How BBC & TVU Networks Covered the UK Election ingesting 369 live feeds into a Cloud Production Workflow

live stream setup 2

The BBC and TVU Networks were able to provide 2024 UK General Election coverage with an innovative, engaging, and environmentally conscious remote production. By utilizing TVU’s cloud platform, the BBC was able to remotely manage 369 live feeds from vote counting locations across the UK, all captured using the TVU Anywhere mobile app.

BBC Mosaic 1

The feeds were streamed on BBC iPlayer, the BBC News website, and transmitted to a giant virtual mosaic screen at the BBC’s London studio headquarters London Broadcasting House. This provided coverage to audiences across the UK and around the world and the broadcast reached a peak audience of 4.6 million viewers in the UK.

So how did they do it?

BBC came up with a custom created tripod and smartphone kit that was running the TVU Anywhere app for cellular bonded live transmissions. It was sent out in a long tube case to every count location, and was designed to be a user-friendly remote production setup that was easily configurable, even by staff without a technical background.

The phones had data only SIM cards, and the app is able to bond the sim signal to WiFi to give faster speed.

live stream setup 1

This kit allowed BBC News to capture real-time video feeds regardless of local pressures on cellular networks. The kit that could assembled by BBC representatives already attending the count combined with the lack of reliance on broadcast vehicles allowed the corporation to generate more live content in a more environmentally friendly way.

In a matter of weeks, the BBC managed to achieve what would normally take months to develop.

All in the cloud

BBC Mosaic view 3

Hundreds of live feeds, which would typically require extensive server setups, were ingested and recorded in real-time on the TVU Search cloud platform. These feeds were displayed in a large mosaic view using TVU Partyline, allowing viewers to see all voting locations across the UK simultaneously and access custom mosaics for their local regions.

“This approach not only upheld the BBC’s highest quality standards but also pioneered a new method of election broadcasting that would have been near impossible using traditional methods. The TVU cloud platform allowed us to scale up a vast number of feeds and handle peak traffic seamlessly without investing in additional hardware. This was both an editorial and technological innovation that transformed the viewing experience, bringing the vote counting process closer to our audience, setting a new benchmark in election coverage.”

BBC News’ Geraint Thomas,

The BBC managed 21 regional workflows through TVU Partyline, providing tailored coverage for different areas of England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. The ability to choose from any one of 369 counts on the night meant the BBC could always be where the story was. When augmented with its traditional broadcast live SNG and bonded connectivity, the BBC could be where audiences wanted them to be, on digital platforms, TV and radio all night long.

BBC Mosaic set up

Viewers could tune into live feeds via BBC News’ website constituency pages. The BBC’s London studio featured a massive virtual LED wall connected to all feeds, while the national programmes in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland also all had access to the live content. The live streams were also used as political commentators provided real-time updates and analysis in a split screen, making the coverage as interactive and visually engaging for the audience. The TVU platform was able to output IP for OTT, as well as SDI for the TV and Radio programmes seamlessly integrating into the existing broadcast infrastructure.

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