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The World Cup and Telepresence: A Winning Team


July 12, 2010 - 0 Comments

The FIFA World Cup 2010 provided a lot to be excited about. The world’s most popular sporting event takes place only once every four years and this was the first time any soccer contest was hosted by any African nation, South Africa to be exact, and this year’s World Cup also gave the techies something to be excited about – the use of TelePresence technology. As stated in the commercial below,”ESPN and Cisco are changing the way soccer fans experience the game.”

We first learned of the use of TelePresence to aide in preparations for the World Cup in March. The technology also made its way into the spotlight during the World Cup kick-off celebration concert in the newly renovated Orlando Stadium in Soweto, Johannesburg, where Cisco Digital Media Suite, an integrated platform for video collaboration, was used for digital signage, and live and on-demand Internet Protocol Television.

In addition to the concert, TelePresence technology was used throughout the games by ESPN for real-time live coverage, as well as hosting remote interviews with visiting country leaders, coaches, players and fans.

“Having Cisco Telepresence in the arsenal of content-contribution tools ESPN is using in South Africa allows us to give fans unique content that brings the World Cup one step closer to home,” says Rob Hunter, ESPN vice president for innovation. “Cisco TelePresence will connect fans and our audience to the action in Capetown and Port Elizabeth in ways that weren’t previously possible.”

Much of the equipment used to bring this technology to Africa is being left “as is” as a token of gratitude for a community that was such a gracious host.

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