InfoChannel Delivers World Championship Data
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – Throughout October and Novemer, Australia hosted the biggest sporting event in the world last year, he Rugby World Cup. Twenty of the world’s top Rugby Union nations descended on Australia in what turned out to be “the best Rugby World Cup yet.” With 48 games to be played over a two-month period in every major Australian city, visual communications with rugby fans at stadiums around the country was going to be key.
The final game was a nail biter with the world champions, Australia, up against adrenalin-charged England. At full time, the scores were even, and extra time was needed for England to narrowly beat Australia and become the new Rugby World Cup Champions. Over 1,800,000 people from Australia and around the world attended the 2003 Rugby World Cup matches. The final alone attracted the largest ever Rugby World Cup crowd of 82, 957 at Sydney’s Olympic Stadium. Most if not all of these Rugby fans would have seen Scala InfoChannel in action at every game and in every stadium.
Integrator TechMedia was approached by the Rugby World Cup’s sports presentation group to design a system to integrate live statistics and scores provided by Unisys, as well as referee penalty explanations, live to each of the 10 stadiums across the continent. They chose InfoChannel for its ability to integrate with external data sources and be centrally controlled and coordinated. Scala was also the perfect choice to match the same look and feel of the broadcast graphics with its realtime rendering of visual effects.
The integrator designed and deployed an interactively driven portable system that could be set-up by a single operator at a stadium in less than 10 minutes. The complimentary system to InfoChannel was connected to a custom-built secure Internet site where the Scala software would be fed the live statistical data. This information was then rendered with graphics in real-time with via InfoChannel Players and overlaid live on the games’ broadcasts going to the stadium digital billboards. From the interactive menu, the operator could choose statistics, scores, half-time or full-time stats breakdowns, player profiles, and player on/off headshots.
InfoChannel Designer also gave the ability to operators to create profiles on-the-fly for anthem singers and last minute dignitaries. The flexible architecture of the software suite made it easy to roll out graphics changes and system interface upgrades from the integrator’s head office in Sydney using Scala’s InfoChannel Network Manager. InfoChannel’s ability to directly interface with third-party video overlays and genlock hardware was also a factor in choosing to use Scala.
Overall, Scala InfoChannel Player’s real-time graphics and data integration performed the task flawlessly and without any major issues. This is testament to the InfoChannel suite’s robustness and maturity as the world’s leading digital signage software solution. The integrators and operators involved in the project around the country in the end concurred that Scala certainly played a role in making the Rugby World Cup 2003 “the best yet.”