Tata drives Sky F1 coverage
May 4, 2016
By Colin Mann
With the 2016 Formula 1 World Championship season four races old, Tata Communications, the Official Connectivity Provider to the sport, has confirmed that it has been selected by Sky to deliver the live broadcast feeds of all 21 Grands Prix – starting with the 2current campaign – over its global superfast fibre network, claimed to be the world’s only wholly-owned fibre network encircling the globe. The deal, which is part of Sky’s strategy to create Europe’s leading entertainment company following its acquisition of Sky Italia and Sky Deutschland, is designed to ensure a seamless race experience for viewers in the UK, Ireland, Germany, Austria and Italy, regardless of Grand Prix location.
All video feeds of the 2016 FIA Formula One World Championship season will be distributed live in high-definition to Sky viewers using Tata Communications’ Video Connect service. Sky teams based in the UK, Germany and Italy will work in close collaboration with Tata Communications’ experts at race tracks and its remote operations teams, ensuring a seamless delivery of each race to people at home. Video Connect enables broadcasters to deliver live video feeds from anywhere in the world over Tata Communications’ IP network, with connectivity to over 240 countries and territories. Underpinned by the world’s largest wholly-owned subsea fibre network, it ensures the highest quality viewing experience for F1 fans.
“The integration of our operations in Europe is focused on accelerating innovation and serving our viewers better – and Tata Communications’ global fibre network will help us do just that,” noted Keith Lane, Director of Operations at Sky. “It’s crucial that we’re able to bring our viewers action-packed, high-quality F1 racing experiences from Grands Prix around the world. And, as the way people experience F1 is constantly evolving thanks to technological advances that rely on superfast connectivity, there is scope for us to tap into Tata Communications’ global fibre network as we continue to drive innovation in F1 broadcasting.”
“With half a billion viewers globally, F1 is the world’s most popular annual sporting series – but with races in locations as diverse as the streets of Singapore, the hills of São Paulo and the deserts of Abu Dhabi, it is also a hugely challenging environment for broadcasters,” explained Mehul Kapadia, Managing Director of F1 Business at Tata Communications. “Bringing fans brilliant, glitch-free viewing experiences requires more than just reliable, superfast connectivity on a global scale. As fans increasingly want to be part of the action unfolding on the track, we look forward to exploring future game-changing technologies with Sky to drive innovation in F1 broadcasting.”
The deal with Sky builds on Tata Communications’ expertise in F1 content delivery and highlights the company’s central role in the F1 ecosystem, working in close partnership with Formula One Management, The Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team, and many leading F1 broadcasters. Last year, the company was also chosen by Formula One Management to provide broadcast services globally for the GP2, GP3 and Porsche Supercup racing series.
“This deal cements Tata Communications’ position as a world-class media services provider,” commented Rangu Salgame, Chief Executive Officer of Tata Communications’ Growth Ventures and Service Provider Group. “Our success lies in our razor-sharp focus on innovation, delivering cutting-edge services for live sports and entertainment, and harnessing our global superfast fibre network to usher in a new era in the media industry.”