This year’s Six Nations Championship is AE Live’s (AE) seventh successive tournament as official graphics providers. But despite AE’s long and established history with the tournament, 2019’s Championship has produced a number of new changes from a graphics perspective.
One of the major differences has seen a switch of title sponsor, in the form of Guinness. This was the catalyst for an updated graphics style, designed by Six Nations Ltd partners Screenscene and built by AE’s expert team of in-house designers, using VizRT.
On-site, AE operators are delivering live match and player data graphics for all host broadcasters, in three separate languages, English, Welsh and French. In addition to the provision of three multi-language feeds, AE is also delivering for the first time, an additional fourth, non-branded, English feed, to service territories that have restrictions on alcohol advertising.
In a further change to the tournament, STATS has become the data and analytics supplier for this year’s championship. Augmenting the first-level match data collected by AE operators, STATS’ multitude of remotely collected data points are being integrated into AE’s custom-built software to deliver live, on-air, in-depth analysis. This project represents further collaboration between AE and STATS, who work together on the Australian NRL, and are able to integrate seamlessly live sorts environments.
“STATS is proud to be associated with the Six Nations tournament as it represents the pinnacle of global rugby union” said Ryan Paterson, Chief Global Officer at STATS. “AE have been a fantastic partner for this year’s event and are doing amazing work in the field of graphics integration and provision. Their software applications and robust data handling capabilities facilitate the smooth integration of live data into graphics delivery that enhance the storytelling narrative for the sport.”
2019 has also seen the introduction of Amazon Web Services (AWS), who are utilising machine learning technology to drive new insights into the game, including, for the first time, the provision of predictive analytics. Seven new data points have been launched, including scrum analysis, play patterns, try origins, team trends, ruck analysis, tackle analysis and field position analysis. Through the use of advanced AWS technology, it is possible to predict the success of a scrum through the analysis of pack weights, player experience, and historical data as well as give a complete analysis of the ruck. All of this data, generated by STATS, is being delivered live on-air by AE operators via its data handling and software applications.
AE’s Project Manager, James Smith, who is overseeing the graphics and data operation for this year’s tournament, commented “This Championship has certainly been more complex than previous years. When you consider a graphics re-design, the inclusion of new data providers and data sets, and the requirement to deliver an extra non-branded feed, we have had our work cut out. On top of this, we also have our usual commitments to several broadcasters, who this year are BBC Sport, ITV Sport, S4C and FTV, who we are delivering a range of presentation graphics for. However, I’m proud to say that our preparation has been fantastic and the tournament has gone well. I’m now looking forward to what should be an exciting finale this weekend.”
2019 is set to be an extremely exciting year for AE from a rugby perspective. On the completion of the Six Nations Championship, AE’s attention will turn to the Rugby World Cup in Japan in September, where for a second successive tournament, AE will be providing official data and host broadcast graphics for World Rugby.