This page provides a summary of LiveU’s presence in the “Sky 150”, 2015 UK General Election coverage, including usage figures and a general overview of where and how the technology was deployed.
Sky News – Election Day (May 7th 2015)
Sky News reaches over 100 million homes on multiple platforms across 118 countries with its combination of breaking news and analysis.
As the 2015 UK General Election approached, Sky News wanted to offer their viewers the most comprehensive coverage available. There are 650 voting constituencies in the UK, each of which declares its votes for their local parliament member overnight, giving Sky News 650 declarations to report in a matter of hours.
Sky News would be offering the most in-depth and complete coverage in its history by placing equal significance on all media platforms, including television, digital, and social media. As part of its television and digital coverage, Sky News planned to broadcast continuous live streams from the 150 constituencies most likely to influence the outcome of the election.
To simultaneously broadcast live from 150 locations, spread across the UK, Sky News needed a flexible, cost-effective live streaming solution based on proven, state of the art technology.
Sky News chose LiveU as a key technology partner, using multiple units including the small formfactor LU200, as well as its existing LU500 lightweight backpacks. LiveU designed a solution to accommodate 150 live feeds coming from different sites and sources and provided over 130 additional units to supplement Sky’s existing LiveU units.
Sky News offered “the most ambitious and wide-ranging results service available”. This included a specially created studio at the Sky News Osterley location.
Student broadcasters operated the LiveU unit at each polling station. The user-friendly interface on these units allowed the students to easily operate the equipment after watching a short training video and receiving a quick briefing by the LiveU support team. LiveU also provided in-studio support in conjunction with Garland Partners, LiveU’s UK distributor.
LiveU developed a solution capable of:
- Live streaming all feeds, primary and backup, continuously on the Sky News YouTube channel at a rate of 2,000 kbps per stream
- Delivering 150 streams to the Sky News studio
- Previewing all 150 streams on the LiveU Central platform at a rate of 350 kbps per stream
- Concurrent delivery of high res HD version of select streams to Sky News studio for use in their broadcast chain
All 150 LiveU feeds were routed over IP to Osterley, Sky News Broadcast Center, in what Sky says was the largest IP OB of its kind. Each stream was sent to Google cloud servers to be streamed live to YouTube. Simultaneously, an SD proxy was sent to Sky’s News Operations Control (NOC) room in Studio B and displayed on ten 4K monitors. Throughout the night, Sky News was able to broadcast key declarations live from any of its 150 locations.
Each of the 150 streams was live on the Sky website on its designated constituency page, allowing viewers to watch their local feed while Sky News was covering the others. The “Sky 150” giant video wall played a central role in the rolling election coverage.