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Beach Soccer: When there’s a will, there’s a wave

Posted on Sep 14, 2022 by Xtreme Staff

Sandy toes, beautiful views and acrobatic play – beach soccer is taking the world by storm. However, with unpredictable conditions and turbulent signals, streaming the event is evolving into the cloud phase

//Words by Verity Butler//

With an estimated following of roughly four billion fans globally – and considered the world’s most played sport – it’s somewhat unsurprising to find there are so many variations of football. From indoor-based futsal to five-a-side, it seems there’s no end of ways to reinvent the basic concept of getting a ball across a pitch and into a net. This is no less true for beach soccer, a sport believed to have come from European sailors in the coastal regions of Brazil towards the end of the 19th century – with its first official tournaments kicking off in 1957.

The first ‘unofficial’ World Championships took place in 1995, resulting in the founding of the Beach Soccer Company. The BSC went on to develop the official rule book and concept for the events, launching with the Pro Beach Soccer Tour. As the sport’s popularity grew, the World Championships encouraged awareness in Europe – with France, England, Spain, Germany and Belgium the next to head off the pitch and down to the beach. This tide of international popularity triggered the founding of the Beach Soccer Worldwide (BSWW) federation, which is now the body in charge of organising both World Cups and European tournaments. It is recognised by Fifa and, as of 2022, stages events in over 60 countries.

Sandy toes, beautiful views and acrobatic play – beach soccer is taking the world by storm. However, with unpredictable conditions and turbulent signals, streaming the event is evolving into the cloud phase

//Words by Verity Butler//

With an estimated following of roughly four billion fans globally – and considered the world’s most played sport – it’s somewhat unsurprising to find there are so many variations of football. From indoor-based futsal to five-a-side, it seems there’s no end of ways to reinvent the basic concept of getting a ball across a pitch and into a net. This is no less true for beach soccer, a sport believed to have come from European sailors in the coastal regions of Brazil towards the end of the 19th century – with its first official tournaments kicking off in 1957.

The first ‘unofficial’ World Championships took place in 1995, resulting in the founding of the Beach Soccer Company. The BSC went on to develop the official rule book and concept for the events, launching with the Pro Beach Soccer Tour. As the sport’s popularity grew, the World Championships encouraged awareness in Europe – with France, England, Spain, Germany and Belgium the next to head off the pitch and down to the beach. This tide of international popularity triggered the founding of the Beach Soccer Worldwide (BSWW) federation, which is now the body in charge of organising both World Cups and European tournaments. It is recognised by Fifa and, as of 2022, stages events in over 60 countries.

IN OVER YOUR HEAD A softer surface allows for some outrageous tricks
IN OVER YOUR HEAD A softer surface allows for some outrageous tricks

From beach to cloud

Since its foundation, the BSWW has worked tirelessly to ensure continued success for the sport, establishing a solid international calendar, with a string of long running competitions. A key aspect to maintaining beach soccer’s popularity is to make it easily accessible to global audiences, who can enjoy the game at home, on their phones – or their tablets. To execute a high-quality, engaging live stream that’s worth watching – as well as ultimately generating a healthy fan base – it’s critical to get sophisticated tech and providers to support the broadcast. This has undoubtedly been at the top of BSWW’s agenda. A recent example was the collaboration of Singular.live, Easylive.io and WSC Sports for several tournaments, including the men’s and women’s Euro Winners Cup (EWC), plus the Euro Winners Challenge – 218 matches in total. These saw the implementation of Singular’s cloud-based technology for the live graphic overlays, Easylive.io’s cloud-based streaming production studio and WSC Sports’ AI workflow automation solutions.

From beach to cloud

Since its foundation, the BSWW has worked tirelessly to ensure continued success for the sport, establishing a solid international calendar, with a string of long running competitions. A key aspect to maintaining beach soccer’s popularity is to make it easily accessible to global audiences, who can enjoy the game at home, on their phones – or their tablets. To execute a high-quality, engaging live stream that’s worth watching – as well as ultimately generating a healthy fan base – it’s critical to get sophisticated tech and providers to support the broadcast. This has undoubtedly been at the top of BSWW’s agenda. A recent example was the collaboration of Singular.live, Easylive.io and WSC Sports for several tournaments, including the men’s and women’s Euro Winners Cup (EWC), plus the Euro Winners Challenge – 218 matches in total. These saw the implementation of Singular’s cloud-based technology for the live graphic overlays, Easylive.io’s cloud-based streaming production studio and WSC Sports’ AI workflow automation solutions.

