…New Balls Please! Timeline returns for another smashing season at Wimbledon

54,250 tennis balls, 28,000 kilos of strawberries, 200,000 glasses of Pimms. Not forgetting an audience of nearly 2,000,000,000 viewers across 200 countries, and Timeline are at the heart of it!

Since 2007, we’ve been recording, logging and storing all of the media gathered by the host broadcaster BBC for IMG Media, media partner to the All England Tennis Club. All of the live material from every match plus wireless roving camera feeds, are recorded and served up, using 21 EVS XT servers, for immediate browsing and editing on 50 IP Director desktop systems.

IBM loggers sitting courtside provide statistical logs, including speed of serve, score and break points, while the BBC supply a team that makes a simultaneous log of colourful action, including notable tennis shots, cutaways to players and lines of commentary. Together these form a comprehensive record of the vast amount of media that is gathered. These logs are married up with their media and allow for the perfect shot to be found with ease.

A producer can type in ‘strawberries’ and every shot of strawberries that has been logged will be at their finger tips. With the press of a button they can send the clip to an edit server or replay server.
Browsing IP Director terminals are used by all the broadcast partners to find any tournament action and send the media to their chosen edit platform or to their transmission servers.

IMG Media uses the Timeline system to provide a daily compilation of highlights and produce the ‘world feed’ nightly highlights programme. The BBC use our system to enhance the continuous live coverage across their two major networks and also use Timeline supplied edit stations to produce their web coverage and interactive channels.

The system also offers an extensive, fully logged archive of every tournament since 2007. This archive is completely searchable and gives instant access to all of the games from those years, making a real difference to turnaround times and giving tremendous choice to producers. When Rafa Nadal suffered a surprise defeat, a quick search of the archive, instantly brought up the moment he suffered a similar defeat in 2012.

When the Umpires have called ‘Game, Set and Match’ and the punters have finished their Pimms, all of the media is backed up to removable storage for redundancy and when the tournament is over, forms Wimbledon’s permanent digital archive.