from traditional sports is the chat room which scrolls next to the game itself. This lends a significant feeling of community to the game which is seldom replicated in traditional sports broadcasting. In general, esports is free to watch. Freemium subscriptions allow you to reduce the number of adverts seen and also improve the chat options.

The next part of the talk spotlights some of the roles unique to esports. The Caster is analogous to a commentator. They are there to weave a story, to explain what’s happening on screen and to add colour to the even by explaining more about what’s happening, about the people and about the game itself. Streamers are individuals who stream themselves playing computer games who, like YouTube personalities, can have extremely large audiences. An Observer is someone who moves around the game world but is invisible to the players, they are analogous to camera operators in that they can control their own view of the world and are also responsible for choosing which views from the players are seen. Essentially they are like a sub vision mixer feeding specific shots into the main programme as well as, in some circumstances, creating dedicated streams of shots for secondary streams. Graphics operators are just as important as in other types of programmes although aspect ratios are all the more tricky and this also involves integration into the game engines.

Guillaume also covers the equipment used by esports broadcasters. EVS is a premium brand with products honed to a very specific market. Guillaume explains that although the equipment may seem expensive, the efficiencies derived from buying equipment designed for your workflow a notable compared to creating similar workflows out of other equipment typically due to the added complexity, maintenance and workflow fit. At the end of the day, much of what traditional sports and esports needs is similar – slowmo, replays, graphics insertion – so only some modifications were needed to the EVS products to make them fit into the needed workflows.

Watch now!
Speakers

Guillaume Neveux Guillaume Neveux
Business Development Manager EMEA,
EVS

Video: What is esports? A crash course in modern esports broadcast

With an estimated global revenue of over USD1.1 billion1 and a global audience of almost half a billion people2, esports is a big industry and all accounts report it as growing. Although it sounds different, when you look behind the scenes, there’s actually lot of equipment and production that a broadcaster would recognise, as we showed in this behind the scenes footage that we featured in a previous article

Press play below as a taster before the main video to be a fly on the wall for five minutes as the tension mounts at this esports event final.

In this today’s talk from the Royal Television Society, Thames Valley, we’re introduced to esports from the bottom up: What it is, who does it and which companies are involved. I think esports is special in its ability to capture the interest of the broadcast industry, but exactly what it is and how it’s structured…few actually know. That’s all changing here, with Steven “Claw” Jalicy from ESL.

Steven explains that ESL is the largest company that runs tournaments and competitions outside of the games publishers. He explains that, unlike sports such as tennis, athletics and football which don’t have ‘owners’, all esports games have publishers who are able to control the way that gaming happens and have the ability to run tournaments themselves or, in effect, franchise this out around the world.

 
Steven takes us through the broadcast chain. Usually held in a stadium, OB kit and temporary set ups are nothing new to to the broadcast sports community. The first thing which is a change however, is ‘in-game’. There’s a lot more to covering esports than tennis in as much as for a tennis match you can turn up with some cameras and ball tracking kit and televise the games. Whilst doing it well is by no means trivial, with esports there are many more levels due to the fact that we have human players who are playing computer characters; to experience both the real and the in-game drama you need camera angles both in the real world and within the game. These in-game camera operators are call observers and just like real-life camera operators, their task is to capture all the action of the game. Sometimes this is done by following the players, sometimes by a birds-eye-view camera, depending on the game and, as ever, the publisher.

Naturally when you have a peak viewership of over a million people, streaming and live content distribution is really important. ESPN and, more recently, Eurosport have been airing esports so it’s important to realise that linear distribution is very much part of the mix for esports, it’s not an on-line only thing, though most of the numbers shared are the verified streaming numbers.

Steven talks about some of the challenges ESL faces in delivering the highest quality streams with so many tournaments happening and then moving to remote operation.

ESL prefers to build their own hardware for several reasons that Steven explains which include having the result fully-customisable and simplifying replacements. Similarly, ffmpeg and other open-source encoding is favoured for similar reasons.

The discussion finishes off with an extensive Q&A session including the ‘sanctity’ of the players’ equipment, the threshold for choosing to use vendor equipment (EVS vs Mediakind), transport over the internet and much more.

Watch now!
1Statista revenue report
2Statista eSports audience report
Speakers

Steven Jalicy Steven “Claw” Jalicy
Global Head of Streaming,
ESL Gaming

Video: Who is Watching? The Challenge of Digital TV Measurement

With the rapid increase in video-on-demand (VoD) viewing, over-the-top services such as Netflix and mobile TV, working out who watches TV – and when and where – has become a complicated business. Can the TV industry keep up with the changes and the ever-growing need to measure TV viewing habits across devices, platforms and other new ways to watch?

This panel from the RTS, includes Justin Sampson from BARB talking about how they’re capturing iPlayer views which are increasingly important, particularly has sometimes a TV programmes are available on OTT before linear transmission. But there is still work to do capturing views on Netflix, Youtube, Amazon and other services.

In the same vein, Rich Astley, Finecast CPO, pointed out there is a lot of advertisement viewing which is also uncaptured.

Sky Media’s MD John Lister gives his opinions including discussing the strong ability of linear TV to build brands which, clearly, is more important than individual advert spots.

Sarah Rose from Channel 4 discussed the continued importance of overnight ratings which are still highly correlated to having a hit on your hands.

Watch the whole thing to find out much more, hosted by Kate Bulkley

Speakers

Matt Hill Matt Hill
Research and Planning Director,
Thinkbox
Rich Astley Rich Astley
Chief Product Officer,
Finecast
John Litster John Litster
Managing Director,
Sky Media
Sarah Rose Sarah Rose
Chief Consumer & Strategy Officer,
Channel 4
Justin Sampson Justin Sampson
CEO,
Barb
Kate Bulkley Kate Bulkley
Moderator
Journalist

Meeting: IBC 2018 Review


Date: Wednesday 17th October 2018, 18:30 BST
Location: Central Studio, Queen Marys College, Cliddesden Road, Basingstoke, RG21 3HF

Did you miss IBC this year or only have time to see half? Come to the joint meeting with the RTS Thames Valley and RTS Southern Centre and you will be able to catch up on all the highlights and discuss the hot topics this year with this panel of experienced attendees.

Register Now!

Speakers:

Chair: Tony Orme
Vice Chairman, RTS Thames Valley
Martin Parsons
Consultant and trainer for the broadcast, post-production and motion picture industries
Ciaran Doran Ciaran Doran
Exec VP Global Sales & Marketing, Pixel Power
Neil Maycock Neil Maycock
VP Global Marketing, Grass Valley, a Belden Brand
Russell Trafford-Jones Russell Trafford-Jones
Manager, Support & Services, Techex