IBC Reveals Innovation Awards Finalists

Finalists include Chinese broadcaster CCTV's 4K Winter Olympics coverage, as well as Discovery and Eurosport's live virtual reality studio.
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The International Broadcasting Convention (IBC) revealed the short list for its Innovation Awards, whose winners will be announced during an awards ceremony on Sept. 16 during the IBC event in Amsterdam.

The three categories are Content Creation, Content Distribution and Content Everywhere. To make the shortlist, a project must have solved a creative, operational or commercial issue for a media business.

The three Content Creation finalists are Chinese broadcaster CCTV for its networked 4K Ultra HD live coverage of the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics; Euronews and what it claims is the world's first "glocal" news service; and Discovery and Eurosport for the Eurosport Cube, a live virtual reality studio that allowed experts to demonstrate the techniques on show at the Olympic Winter Games.

Four finalists have been identified in the Content Distribution category. Econet Media has developed a "TV everywhere" platform for Africa; Discovery and Eurosport worked with NEP to develop its Mediabank system to manage assets and archives for coverage of the Olympic Winter Games; Vodafone has a new multinational, cloud-based television distribution system, which it is rolling out from Europe to New Zealand; and Medialaan in Belgium now offers subscribers the ability to watch programs from the beginning, with the advertising adjusting itself automatically to ensure that the "right" messages are seen while the viewer gradually catches up with the live transmission.

The final category is Content Everywhere, which entrants interpret broadly. The three that made the shortlist are Irish broadcaster RTE with Saorview Connect, a connected, free-to-air television platform; ESPN with Shortstop Live, a way for journalists to get on air from their phones; and WRC, the World Rally Championship, which now offers All Live, the chance to "travel onboard" with a driver.

"This year's finalists are really remarkable," said Michael Lumley, chair of the international judging panel, in a released statement. "We have live coverage from rally cars, a fantastic new way of immersing audiences in the thrills of winter sports, a highly productive way of creating news stories for multiple languages and cultures, a new initiative to bring OTT and mobile television to sub-Saharan Africa and a whole host more."

Disclosure: THR's Carolyn Giardina serves on the Innovation Awards' jury.