While Singular and Easylive combined during the tournament, WSC Sports was working hard in the background

“At Singular, our focus is 100% on the graphics,” begins head of marketing at Singular.live, Mike Ward. “This means partners like Easylive.io are absolutely essential, as they are managing all the other video elements. “In the case of BSWW, you’re able to open up a browser and take all incoming video feeds through Easylive.io, managing them there. “Within that interface, you can also control your Singular graphics, making it streamlined – and easy to operate. Especially in an environment where most production is on a beach.”

Less is more

An efficient system is vital, with the production team up against almost every imaginable element.

“You don’t want to go live with a load of hardware,” continues Ward. “A sandy beach is not the place for it, which is why our cloud-based solutions were so important. Everything could be operated from anywhere. So, if they had network issues on-site, the operator could trigger the graphics remotely from a completely different location, due to both Singular and Easylive’s platforms being browser-based. That was the beauty of it.”

The two solutions involved very limited set-up.

“Within Singular, there’s an authoring environment, so you can custom-build graphics – which we’ve done before for beach soccer. It was then just a case of bringing in new sponsor logos and building out the different teams – all of which come under very simple editable text fields.”

“At Singular, our focus is 100% on the graphics,” begins head of marketing at Singular.live, Mike Ward. “This means partners like Easylive.io are absolutely essential, as they are managing all the other video elements. “In the case of BSWW, you’re able to open up a browser and take all incoming video feeds through Easylive.io, managing them there. “Within that interface, you can also control your Singular graphics, making it streamlined – and easy to operate. Especially in an environment where most production is on a beach.”

Less is more

An efficient system is vital, with the production team up against almost every imaginable element.

“You don’t want to go live with a load of hardware,” continues Ward. “A sandy beach is not the place for it, which is why our cloud-based solutions were so important. Everything could be operated from anywhere. So, if they had network issues on-site, the operator could trigger the graphics remotely from a completely different location, due to both Singular and Easylive’s platforms being browser-based. That was the beauty of it.”

The two solutions involved very limited set-up.

“Within Singular, there’s an authoring environment, so you can custom-build graphics – which we’ve done before for beach soccer. It was then just a case of bringing in new sponsor logos and building out the different teams – all of which come under very simple editable text fields.”

What AI you talking about?

While Singular and Easylive were combining during the tournament, the third member of the trio – WSC Sports – was working hard in the background with its impressive AI-powered platform.

“WSC Sports provided AI-driven clipping,” explains Ward. “They have a long-standing partnership with BSWW, creating what they called generated highlights. You could have all the BSWW-style graphics right there, then WSC could take the senior graphics and populate those with any relevant data, automatically adding them to the clips.”

It was an impressive feat, and WSC’s platform managed to deliver more beach soccer highlights than ever before.

What AI you talking about?

While Singular and Easylive were combining during the tournament, the third member of the trio – WSC Sports – was working hard in the background with its impressive AI-powered platform.

“WSC Sports provided AI-driven clipping,” explains Ward. “They have a long-standing partnership with BSWW, creating what they called generated highlights. You could have all the BSWW-style graphics right there, then WSC could take the senior graphics and populate those with any relevant data, automatically adding them to the clips.”

It was an impressive feat, and WSC’s platform managed to deliver more beach soccer highlights than ever before.

WINNING FEELING A Real Münster player celebrates his success
WINNING FEELING A Real Münster player celebrates his success

“We are delighted that BSWW has seen such a positive impact across their owned and operated channels, using highlights created with WSC Sports technology,” says head of business development at WSC Sports, Ben Mirvis. “BSWW is a great partner, and we can’t wait to keep supporting them during this summer’s competitions, delivering exceptional highlights for fans.”

This article first featured in the Sept/Oct issue of FEED:Xtreme.

Broadcast and streaming archives

“We are delighted that BSWW has seen such a positive impact across their owned and operated channels, using highlights created with WSC Sports technology,” says head of business development at WSC Sports, Ben Mirvis. “BSWW is a great partner, and we can’t wait to keep supporting them during this summer’s competitions, delivering exceptional highlights for fans.”

This article first featured in the Sept/Oct issue of FEED:Xtreme.

Broadcast and streaming archives

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