As part of its extensive coverage of the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships, Eurovision is offering a comprehensive live and near-live visualization service for radio stations and websites.
After a successful introduction at the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in Vail 2015, the service is now being carried by many European radio broadcasters such as Swiss Members RTR and RTS, Bayerischer Rundfunk, RAI Südtirol, NRK, RTBF, Radio France Bleu and VAL202 Slovenia.
The service provides start lists, timings and a complete set of results from each event including pictures from photographic agency Zoom, which gives a privileged glance behind the scenes. Audiences can see who’s racing, and who’s winning immediately after it happens at the venue. The delay between the system receiving the data and it being displayed is just 2 seconds - faster than any other medium.
Hybrid Radio Technology
With radios increasingly capable of showing album art and station logos on colour screens, Eurovision experts are seeking to exploit the opportunity by providing a sport-focused service. The service can be carried as a slideshow for a radio or as a slideshow on a website. The service exploits hybrid radio technologies, so even FM receivers that support RadioDNS and have an internet connection can show the information.
A collaboration between Eurovision and the EBU’s Technology & Innovation Department, the service uses open source production tools developed by the EBU and its Members. The entire visualization production can be done by an individual exploiting a set of pre-defined templates, and interfacing with information sources such as Swiss Timing. Many of the visualizations are automatically generated but the individual is able to generate their own slides containing photos, texts and social media quotes.
A recent addition to the tool is the ability to generate an “HD” output that is being successfully embedded with clean sound from the ski course to create unique “Facebook Live” coverage for France Bleu Sport (regional radio network of Radio France).
Radio & Digital Sports Manager Christophe Pasquier, who has been leading the development of the open source tool, said: “Radio is at the heart of all our lives, and this service provides a richer experience for radio listeners following the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships."
"It is all about raising the awareness of the event on every platform during the competition with the Visual Radio International Signal and the responsive online audio files platform and after the event with the Alpine Top Shots. Eurovision is focused on providing comprehensive coverage of this landmark event and is now looking at providing this service for future sporting events."