Following a pioneering collaboration between Hawk-Eye Innovations, Skysports.com, WebcastSport and the British Basketball League (BBL), LIVE coverage of BBL & Women’s British Basketball League (WBBL) games is to return to screens worldwide in January 2016.
This exciting deal has been made possible by cutting edge technology supplied by UK sports technology innovators, Hawk-Eye Innovations, best known for its electronic line calling service for the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships and its Premier League football goal line technology.
The first stage of this ground-breaking partnership will see an initial pilot of four BBL events streamed live in January 2016 via Skysports.com and Webcastsport.com.
Dates, times and competitions are as follows:
• Fri Jan 8, 2016 – Live Stream from 19.15
The Copper Box, London: BBL Championship – London Lions v Leicester Riders
• Sun Jan 17, 2016 – Live Stream from 11.45
Barclaycard Arena, Birmingham: WBBL Trophy Final, BBL Slam Dunk, BBL Cup Final
• Fri Jan 22, 2016 – Live Stream from 19.15
University of Worcester Arena, Worcester: BBL Championship – Worcester Wolves v
Esh Group Newcastle Eagles
• Sat Jan 30, 2016 – Live Stream from 15.45
New Leicester Community Sports Arena, Leicester: WBBL Championship – Leicester Riders v Westfield Health Sheffield Hatters & BBL Championship – Leicester Riders v Surrey Scorchers
The four pilot BBL events are to be produced by sports broadcaster, WebcastSport, using Hawk-Eye’s SMART production service, a solution that significantly reduces the cost of live basketball production by up to 75% without impacting on the quality of the output.
Employing four to six automated broadcast quality HD cameras, which utilise Hawk-Eye’s cutting edge, vision processing techniques, and combining Hawk-Eye’s IT-based software platform, WebcastSport will deliver a live, HD quality sports programme ready for streaming, which will also be available free on demand.
A further element of the collaboration will enable basketball fans worldwide to watch the live streaming of BBL games for free on their PC, and on their tablet or smart phone via the Sky Sports’ app.
Bob Hope, Commercial Director, BBL, WBBL and GB Basketball commented, “This is a hugely exciting first step towards our goal of bringing British basketball to fans worldwide.
“I would like to thank all parties involved who have worked both hard and selflessly to pull this ground-breaking collaboration together.
“Not only will the partnership give fans the opportunity of watching live games on their PCs but also on their tablets and Smartphones, and all for free.
“This, coupled with accessibility worldwide, was for us, an important element of this project.”
Hawk-Eye’s Managing Director, Stephen Carter said, “We are delighted to be part of this innovative collaboration with the BBL.
“Following our trials with networks across multiple American sports, including basketball and baseball, we feel our technology is the perfect match for the BBL and we look forward to developing this partnership in 2016.”
Meanwhile Kevin Magee, Managing Director of WebcastSport, added,
“WebcastSport is proud to be the web streaming partner for the BBL.
“We are excited to be able to bring our many years of broadcast expertise to one of the UK’s largest sports and to be able to deliver the league live to webcastsport.com viewers free of charge.
“The opportunity to collaborate with Hawk-Eye and its new technologies, and the added bonus of our partnership with Skysports.com, will see us take the sport into a new era of interaction with the fan base.”
Photo: Tayo Ogedengbe (Surrey Scorchers) and Stephen Carter, Managing Director, Hawk-Eye Innovations with a Hawk-Eye automated HD camera.