The Guernsey 2023 Natwest International Island Games was incredible on so many fronts, and we were privileged to be involved. Discussions began back in 2019 with the provisional date for the games set for 2021 until they were postponed because of the pandemic. We were contracted as a professional video provider and were brought on board to provide comprehensive livestreaming coverage of the swimming which took place at Beau Sejour Leisure Centre. It was an honour to be invited to provide official coverage on behalf of the organising committee and a challenge which we welcomed with open arms.
Planning to film and livestream in the pool for us began in early 2023, which presented many specific hurdles we had to overcome. In addition to overcoming the challenges faced by filming within a humid and densely packed radio congested environment, we were required to broadcast the events we were livestreaming to the theatre within the building. Playing the livestream meant that the viewers in the theatre would be susceptible to the delay incurred by broadcasting via RTMP to servers worldwide, so we installed a cable connecting the poolside to the theatre so they experienced the full high definition broadcast at the same time as the viewers on poolside – who were limited to just 250 poolside spectators. The theatre proved a popular choice for many avid sports fans throughout the games.
We were proud of the bespoke system we developed to provide the swimming coverage. Some of our highlights included:
- Deployment of wired 4 camera system poolside along with comprehensive action replay system
- Utilisation of NDI to integrate the live swimming timing system into our broadcast system
- Bespoke audio mix supplied to commentator, cameraman and producer of the event
- High definition and high frame rate broadcast encoded and split over multiple networks to our custom content delivery network
- Dynamic graphics package deployed throughout the week for all races
Post games, we have had a chance to reflect on what was a very busy week. We love analytics and what better way to demonstrate the popularity and scale of what we achieved during the games than to put the events of the week into a few numbers. In total we streamed 200 swimming races, made up of 155 heats and 45 finals over the four days within the swimming programme. We streamed 24 hours and 42 minutes of swimming during the period of the games, which was enjoyed live by 2,927 viewers in 61 countries worldwide. The total number of hours of swimming content since the start of the games at the time of writing totalled 5,938 and continues to rise as viewers can still enjoy the content added to the Guernsey 2023 official YouTube channel.