Nevion supports EI Towers with a contribution solution for Italy’s top football league

Nevion has provided a highly reliable contribution solution for Italian telecom service provider EI Towers to support television coverage of Italy’s Serie A football league.

How we can help

The Challenge

  • The broadcast infrastructure provider needed a dependable solution for video and audio contribution from 17 football stadiums to the International Broadcast Center in Lissone.

The Solution

  • Nevion Virtuoso software-defined media node.
  • Nevion VideoIPath media orchestration and SDN control platform.

The Outcome

  • A complete project successfully delivered in just four months.
  • Secure, reliable contribution of 3G-SDI and UHD feeds from stadiums to IBC.

We took on an enormous challenge in building a new production infrastructure in such a short time. The solution has now been operation successfully for the whole of the season.

Piercarlo Invernizzi,
CTO, EI Towers

Linking 17 stadiums to a new broadcast center

Headquartered in Italy, EI Towers is a leader in the provision and operation of infrastructures used in TV and radio broadcasting. It is also a technology partner of Italy’s top-tier Serie A football league that sees 20 teams playing 380 matches every year in the Championship.

To support Serie A television coverage, EI Towers has worked with Nevion – a Sony Group Company – and Italian partner CVE to deliver a video and audio contribution solution that links 17 football stadiums to the new International Broadcast Center (IBC) in Lissone near Milan. Successfully delivered in just four months, the new solution has been in operation since the 2021-2022 season.

Secure, reliable transport over IP

EI Towers required a contribution solution for Serie A to enable the secure and reliable transport of sixteen 3G-SDI video feeds and one UHD feed (together with audio and data) from each stadium to the IBC. At the broadcast center in Lissone, virtualizations and graphics are inserted prior to program distribution to rights holders in Italy and overseas. Feeds are also provided to the video assistant referee (VAR) unit.

Production in OB trucks at the stadium relies on an SDI infrastructure, while both SDI and IP are used at the IBC. For its IP core infrastructure at the IBC, EI Towers opted to use SMPTE ST 2022-6 for 3G-SDI signals and SMPTE ST 2110 for UHD signals.

Nevion Virtuoso software-defined media nodes handle the SDI transport of video, audio and data across the WAN with 1+1 redundancy. Video signals are encoded with JPEG 2000 for transport. The nodes also provide SMPTE ST 2022-6 adaption at the IBC.

Meanwhile, Nevion’s VideoIPath media orchestration platform is used to manage connections and link bandwidth. A special soft-panel interface developed by Nevion’s professional services team makes it easy to route all signals from a stadium at the touch of a single button.

In addition to the development of panels and interfaces, services provided by Nevion and CVE included project delivery, design services, remote configuration, onsite support and 24/7 premium support.

Dependable delivery

“We took on an enormous challenge in building a new production infrastructure in such a short time – not just the contribution but also a completely new facility in Lissone,” states Piercarlo Invernizzi, CTO at EI Towers. “We needed reliable partners that would deliver, and Nevion together with CVE did just that for the contribution part of this project. The solution has now been operation successfully for the whole of the season.”

“Over the years, we have delivered many contribution solutions for some of the highest profile sporting events and leagues across the world,” comments Nevion CCO Hans Hasselbach. “Typically, though, such projects involve many months and sometimes years of planning, whereas here we needed to be live in just four months, with no room for failure. The fact that this project was a success despite the tight timetable is a testament to the close and positive collaboration that was created between EI Towers, CVE and Nevion, as well as the quality of our products.”