IMG inks three-year Arqiva deal for global Premier League football distribution

Editor | 13-11-2013

Aiming to make the world’s most popular football league reach more places in higher quality, IMG Media has contracted Arqiva to distribute the Barclays Premier League globally in high definition (HD).

Offering 380 live matches each season, the Barclays Premier League is the most watched football league in the world, broadcast in 212 territories to over 800 million homes. It is the most widely distributed sports programme in India.

Under the terms of the three-year deal, which follows on from Arqiva’s past work with IMG Media which acts on behalf of the Premier League, the communications infrastructure and media services company will provide the encoding, encryption and satellite capacity to support the football’s global delivery. Arqiva is to implement new distribution technology using “roll-off filtering” technology. This is said to facilitate the transmission of a higher bit-rate, without the need to increase satellite bandwidth, equivalent to a 15% improvement in efficiency. Ultimately, claims Arqiva, this will lead to higher quality content such as the distribution of matches live in HD.

Arqiva will be the sole distributor of approximately 190 of the key live fixtures globally per season. This distribution includes the delivery of three channel multiplexes comprising of the match feed, a fixed wide shot (for studio backdrops) and an interview/ISO. Additionally, Arqiva will distribute the 24/7 HD Content Service into Asia and the Americas.

“Working with IMG and the Premier League since 2007, we have provided valuable and trustworthy continuity, while persistently delivering new levels of technical innovation,” said Barrie Woolston, Arqiva’s managing director of satellite. “[We are] proud to work with IMG to support the global distribution of the Barclays Premier League.”