Improving Production Workflows and Providing Better Experiences for Fans

I am delighted to share the details of this strategic project with Cisco and EI Towers as it represents a fundamental milestone in the digital transformation journey happening in the Italian market. Migrating critical infrastructure from legacy SDI technology to IP is fundamental to the evolution of sports content contribution and distribution.

EI Towers Launches New IP Contribution Network with Cisco for Serie A to Improve Production Workflows and Provide Better Experiences for Fans

Cisco and EI Towers, Italy’s leading tower company responsible for managing infrastructure used for TV, Radio, IoT and Telecommunications, today announce the deployment of EI Tower’s new, all-IP contribution network, based on Cisco IP Fabric for Media.

EI Towers is the technological partner for Lega Serie A, the governing body that organizes major soccer competitions in Italy. As such, EI Towers provides the league with audio and video contribution services of in-venue content and distributing data signals to over 30 broadcasters in Italy and overseas on its terrestrial DVB-T infrastructure made up of more than 2,300 towers and thousands of kilometers of optical fiber.

Cisco and EI Towers worked together to build a new, all-IP contribution network with Cisco IP Fabric at the core to support content delivery of Serie A matches.

Powered by Cisco IP Fabric for Media, signals from inside venues are fed into the new IP contribution network, and the intelligence within the IP fabric provides the ability to monitor each single IP flow, ensuring both active and backup streams reach EI Tower’s IBC (International Broadcast Center) in Lissone, Italy without any interruption of service.

Once the streams reach the IBC, graphics and audio streams are added to provide unique user experiences based on the signal’s destination. The IBC can host up to 16 commentary booths for various languages. The content is then passed on to various broadcasters for distribution over CDNs across the world.

Cisco IP Fabric for Media is central to the distribution of these signals to various owners, and features like Multicast NAT provide additional flexibility when interconnecting networks managed by different providers.

The new EI Towers IP network was a collaboration effort across the media ecosystem, and each contributor was fundamental for the success of the project. Nevion provided the broadcast controller and gateways for the contribution network, TAG was the vendor chosen for multi-viewer technology and monitoring, while Imagine managed the distribution of streams to CDNs.






Marco Gasperoni

Leader, Systems Engineering

Service Provider Media/Broadcasting Systems