Our Live Capture teams

5 June 2024

The magic of live sports streaming is a complex and fascinating process, expertly handled by ITV’s Live Capture team in Content Services. Responsible for processing and editing all live content across the entire ITV broadcast network, ITVX and our external VOD network partners, our team ensures that viewers can access their favourite shows and sports events whenever they want and wherever they are. This article is in appreciation of our live capture teams and the phenomenal job they do every day.

The range of content that we capture daily includes our high-profile and most popular shows such as Love Island, I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! and Big Brother, as well as all of our live news and live entertainment broadcast programming. All of the major live sporting events that we broadcast are also required to be captured live. 

This summer, the live capture team faces a particularly intense schedule with the UEFA European Football Championship starting on June 14th. Each match will be captured in real-time, with the team ready to perform any necessary edits before delivering the content to all VOD platforms. The period will see the teams weekly workload increase by nearly 40%. In addition to the full matches, the team will also capture the highlight packages showcasing the best moments from each day’s games. For sports fans who might miss a live broadcast, the ability to catch up quickly is essential. The live capture team’s efficient workflow ensures that these viewers can tune into the game as soon as possible, enhancing their viewing experience. 

ITV Content Services live capture team records all of ITV’s live content using the M2A Capture console from M2A Media. This cutting-edge technology enables the team to capture a feed simultaneously alongside the live transmission, ensuring that no moment is missed.The content is captured in segments with frame accurate timecodes and once complete it is further transcoded into a format suitable for online streaming, ensuring that the high quality of the broadcast is maintained and preserved. This step is crucial as it allows the content to be streamed efficiently across multiple devices with differing specifications and capabilities. The capturing process also includes the removal of any live offensive language or images that may be required before delivering to any VOD platforms. Our goal is to make the content available for catch-up as quickly and seamlessly as possible after its transmission, so viewers can enjoy it completely at their own convenience.

The integration of live content into VOD platforms has revolutionised the way audiences consume media. One of the most significant benefits is the increased flexibility and accessibility it offers. Audiences are no longer constrained by traditional linear broadcast schedules; they can watch events at their convenience. This is particularly beneficial for sports events such as the European football championships, where the viewers may want to rewatch crucial moments, analyse plays, or skip through any parts of the game. This new level of accessibility significantly enhances viewer engagement and allows for selective consumption. 

Additionally, like many international streaming platforms, ITVX and its streaming partners can now provide these enhanced levels of accessibility to their global audiences who may not be able to consume the content live due to their local time zone differences. Once captured, this content automatically becomes absorbed as part of our ever expanding content library which is carefully curated and then distributed where and whenever required. 

ITV’s live capture team is looking forward to a year of capturing your favourite shows and events, The Euro finals on the horizon and a host of other major sporting events are in the pipeline this year. This coupled with our potential agreement to live stream a selection of EFL Championship and Carabao Cup matches from 2025 onwards means they will be kept very busy for the foreseeable future. As technology continues to advance, the seamless integration of live and on-demand content will only improve, offering sports fans around the world unprecedented access to and control of how they view their favourite events.