Discovery unveils Cube studio technology for Tokyo 2020
July 14, 2021
With the Opening Ceremony from the Olympic Stadium in Tokyo just over a week away, Discovery – the Home of the Olympics in Europe* – has unveiled its plans that will connect fans to the action and their favourite athletes like never before.
Discovery’s ambition to unlock the power of the Olympics will be underpinned by its promise to give viewers the ability to watch every unmissable moment, every medal and every hero with a unique approach to analysing the action that has taken place in Tokyo. Discovery’s localised coverage, meanwhile, will tell some of the most inspiring stories with the greatest storytellers.
Pioneering innovations for a long-awaited Games
The new extended reality Cube studio will be the centre-piece of Discovery’s coverage of Tokyo 2020 showcasing new software and motion graphics that will push the Cube’s analytical capabilities to a whole new level, giving viewers the chance to deep dive into the details of why an athlete won gold.
The multi-location Cube studio for Tokyo 2020 will also feature:
• Up to seven different immersive real-time video environment locations
• Bespoke 360-degree beauty shots of Tokyo as visually stunning backdrops
• Newly-released 3D Zoom software to allow viewers to see wider and more spectacular panoramic views of Cube locations
• A virtual set extension with cameras able to roam around the digital environment
Greg Rutherford was at the launch of the Cube to analyse his performance in the long jump competition gold medal-winning performance at London 2012 to put the advanced Cube analytics through its paces.
Rutherford, who is part of Discovery’s on-screen team for Tokyo in the UK and Ireland, was astonished at how much the new technology revealed: “Using this enhanced augmented graphics technology analysis is so exciting. What it has shown me about the technical elements of my London 2012 winning jump is mind blowing. I had no idea about this cool stuff.
“I’ve been able to clearly see how my penultimate stride – crucial in long jump – was way longer than it should have been from a technique point of view; and I did a ‘clutch jump’, which could have been potentially disastrous, as I’d previously ruptured my hamstring from this jump position.
“After the Olympics I never really reviewed the minutiae of what I did, but the new Cube tech has allowed me to take a closer look at the building blocks of that jump and see it in a different light. This is the amazing insight that the new Cube will offer to viewers of Tokyo 2020 on Discovery. It’s so clever and fun and I think the audience will love it.”
Scott Young, Senior VP of Content and Production, Discovery Sports, said: “The Cube is an incredible piece of immersive technology and we’re so excited to reveal new innovations to our virtual studio as the countdown to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games enters its final stage.
“The first iteration of the Cube used at the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 marked a significant milestone in our technical development. The Cube has been at the centre of our Grand Slam tennis coverage, and a major part of connecting with the players. Now, we’re set to take the Cube to a whole new level for Tokyo 2020.
“We hope the additional capabilities of the Cube will bring an extra dimension to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic storytelling and viewing experience, for audiences across all Discovery platforms.”
Games coverage and compelling content
Discovery’s coverage of Tokyo 2020 will be broadcast on multiple platforms, including discovery+**, Eurosport and Eurosport App. Discovery will be the only place where viewers can access every unmissable moment of the action from Tokyo with fans able to watch upwards of 3,500 hours of live action throughout the 17 days of competition.
For Tokyo 2020, Discovery – who’s sports content already reaches 130 million people every month – will serve fans in 50 countries and territories across Europe in 19 different languages.
In addition to the live action, Discovery has produced a brilliant short-form series that will give viewers an astonishing insight into a variety of sports that are part of the Olympic Games program. Olympics Unlocked will feature some of Discovery’s highest-profile experts including Team GB’s five-time Olympic cycling champion Sir Bradley Wiggins, France’s double Olympic swimming gold medallist Alain Bernard as well as Germany’s 2016 Olympic gold medallist in gymnastics from Rio, Fabian Hambüchen.
As part of Discovery’s approach to localized storytelling, Fabian Hambüchen also fronts an original program set to air exclusively on Eurosport in Germany in the lead-up to Games-time. The Hambüchen Challenge sees Fabian himself try his hand at a number of different Olympic sports and talk to the top German medal contenders in those sports about their hopes for Tokyo. In the UK, meanwhile, Team GB stars Adam Gemili and Andrew Pozzi will host a new podcast – Gemili & Poz – that will see some very special guests join the duo as the Olympic Games draw closer. Discovery in Italy will have a dedicated presence at Casa Italia ensuring fans are connected to their heroes while there will be Olympic-themed evening prime-time shows across the Discovery network in Sweden, Norway and Denmark throughout Games-time.
Discovery’s ‘Road to Tokyo’ content also includes the stunning discovery+ original series documentary starring teenage skateboarding sensation Sky Brown. ‘Reaching the Sky’ is available now to stream on discovery+ across Europe and profiles the Team GB athlete as she prepares for her maiden Olympic Games.
The best line-up, the best analysis
‘Team Discovery’ will comprise nearly 150 experts and presenters spearheading Discovery’s mission to deliver unrivalled expertise and insight. With 84 Olympic medals from 198 Olympic Games appearances, the team will operate both on the ground in Tokyo and from local ‘in-country’ hubs.
Andrew Georgiou, President of Sports, Discovery said: “After a challenging 18 months, all eyes will be on Tokyo next week, as the most eagerly anticipated Games in recent history finally get underway; and Team Discovery will be working hard to deliver the ultimate Olympic experience for all our viewers across Europe.”
“Our mission for Tokyo 2020 is to unlock the power of the Olympics. Innovative, immersive technology such as the Cube is one of the ways that Discovery will enable the audience to take this journey with us. The Cube will be a significant part of what makes our coverage unique, alongside an unrivalled line-up of sports stars and experts, spanning our key markets.
“As the Streaming Home of the Olympics across Europe, we’ve been building up the excitement with a stunning array of Road to Tokyo content; and in Tokyo we will be broadcasting every unmissable moment of every sport throughout the Games so fans can create a personalised Tokyo 2020 experience live and on-demand.”
The new on-air Olympic anthem written by Oscar-winning composer Steven Price features in the latest promo ahead of Games-time which aims to give viewers an understanding of Discovery’s coverage ahead of, and during, Tokyo 2020 itself.
Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 officially kicks off with the Opening Ceremony on Friday 23 July and will be broadcast across discovery+, Eurosport and the Eurosport App across 50 markets in Europe.
*Discovery will screen Tokyo 2020 across Europe except Russia
**Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 will be available to watch on discovery+ in Denmark, Finland, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Spain and United Kingdom. In all other European markets, except Russia, Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 will be available on Eurosport