Sportcast Uses Dalet to Log and Enhance Video for Bundesliga's Archive

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Sportcast, a company of Deutsche Fußball Liga (DFL), operates one of the largest digital football archives in the world. Producing the 617 matches every season of the German Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2 for DFL, Sportcast manages the team's entire media value chain from the stadium to their fans around the world. This job includes running all systems from outside broadcast and post-broadcasting to producing programming for each event.

Managing Director of Sportcast Alexander Gunther said, “We have identified that data is one of the most important resources for enhancing programming. Consequently, from the last 10 years we have collected some amazing historical material using techniques based on their quality of output, innovation and sustainability.”

Sportcast uses the Dalet Galaxy media asset management and workflow orchestration platform to augment video content with metadata using Dalet Media Logger, and a categorisation system that will yield fast, accurate search results for archive users. The archive is now the central content source for Sportcast cross-media products and is available to all Bundesliga media partners located anywhere, at any time.     

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Distributing content to a wide variety of outlets, including social media, websites and linear broadcast, is currently one of the main challenges for broadcasters and media organisations like Sportcast. The company looked for a more agile, orchestrated approach to distribution to reduce complexity and the number of steps required to publish multimedia content. The Sportcast media team has built a Media Portal on top of their Dalet system to connect and monetise all of the Bundesliga assets. Dalet's supply chain orchestration combines system services and customized user tasks, to automate complex processes such as EDL, playlist and package creation.

Christoph Forster, head of the German Footaball Archive, said, “Currently we have 150,000 hours of video content stored in the archive. We receive data feeds from sports databases that supply us with the official Bundesliga data. With Dalet Sports Logger we can ingest our content and record it  much more precisely before making it available to our archive users and licensees.”

By using the Logger to add value to content through metadata insertion, content is better referenced and archives can be searched more efficiently, according to its intended use. Metadata schemes are customizable, including pre-configured metadata fields, and buttons and actions can also be set up to meet specific requirements.

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Integration with sports data feeds supplies details such as team rosters, player information and event schedules, and direct MAM integration supports collaboration for playlist assembly, even while recording. Metadata are preserved throughout the media life cycle, which facilitates content retrieval and repurposing.

“During match days we receive signals direct from stadiums, recording them with the ingest server then continue to live logging immediately as the match occurs,” Christoph said. “Currently we have more than 2 million timecode locators. Each licensee of the Bundesliga who is connected via the Media Portal to the archive sees and can access these logged scenes and all associated actions immediately after the match.”

Christian Verwaaijen, Senior Technical Manager at Sportcast, outlined the production, collection and supply workflow. “As content comes into the Dalet  system, the Media Portal automatically recognises it,” he said. “With this Portal, the customer can make an EDL, which the Dalet system takes and uses to retrieve the content from the archive, conforms it and puts it directly on FTP or another delivery system to the customer's post environment.

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IMF, our packaging format, is another important issue for us. If we are distributing content to different platforms we don't want to have to supply different formats to each one – we only want to deliver a single package to everyone that incorporates graphics, metadata, audio, proxies, a selection of clips and so on.”

Alexander remarked, “We are now thinking about new services and products, and this will really only be possible if we combine the new systems we are adopting with human resources. This is why AI is part of our digitisation processes. ”According to Christian they are considering different AI options like speech to text, person detection, object recognition, perspective recognition, OCR (optical character recognition) detection and others.

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