When Norkring built the terrestrial television network in 2001, it became evident that there would be a lot of available capacity that could be utilised in other ways. In 2003, the company therefore began providing live signals (contribution) to broadcasters from football stadiums.
“Live video signals come with extremely high quality requirements, and we have managed to meet those requirements without fail since we first started with this in 2003,” said Pål Kristiansen, Sales Director at Norkring.
Solutions with added value
Norkring’s first step in moving beyond a strictly contribution solution was to offer data storage services to media companies and other actors. NorkringLive allows storage of video clips and other data used by sports newsrooms for reporting footage or the teams themselves for post-match analyses. The Arena Streaming solution takes this one step further, providing footage and other content essentially in real-time for fans in the stadium via an app.
“There’s also a lot of added value inherent in such solutions. It gives the football clubs a customer database from which they can develop services based on knowing who visits their stadium. If it’s been a while since someone has attended a match, you can send them a message with special offers. We have taken the step from being strictly a video provider that provides live video to working much more with content. In so doing, we are taking control of the entire value chain,” added Kristiansen.
Not just sports
Norkring’s solutions are also relevant to other actors that work with live broadcasts and want to retrieve relevant data and video clips.
-Among other things, we have been involved in events in Lisbon, Sao Paolo and Miami, so it’s not at all the case that this is limited to sports; we can do the same for concerts, festivals and tourism said Pål Kristiansen, Sales Director, Norkring.
That said, football is still where Norkring is primarily active in this area. The business really took off in 2017 with the signing of an agreement between the company and the Swedish football leagues Allsvenskan and Superettan.
“It gave us twice as much to do and became a large operation. There are now 32 matches each round across the leagues in Norway and Sweden, so we have 14 employees working continuously in shifts and another two or three in second and third line support. There are two people tagging the matches manually, pressing corner, goal, free kick, which is then stored and produced as various clips,” explained Kristiansen.
It’s hard to say what the future has in store for Norkring’s media solutions, but Kristiansen believes there are good opportunities on the horizon.
“We want to get a MAM [Media Asset Management] agreement with NorkringLive for Norwegian football, and of course we also have some dream projects. Swedish hockey is one of those, as well as Swedish trotting, hockey in Finland and the Danish football league Superligaen. These are things we’ve been dreaming about getting involved in, and they are entirely achievable,” said Kristiansen.
“Among other things, we have been involved in events in Lisbon, Sao Paolo and Miami, so it’s not at all the case that this is limited to sports; we can do the same for concerts, festivals and tourism.”