750,000 tennis fans tune in to the All England Club’s first live ‘Visual Radio’ streams at The Championships

The All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC), hosts of The Championships and known for its signature mix of historic tradition and innovation, has streamed live audio coverage of matches to social media for the first time, registering almost 750,000 views and generating direct engagement with just under 60,000 fans.

The Wimbledon Radio Channel, Wimbledon’s live radio broadcast of The Championships, produced by IMG and encoded by official technology partner IBM, was delivered to Facebook using Visual Radio, a new component of the browser-based production platform Grabyo Producer. The rich listening experience displays custom graphics and animations on an audio frame, and enables radio distribution to Facebook, Twitter, Periscope and YouTube as well as websites and mobile apps. Viewers are then able to discuss the action with other listeners through comments or posts, connecting the wider fanbase and community.

Using Facebook Live, fans of The Championships were able to listen to the ladies’ final between Serena Williams and Angelique Kerber, the men’s semi-final between Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal and the men’s final between Novak Djokovic and Kevin Anderson. These live match streams received almost 60,000 comments, shares and reactions from fans, hosted on the Wimbledon Facebook page.

Alexandra Willis, Head of Communications, Content & Digital, The AELTC, said: “The popularity of the Wimbledon Radio Channel across our Visual Radio broadcasts exceeded all expectations. The Wimbledon Radio Channel performs incredibly strongly across Wimbledon.com and our official apps, and to be able to extend that audience is fantastic. 500,000 people alone listened to the Nadal-Djokovic semi-final which demonstrates our commitment to offering the best access for our fans to enjoy The Championships and engage with our content, and we believe the response shows we have achieved this.”

The popularity of live streaming on social media has increased exponentially in recent years and sports has been a major part of this growth, sports fans want to feel connected to each sporting moment as it happens. Visual Radio from Grabyo meets this demand, enabling production teams to manage multiple live audio streams collaboratively in the cloud, publishing directly to social and mobile platforms that do not offer options for radio broadcasting.

Visual Radio publishers have the added option of activating campaigns for sponsors and media partners. Grabyo’s Producer platform allows users to insert branded graphics, animations or visualisations into the stream. Editors can also insert crowd-sourced comments, conduct live polls with fans and layer imagery and data within the frame to deliver a highly-engaging experience for listeners.

Gareth Capon, Grabyo CEO, said: “We developed Visual Radio to meet the growing demand from fans for live audio broadcasts on mobile and social platforms. Building participation and community features into the product was important, fans want to feel involved with the action whilst communicating with each other. This service also creates new opportunities for brands to connect with different audiences beyond traditional TV. The AELTC has led the way in what is an exciting new step for audio streaming, and we expect Visual Radio to play a major role in live social content in the future.”

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Cablecast Screenweave Brings Community TV Channels to Popular OTT Devices

Tightrope Media Systems today announced Cablecast Screenweave, a collection of intuitive apps that extend the seamless, multi-platform content publishing workflows of the Cablecast Community Media platform to popular OTT player appliances.

A powerful add-on for the Cablecast Reflect cloud-based streaming service, Cablecast Screenweave lets community TV broadcasters easily and efficiently bring their live channels and on-demand content libraries to users of Apple TV® and Roku® devices.

By offering stations’ public, education and government (PEG) access channels through these market-leading OTT platforms, the Cablecast Screenweave apps allow viewers to watch live and on-demand content from their local community broadcaster from the comfort of their couch even without a cable television subscription. Users can browse categorized collections of VOD clips, search the station’s VOD library for topics of interest, and switch easily between the station’s live feeds – all with the quality advantage of high-definition video.

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“Many community stations aren’t able to broadcast in HD or to offer on-demand content through their cable channel,” said Steve Israelsky, President, Cablecast Community Media. “While broadcasters could already deliver live HD and VOD as online streams through the Cablecast platform, Cablecast Screenweave now lets them bring these benefits to viewers’ living rooms while also expanding their audience to include ‘cord-cutters’ and ‘cord-nevers’ who don’t have cable TV service.”

Cablecast Screenweave continues and expands the Cablecast platform’s fully-integrated “program once, publish everywhere” multi-platform distribution simplicity. An intuitive web-based management portal lets stations configure Cablecast Screenweave by linking it to their existing Cablecast Broadcast Automation system, customizing which metadata fields the apps will display, incorporating their own branding and defining criteria for categorizing their VOD collections. After the initial configuration, no further actions are required by station staff to publish content to the OTT platforms. Permitted programs added to the station’s schedule are automatically repurposed and made available on the cable channel, the station’s Cablecast-powered website and the Cablecast Screenweave apps at once.

“Our mission has always been to make broadcasters’ lives easier and automate as much as possible, allowing them to reach viewers in more places on more devices in a seamless workflow without any additional effort,” added Israelsky. “Cablecast Screenweave further expands that simplicity to Apple TV and Roku delivery.”

Cablecast Screenweave works in conjunction with the Cablecast Reflect service, which lets community broadcasters deliver live streams and VOD programming to a virtually unlimited number of online, mobile, and now OTT viewers. Shifting the burden of streaming delivery from the station’s own infrastructure to the cloud, Cablecast Reflect enables them to reach larger audiences at higher quality while increasing reliability and minimizing impact on local network performance. Cablecast Screenweave is free of charge for Cablecast customers with an ongoing Cablecast Reflect subscription, including support for up to three channels per station.

Viewers can immediately download the Cablecast Screenweave app for free from the tVOS App Store on Apple TV units, with the Roku version soon to be available through the Roku Channel Store. Once installed, the apps will use geolocation to automatically present the user with a choice of the closest public access channels offering Cablecast Screenweave support, and will remember the user’s selection for future viewing.

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