Skip to main content

Automating professional TV production for sports

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - TiiVii (Automating professional TV production for sports)

Reporting period: 2020-05-01 to 2021-04-30

In a typical European country, only the first divisions of 2-3 sports are broadcasted in full. For the rest of sports there are no regular emissions for all matches so the main product, a brandable and watchable league product, is missing for sponsors.

This leads to the isolation of minor sports events, which represent 95 % of European sports competitions. The Tiivii project proposes a fully automated professional TV platform that allows any sports club, league or federation to create its scalable OTT offering and also serve traditional broadcasters, social media platforms and pay tv distributors.

Non premium sport economic health is basic for a modern and healthy society. However, more and more advertising revenues are directed to either premium clubs, to artificial “extreme” sports or even to the new “unhealthy” e-sports competitions. What is needed is a easy to use system to produce sponsor quality-grade content and to seamlessly aggregate full leagues into brandable products. With Tiivii, clubs and leagues can become the owners of their business model and connect directly with consumers, brands and distributors.

The Tiivii solution not only reduces by 90% the cost of producing a high quality live sport event but also integrates monetisation features, for sponsorship planning, for ad insertion and for direct to consumer monetisation during the events. It will become the key tool to upgrade the business model of grassroots sports.

The project will advance the solution through a triple-AI-stack that simulates a human production crew operating multi-camera rigs, support 8K cameras and implement 5G network interoperability, allowing immediate data exchange between sports sites, media distributors and consumers. Underlying Tiivii video server there is also a 3D cloud engine to apply real time 3D treatment to all video sources.

The Tiivii AI production platform can assign specific AI algorithms to the video watched by each camera, opening the way for smart training scenarios where one camera and its algorithms are looking to penalty shots and another camera and its algorithms are looking to short runs in the middle of the field, at the same time.
This report outlines the work carried out during the 1st year of the Tiivii project, from 01-05-2020 to 30-04-2021.
The project has advanced in parallel in many components, as planned:

Tiivii AI production platform
-Core AI component
-Cloud Mixer and 5G Cloud MIxer
-Admin & orchestration system
-Portable system and Second coach tool
-5G integration

Tiivii OTT platform
-OTT pipeline
-Tiivii interactive player integrated with AI detections
-Tiivii CMS

At the beginning of the project, 01-05-2020, Tiivii was a beta product able to do automated TV production with limited features. To launch an event, several engineers had to manually configure different modules to coordinate the production and support personnel were needed to constantly supervise everything in order to successfully finalise the event.
Today, 01-05-2021, Tiivii is a system. It is comprised of several full blown modules:
-Core AI & video components
AI Camop and AI Mixerop, our AI systems, which are able to control remote cameras and make decisions about what camera should be broadcasted. AI Camop drives the cameras and AI Mixerop drives the Cloud Mixer. We have ready the AI systems for handball, basketball, waterpolo, volleyball and soccer. We have also developed a Hybrid classroom automated streaming solution for Covid-19 scenarios which already has paying customers
Tiivii Synthetrick, our 3D graphic engine, is deployed elastically and creates video following orders from Tiivii Cloud Mixer and the configuration stored in Admin Tiivii
-Cloud Mixer
Tiivii cloud mixer, which performs the production either in AI mode or in Manual mode, using Tiivii cameras, customer cameras, mobile phones or combining all of them
-Admin system
admin system, who allows customers to configure every detail of an event through a responsive web interface
orchestration engine, following the configuration defined by the customer, is able to deploy elastic resources, not only in the cloud but also in local servers, to create an automated production
-Portable system
During this year we have also integrated many new cameras and hardware in the system. We now support a wide range of Axis, Hikvision and Panasonic cameras. We have also prototyped what could be in the future are our own 8K camera and a portable version of Tiivii. However, customers and the market have shown us that our future is not in a portable version but in a high end production using high quality fixed cameras combined, perhaps, from mobile and shoulder-on cameras.
We have worked hard with leading world camera makers. As a result, we have been the 1st company in Europe (April 2021) to receive brand new a 8k 4-sensor camera we are already integrating into the Tiivii system. We hope that the combination of this type of camera with PTZ and mobile cameras will deliver the best of both worlds to Tiivii: the security of stitching combined with our PTZ/mobile approach.
-5G integration
Tiivii has been successfully integrated into the edge servers of a real 5G network, deployed by Telefonica in Spain. From those edge servers we have produced live matches in Riazor Stadium and in the training grounds of Deportivo La Coruña FC. Tiivii 5G Cloud Mixer will be demonstrated at MWC Barcelona 2021 in the Telefonica Stand

Tiivii OTT platform
-OTT pipeline
Still work in progress and in the equity WP, this task integrates the output of Tiivii production system into the OTT platform
-Tiivii interactive player
Still work in progress and in the equity WP, the Tiivii app, already in development is an innovative audio visual app fully integrated with all the details of the Tiivii production. The main innovation is a live player which introduces a interactive panel where to deploy any time of object (notification, AR, 3D, purchase) previously synchronised with specific points of the AI detections, for instance, a goal
-Tiivii CMS
Still work in progress and in the equity WP, the Tiivii CMS will allow to plan for the productions of the whole year and to manage the outputs of productions, cameras and side content

We started the period with 47 people in the company. As of today, we are 91 people. We have strongly developed the product team, but also the testing, integration and digital operations teams. We have retained all of our customers and have gained some more, in the sports, music, events and education sectors. Total business revenue in 2019 was 2,8M€ and in 2020 we raised revenues up to 3,7M
We are the only system in the market which allows for automatic and continuous change of camera driven by AI
-We are the fastest AI detector in sports, < 120miliseconds
-We are the unique solution that allow third parties to connect to our cloud AI and perform a production: this opens the way for a global and scalable platform

Our expected global impact is to create a world platform for production and enjoying live non premium sports, which will aggregate algorithms, content, sponsors and fans. Our decentralised algorithm distribution architecture will also allow us to reuse our platform in the smart training arena. Technology centres, sport researchers and start-ups can connect to our installations and deploy new algorithms to help coaches and we will actuate as a AI algorithm catalogue for the advance of sports.
Tiivii player
Tiivii Architecture
Tiivii player showing the interactive Tab which displays real time information obtained by AI
Tiivii player II
real time AI detections
Tiivii Cloud Mixer
real time AI detections