BMC UK is proud to have been selected to provide BBC Sport a total communications solution for broadcast of the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil.

A fully managed service for the duration of this prestigious event included bandwidth provision between Brazil and London, fault tolerant network design, equipment, support personnel and  monitoring. 

Service provision summary

  • VandA's and Encoding

  • Network Services

  • Standards Conversion

  • Satellite Operation

  • Terrestrial Radio Links

  • Latency Optimisation

  • IPTV

  • Monitoring

  • IP Telephony

  • UHD Trails with BBC Research and Development


VandAs and Encoding

19 Programme quality Video and Audio circuits between Studio Copacabana and IBC, and IBC and London.

A mix or HD encoding technology, primarily JPEG200 & H.264 to strike a balance between bitrate requirements and end to end latency

A robust redundancy scheme providing “hitless”switching, guaranteeing quality of service

Support for ancillary components such as multiple embedded audios and Dolby-E  

70 Speech quality two way audio circuits for production talkback (4 wires) between Broadcast Centre, Studio and London

Network services

Through strong relationships with major telecoms suppliers we are able to make recommendations and procure suitable, geographically diverse global fibre network connectivity.

This connectivity was dedicated, path protected supplying symmetrical bandwidth to reliably transport the BBC’s VANDA's, production dedicated desktop applications, intranet, file transfer, internal telephony and raw internet.

Standards Conversion

At the World Cup IBC, FIFA venue feeds were available only in 1080/59.94.  To maintain quality, the BBC decided to produce locally in the same standard, and only convert to 1080/50 on their outputs back to London.

As the quality and cost of standards conversion varies dramatically.  BMCUK made recommendations to BBC Sport regarding the most appropriate, and cost effective mix of converters. Our approach was to consider both the objective and subjective elements of picture quality mixed with the particular use of the outgoing line.

To meet the BBC’s aspirations for maintaining the highest quality output whilst achieving the best value for money, BMCUK provided 12 converters with a mix of fully, phase correlated, motion compensated and linear units. BMCUK selected Snell Group Technology for this project.

Satellite Operation

Through it’s own facilities and it’s partners, BMCUK provided and managed all of BBC satellite operations during the World Cup.

Live footage for BBC Sport’s coverage of the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil was transmitted over the Intelsat 805 satellite from the BBC’s locations in Brazil to their News and Playout Centres in London. Three feeds for News contribution and one feed of the live football were delivered through Cobbett Hill’s Teleport in the UK.

BBC OB Comms Ltd managed the local suppliers, provided us with Engineering Mangers and support for the duration of the event.

The operation included:

24/7 - 45MHz of space segment on IS-805

IBC Earthstation

  • 4.5m, prime focus antenna
  • dual redundant transmit facility
  • dual redundant receive facility with 8 IRDs
  • UPS backup
  • Fibre equipment for IBC link
  • Baseband and RF Monitoring

BBC Studio Earthstation

  • 2.4m offset antenna
  • dual redundant transmit facility
  • dual redundant receive facility with 8 IRDs
  • UPS backup
  • Baseband and RF Monitoring

England Team Hotel Earthstation

  • 2.4m offset antenna
  • dual redundant transmit facility
  • dual redundant receive facility with 4 IRDs
  • UPS backup
  • Baseband and RF Monitoring
  • Connection of reverse visions to hotel ringmain

UK Downlinking

  • 4.5m earthstation, with second antenna as backup
  • dual redundant receive facility with 4 receivers
  • 24/7 operation
  • onsite RF, ASI and baseband monitoring
  • resilient fibre connection from Teleport to London
  • direct fibre connections into BBC Broadcasting House

The above facilities provided the BBC Sport and BBC News with the following facilities;

  • End to end backup services from the IBC and Studio to London
  • In territory services for monitoring at the Studio and hotels
  • In territory services for contribution by BBC Sport & from the England Team Hotel
  • Emergency reception of the Stadium back-ups at the Studio
  • UK reception and on-pass of BBC News facilities
  • Monitoring of all transmitted Services
  • Disaster recovery operation of studio in the event of an IBC loss
  • Capability to downlink in the UK all services originated in Brazil


BBC OB Comms Ltd


Terrestrial Radio Links

Due to a lack of available space within the Studio complex, the BBC rented a private apartment into which they expanded their operation.  The apartment became a combined production office, make up, Green room  and Radio studio, and needed to be connected to the main BBC facilities.

Cable runs were not an option, but as the apartment was line of sight from the studio BMCUK were able to deploy three microwave Radio links to carry intranet, telephony, audio comms, Radio broadcast and IPTV.

Latency  optimisation

The enormous distances between base and the remote operations introduced inefficiencies that dramatically slow access to data and applications. We addressed the causes of slow performance  by optimisation, accelerating applications and data transfer so connected users remain productive.


We extended the BBC’s Off Air IPTV (Ring main) service to Brazil. Our bespoke solution included Set-top boxes and a portal service to enable the client to monitor UK Off Air channels in Brazil buy cherry picking the services BBC needed from the UK with multicast delivery to keep local network link bandwidth to a minimum.


24/7 awareness of the network and equipment with full visibility from any to any location. This was essential to help us identify equipment or network issues prior to programming hours and help with differences in time zones and support hours.

IP telephony

A bespoke IP-PBX for its own use while in Brazil, this enabled us to put extensions in all locations including remote operations such as England Team Hotel and a backup for the BBC's PBX system if it were to fail.

UHD Trails with BBC Research and Development

BBC R&D approached us to help broadcast the first ever UHD pictures from a sporting event in the UK. BBC R&D investigated many options and their initial plan was to work with us to provide a 140Mbit/s circuit from the Rio de Janeiro International Broadcasting Centre (IBC) back to Telehouse docklands, where they could pick up the feed and bring it back to BBC Centre House laboratory in West London. We also sourced from NTT a number XVE9310 encoders and HVE9310 decoders for BBC R&D to evaluate and to carry the video over this path.