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Find out how we partnered with QTV to provide VAR technology in top-flight Scottish football and how we also helped them expand into a cutting-edge remote production centre.

Working with broadcast partners like the BBC Alba and the Scottish Premiership, and supporting rugby, ice hockey, archert and the Highland Games, they're also growing rapidly.

The challenge

The company was asked to address the challenge of providing Video Assistant Referee (VAR) technology in top-flight Scottish football. The Scottish FA didn't want the Premiership to fall behind other European leagues in this respect, but was concerned about the cost of providing the additional connectivity and equipment that VAR needs.

"VAR was something we needed in Scottish football," says QTV founder and CEO Jack McGill.

"We needed to find a way to make it work for everybody and from our point of view, we didn't want them to water down the technical solution. We wanted them to do this in as robust manner as possible they weren't open to accusations of doing it on the cheap, or cutting corners.

"Right from the outset, BT Media & Broadcast has a good understanding of where we felt we were trying to get to."

The solution

BT Media & Broadcast was already working with WTV, providing the connectivity for Scottish Premiership broadcasts, supplying up to four camera feeds for each game from the 12 Premiership grounds to their production house, and supporting up to 120 games a season.

"VAR needed six cameras per match, plus the return feeeds for pitchside on-field decisions," says Gareth Gordon, QTV's Chief Technical Officer.

"The BT layer two connection that we use data, both for live games and for all of our OB's was already working and had zero failures in the two years of prior to taking VAR. The resilience of that connection was a big selling point."

We also helped QTV to expand into a new, cutting edge remote production centre which would allow them to deliver VAR. We carried out a proof of concept test, checking the network could reliably deliver the services they needed before moving forward. When they'd found their ideal new home, Clydesdale Hose, we managed their infrastructure into it, on schedule and budget as planned.

The result

Clydesdale House has now become 'Scotland's Stockley Park'. With its 10GB connectivity pipe through the TVOB network, BT Media & Broadcast now supports QTV in broadcasting 228 games a season - with 50% of those games providing six JSK camera vision paths, including a return vision at 150Mb for each camera.

For the Sky Scottish Premiership games, we provide 400mb layer 2 data paths for VAR.

Hubs powered by our network allow referees to make quick, accurate and effecctive decisions, improving the quality of matches.

"The SFA and SPFL have seen the benefit now of doing things properly," adds Jack. "It means we're one thing they don't need to worry about for any given match, any given fixture round. That's an element they can feel really secure in, and having that security is really important to them.

"Having BT Media & Broadcast as one of our key suppliers undoubtedly gives us a measure of credibility - that our technology is underpinned by a best-in-class service here in the UK.

"The security and trust that we feel that BT Media & Broadcast them as high-level supplier for the business allows us to expand our business with a huge degree of confidence. That's extremely important."

We aren't quite a 24/7 operation, but we don't sleep very often and it was a huge source of comfort for us all with BT Media & Broadcast that, with prior warning, we could switch off operations on the last day of the season, and be back up and running in the new remote production centre within 48 hours, with the same sense of confidence - that's huge.

Gareth Gordon
Chief Technical Officer, QTV
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QTV, one of Scotland's most prominent sports production and outside broadcast companies, know Scottish sport inside-out.


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