SWALEC Stadium to open Ashes 2015 series with new media network

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Glamorgan County Cricket Club (GCCC) has announced that a new communications network will be installed at its SWALEC Stadium in Cardiff, Wales, to support next-generation media coverage of the first Test of the 2015 Investec Ashes series from July 8-12th.

According to GCCC, the network will provision 120 journalists from around the world with robust wi-fi in the broadcast and media center, as well as providing field-side access for live correspondents and photographers.

The network was deployed in five days including a full migration from GCCC’s existing set-up without service interruptions. For the Investec Ashes Test, the network will initially be sub-divided into five user groups with apportioned, ring-fenced bandwidth to safeguard access for critical journalists.

GCCC will provision a quarter of the bandwidth for the use of the written media with journalists from every major newspaper and media outlet in the UK and Australia committed to attend, as well as segments for photographers, non-rights holding broadcast journalists, GCCC staff, and England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) staff. For future sporting events and conferences, the network can be reconfigured to support different user requirements within hours.

Hugh Morris, CEO of GCCC, said, “In my playing days, you’d typically have a press box of writers filing their copy over the telephone or even by fax machine. Today sports fans expect immediate coverage of events, regardless of where they are in the world, and increasingly technology-savvy and digitally minded viewers demand an engaging and interactive experience.

“Test match coverage has evolved to include extensive previews and detailed analysis and the role of the sports writer has evolved significantly, with an expectation to provide rolling coverage in and around every development in every international contest. There’s incredible pressure to ensure the network can withstand large amounts of data passing through it over a long period of time. Our media need to know they can count on the network running seamlessly from the very first tweet of the day, until the last story is filed.”

After the Investec Ashes Test, the GCCC says it will continue to roll out access to the wi-fi network to guests and spectators and hopes to set the precedent for other cricket venues to provide a more engaging fan experience.

June 12, 2015

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