Fox Sports taps LiveU, Debrouillard for World Cup fan parks | Mobile | News | Rapid TV News
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Bidding to add the flavour of thousands of fans celebrating events on the pitch and increase the dynamism of its World Cup football coverage, Fox Sports has turned to video services company Debrouillard Television and Live U to capture UK fan experience during key matches during the tournament.
LiveU Fan Park Image 8Dec2022
Fan parks have become very popular with football supporters as well as with broadcasters who can capture the live supporter reaction footage gathered at these events. The benchmark example that is generally cited is the fan park event during the 2020 Euros with England fans in Hyde Park, London.

Fox Sports is a long-time LiveU user and specified that it was the company’s technology that had to be used. Jonathan Young, owner of Debrouillard which is also an established LiveU user with multiple units and a server, was contracted to find a suitable venue in the UK. This was a challenge because as the event was being held in UK winter, outside venues weren’t possible. The company chose Road to Victory (RTV), a fan park set up for the tournament on the edge of Manchester. It guaranteed high ticket sales, as well as dynamic lighting and multiple big screens with special animation, too.

The first fan experience covered was for the England vs. USA Group Stage, Group B game, which fell on 25 November, Black Friday and Thanksgiving weekend in the US. Fox Sports anticipated this being the most watched soccer game in US history. Fan reactions during later matches as the tournament progressed were also covered in the same way.
With 6,000 fans at the venue, many using mobiles to create their own footage, and with the concrete, steel and brick nature of the building, Debrouillard worked with LiveU UK to use a 5G-enabled LU800 to guarantee maximum bandwidth. The LU800 was configured with a mix of 5G and 4G SIMS in addition to an Ethernet connection. A second LiveU unit was used for redundancy. The feed was sent to Fox Sports so they could use it as they wished.

“We spent a lot of time checking out the venue, not least the connectivity. We also tested during a previous match there and LiveU absolutely worked. Because it’s almost subterranean – it’s built into disused railway arches – we had to ensure connectivity as this was a high-profile event for Fox Sports,” Young explained.

“What RTV had done with the venue really added to the atmosphere. 5G was a real advantage for us, not only for the inherent bandwidth and the LU800’s capabilities, but because so few consumers use it at the moment and in such a tricky environment, this gave us even more bandwidth and resilience. Fox Sports is very happy with the results we achieved, both in terms of the technical excellence and the vibrancy and sense of occasion the footage added.”