Spike Broadcasts Guernsey vs Jersey 2021 Hockey Inter-Insular
20th November 2021 saw the return of inter-insular hockey to the Channel Islands. After an absence of 2 years due to the Coronavirus pandemic Jersey Hockey sent a Boys u16, Girls u16, Womans senior and Mens senior side over to Guernsey for the first inter-island clash post pandemic. The Guernsey hockey club at Footes lane hosted 4 great matches, we were there to live broadcast every goal, tackle and clash of sticks. We teamed up with Tony Curr and the Guernsey press to bring all the action to those who couldn’t be in attendance on the day with people tuning in from as far away as New Zealand, South Africa and Bangkok.
It’s no secret that here at Spike we love sport, what we love even more is broadcasting it. Over the past couple of years we’ve been honing our live broadcast skills, working with Guernsey Cricket and Guernsey Athletics has allowed us to learn how to best operate in the fast moving world of live sport. Our equipment has changed a lot over this time as we’ve pushed the limits of what we can achieve with it, chopping and changing and upgrading different aspects of it in order to help us put as high a quality broadcast as we possibly can. All that we’ve learnt over the past couple of years came together at these inter-insular games, our biggest broadcast yet in terms of audience, equipment and on screen elements. We wanted to push ourselves as far as we could for this occasion and really show the world what we can do with all that we’d learnt, we wanted people to forget they were watching a local broadcast and feel like they were watching an international standard sports broadcast. We think we got pretty close!
Firstly, we wanted to cover as many angles as we possibly could, so we set up 4 cameras. Two in the stands, one wide angle camera to cover the general game and one more zoomed in camera to follow the action a bit closer up. We also set up a camera behind each goal, these would allow us to get a good angle to view short/long corners from and also give us an interesting replay angle to view goals from. Moving on to instant replays, we are able to show replays from all 4 of our cameras, seconds after the event has happened. Before the goalkeeper has even removed the ball from the back of his net we can be showing the live audience an instant slow-motion replay of the goal from all 4 of our cameras. These replays can also be stored for use later on in case the commentator want to call back to a previous event or we want to show a highlights package at any point. We had two Tony Curr from the Guernsey press providing play by play commentary and for each game he was joined by a local hockey expert to help provide deeper analysis on the match. The next element of the broadcast to build was on-screen graphics. We were able to provide value to the hockey clubs’ sponsors by displaying their logos on screen for the duration of the events. We added a live clock and scoreboard so keeping up with what was happening in the match was easy for viewers. We also had squad lists on screen before each match, small but nice touch, we felt. Individually all of the above elements add to the overall viewing experience, but it’s when they all come together and work in conjunction with each other that they really shine. The commentators being able to talk through the squad list they see on screen or re-watch the and discuss the controversial goal that has just been allowed. When all the elements come together they become greater than the sum of their parts and really push the production to the next level.
We were really pleased with the output, in under a week the matches and highlights have had 1000’s of views and we’ve only received positive feedback for the content. We’re not done here though, we still want to push our broadcasts further and bring more to our production. More cameras? Half time analysis? A studio with live guests? In game stats? There’s more possibilities and we look forward to trying to implement them and the next big sporting event. We hope to see you tuning in to the next one!
Thanks to Guernsey and Jersey hockey and their sponsors for having us at the game. Thanks also to the Guernsey Press for partnering with us on this broadcast and putting the live feed out via their social channels.