UPC “MySports” is now broadcasting live from more and more stadia – thanks in no small part to Network 41

Network 41 is playing an essential role in the broadcast of live ice hockey matches on the new UPC sports channel “MySports”. After the technology for the National League was upgraded last year, UPC now wants to equip twelve further sporting arenas with their own transmission networks this year.

With exciting goalmouth action, bone-crunching checks, commentary, interviews and analysis, the new “MySports” channel from UPC has quickly become a big hit with sports fans. The majority of airtime is dedicated to live games from the National League ice hockey championship. As there is a great deal of public interest in teams playing at the second level – the Swiss League – “MySports” has expanded its offering here. 

Last year, UPC equipped all stadia in the top league with their own dedicated transmission networks. Now it is the turn of selected hockey arenas from the Swiss League. Network 41 has again been tasked with ensuring the internal lines and connections are implemented correctly. After all, the path of a signal from the stadium cameras to a TV back home is a long and complicated one. 

At the heart of any live broadcast is the broadcasting truck. This is parked close to the stadium and connected to a TV compound. A kind of “pre-direction” takes place in the truck. After this, the prepared camera signal is transmitted to the provider room and from there on to the TV studios – in Erlenbach in the case of “MySports” – where any inserts or commentary are added. Only then is the finished product sent out for the viewer to watch in the comfort of their home.

TV providers attach great importance to having their own transmission networks. Therefore, UPC has equipped all stadia where matches are broadcast live with their own technology. Whilst the hockey arenas in the top division all have fibre-optic networks installed, this is not always the case in the Swiss League. “In general, the technical standards are very different,” explains Project Manager  Philipp Renggli. For Network 41, this means that each project is planned and implemented individually. “We concentrate on the in-house areas,” explains Philipp Renggli. “We build the TV compounds for UPC and the installations in the provider room, and take care of all the cabling.»

Network 41 has worked closely with the client UPC for many years. “This makes our work a lot more straightforward,” says Philipp Renggli. Depending on the scope of the installations, two or three employees from Network 41 are on site for between two and four days per assignment. Usually, a project takes around two months in total from the first visit to the final handover.

“MySports” is planning to broadcast other sports in addition to ice hockey, including various ball sports. With this in mind, sports arenas across Switzerland are currently being brought up to scratch to enable in-house transmissions. These include the Saalsporthalle in Zurich, the BBC-Arena in Schaffhausen and the Ballsporthalle in Gümligen. “However, the type of sport itself isn’t important,” comments Philipp Renggli. “The technical work remains the same in all cases.” 

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Network 41 connects Swiss hockey stadiums
Ice hockey on television

Network 41 specialists have connected ice hockey stadiums and TV studios to the data network to enable matches to be broadcast on TV in Switzerland. The work was commissioned by the new UPC sports channel MySports.


«Swiss ice hockey switched from the Swisscom channel Teleclub to the UPC channel MySports – and this resulted in an exciting new contract for us. Within a very short period of time we had to hook up all 12 stadiums to the fibre optic network, as well as two television studios in Erlenbach and Rossens», explains Philipp Renggli, the Network 41 project manager responsible. MySports has secured the Swiss ice hockey broadcasting rights for the next five years. UPC contracted the Sursee network specialist to ensure the stadiums were technically equipped so that hockey fans really can follow the games.


The ice hockey stadiums already had a fibre optic connection and have now been linked to the UPC data network (backbone). But the stadiums also required additional technical installations inside the buildings for the purpose of TV broadcasting. The amount of work required of Philipp Renggli's 12- strong team varied from one stadium to the next. «Ambri required the most effort – after all, it's the oldest stadium. At the new stadiums such as Bern, Biel and Langnau the work was a lot more straightforward since they already have a very modern infrastructure,» says the project manager.

The team spent anything between two and four days at each stadium – but this was just for the installation work itself and connecting the equipment. «We started planning, inspecting the stadiums and ordering materials as long ago as January 2017. The wiring was then installed in May,» says Philipp Renggli – and he goes on to mention the project's biggest challenge: «There was considerable pressure in terms of time: the hockey teams were due to start playing their test matches in August, and this was when MySports wanted to start broadcasting. However, collaboration with UPC was very professional and straightforward.» 


Network 41 installed various items of equipment in the stadiums to enable the images of the ice hockey games captured by the TV cameras to be sent to viewers' living rooms: a 19-inch rack for the management connection and video processing as well as a so-called TV compound on the outer wall of each stadium. «This gives television teams the convenience of being able to drive their broadcasting trucks right up to the hockey stadiums to hook up their cables. They're then instantly linked to the data network – we connected all the equipment in the stadium with fibre optic cables and then established the link to the UPC cable network,» says Philipp Renggli.

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Is 3D TV an illusion?
The network of the future

Feel as though you were right there among the national football team at the World Cup in Brazil – from your own armchair at home. 3D TV is one of the features of the bandwidth-driven market. The changeover of the transmission infrastructure to fibre optics is being pursued with great intensity – but this is just one aspect of the technology.

What else is required?

Cable network providers are focusing further development on the HFC structure from Docsis 3.0 to Docsis 3.1 and also CCAP technology (CONVERGED CABLE ACCESS PLATFORM).

Segment network engineering is a key aspect in implementing the very latest technologies. In order to keep customer impact as low as possible, technicians of the engineering team generally carry out installation and migration work on the existing active network during the night-time hours of 12 midnight to 6 am.

Expertise, precise preparation and exact coordination with the customer and network operator help staff keep a cool head in handling these tricky changeover operations.

The gradual, evolutionary introduction of DOCSIS 3.1 and transitions on the network side will provide downstream rates of 10 Gbit/s and upstream rates of 1 Gbit/s in the medium term via cable networks.

With the new generation of CCAP, TV signals and IP connections no longer require a separate infrastructure but are supplied via a combined platform. CCAP - the method of choice in pursuing the all-IP trend in the cable network sector.

So if you’re the one passing the ball back tomorrow – it means we were there!

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