Broadcasting The Sahani Cup

Author: Gautam Varier

One of SportsKPI’s many new ventures into the broadcasting domain took us to Odisha, where we have partnered with The Football Association of Odisha for the year 2023-24. Our first big project with the association was as the official broadcast partner for the 62nd edition of the Sahani Cup, the Senior Inter-District Football Championship.

The tournament was held from 23rd April to 17th May, during which we successfully brought the beautiful game to fans across the world. There were a total of 35 games broadcasted over 21 days across two venues in Capital Ground and OTM Ground, and here’s how we went about it.

The Team

The first part was putting together our team for the task. It consisted of two broadcast graphic representatives, two data collection reps, an operations point of contact, two marketing coordinators, a graphic designer, a video editor, and six commentators. As per our modus operandi, we hired a local vendor for front-end production, which helps us carry out the entire operation remotely. There were six camera crews in place who were in constant contact with our core team based in Mysore.

Running The Show

The games would kick off simultaneously at 3:45 PM and our team got to work an hour before kick-off. They’d get in touch with the production team to test out the video signals after which coach and captain interviews were recorded. Then half an hour before kick-off we’d run tests with the commentary team and share the lineups for the game. 15 minutes prior to kick-off, the match stream would begin, in part due to the officials starting games at 3:30 PM on occasion. The switcher at the ground would also be instructed prior to kick-off on the camera angles that would be in use for the games.

Once the action started, data would be collected on the fly which enabled us to show live stats during the stream in the form of stories, team comparisons, etc. The information would be relayed to the commentary team as well as a reference for them to work with. Halftime and full-time stats would also be on display with the switcher on site being instructed to display camera angles suitable for the graphics display, to cap off work for the day.

Challenges Faced

There were some difficulties faced along the way though. Firstly, the vendors required some assistance initially on how to run the operation perfectly and our senior staff assisted them with the same. Internet-related issues led to failure in broadcasting one game, but the association was quick to fix the problem before the next one started. It wasn’t always possible to get coach and captain interviews either, as their occasional late arrival to the ground left them with little to no time on their hands for such duties. Despite some of these issues, our team still managed to pull through and deliver a quality product for the audience and our client.

The Outcome

35 matches were successfully broadcasted and highlights were generated for all of them. 10 special videos were released and there were over 50 graphics created too, in the form of posters, videos, etc. The total view count for all the video content on YouTube hit 2,00,000, with the single most-viewed game being the semifinal between Cuttack and Sundargarh, which hit 7.7k viewers. The partnership certainly helped FAO improve the reach for the Sahani Cup and for us, it led to a 184% increase in our subscriber count on YouTube.

It was a great experience all in all, which helped us grow further in this domain. Our next big project is currently underway in the form of the Senior Women’s NFC and you can check out all the action on our YouTube channel.

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