20 June 12: HIGH-quality video footage beamed live and direct to fans via FleetBroadband is revolutionising coverage of the Volvo Ocean Race.
A ground-breaking new web-based live streaming service is being delivered through Inmarsat’s FleetBroadband 500 service – allowing fans to share in the race drama as it happens.
Volvo Ocean Race has seen huge demand for the live feeds on its website – offering real-time, multimedia coverage.
The 2011-12 race is the first global event to use the new Livestream service.
Fans have been able to watch pro-am practice races, in-port races and leg starts thanks to the Livestream link-up.
And, outside of port, live video of the race drama has been beamed from the yachts via FleetBroadband, using Livewire’s M-Link Live-X software.
The Livestream encoder enables video to be transmitted via Volvo Ocean Race HQ in Alicante as a live feed over the internet.
The race team can distribute the content in a variety of ways – on its website, its YouTube live channel, Facebook or through mobile apps.
The potential of Livestream is tremendous – offering the ability to bring live coverage of sporting and other events straight into living rooms around the world.
“The live coverage we are delivering to fans is game-changing – and is the result of race followers’ desire to be as close to the action as possible,” said Jon Bramley, director of communications at Volvo Ocean Race.
“Having FleetBroadband on the boats has helped revolutionise the way that we can bring the biggest and most challenging around-the-world yacht race to a global audience.
“The Inmarsat service has been fantastic and has enabled us to show live video direct from the boats - even in the most extreme conditions of the Southern Ocean.”
Those logging on to the race site in the final stages of Leg 7 were rewarded with edge-of-their-seat live drama.
Race organisers set up a live streaming connection with Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing as the team struggled to maintain their narrow lead on Groupama.
Inmarsat’s race correspondent Mark Covell commented: “It was if we were there onboard, sat on the deck.”
And it was the same with the finish of Leg 8, when Groupama romped home to a French victory in Lorient.
“In this last leg Volvo invited five journalists to ask questions to five different boats and streamed the whole interview on its website - live.
“It was a huge success,” said Mark.
“The excitement and connection the fans have made with this race has been boosted by the amount of high-quality live footage coming off the boats.
“This technology is down to the capabilities of Inmarsat and their partners. I know it’s my job to get excited about this stuff, but I can truly say - that was great TV.”
Volvo Ocean Race Livestream: www.volvooceanrace.com
Inmarsat race site: volvo.inmarsat.com