Tata Communications brings ‘Virtual Video Assisted Referee’ solution for ‘anywhere refereeing’


Tata Communications, a global digital ecosystem enabler, is enhancing the sports experience of fans with its Virtual Video Assisted Referee (V-VAR) solution. Powered by Tata Communications’ Media Cloud, this solution enables an unlimited number of umpires, referees and judges to connect remotely from anywhere across the globe to assess and declare the winner when contestants are racing to the finishing line, offering a high-tech, nail-biting experience to excited fans during a race. With this Tata Communications offers sporting events and federations the flexibility of ‘anywhere refereeing’.

SailGP, the global sailing championship, became the first sports organisation to deploy Tata Communications’ V-VAR for its nine-event season spanning 2021-22 with its umpires located in London, Portugal and New Zealand. SailGP Season two spans across Bermuda, Italy, UK, Denmark, France, Spain, Australia, New Zealand and the US. For the league’s second season, Tata Communications is carrying more than 20 video feeds from the broadcast centre at the event venue-site. Every signal is instantly available in Tata Communications’ Media Cloud enabling incredible processing power. Through these applications, V-VAR takes the widely popular concept of Video Assistant Referee to the next level, allowing judges from all over the world to analyse the action and officiate remotely as if they were on the ringside of the event.

Warren Jones, Chief Technology Officer, SailGP said, “We are excited to be the first sport to use Tata Communications’ Virtual Video Assisted Referee solution. We are constantly looking at ways to innovate and use technology to not only bring our global fans closer to the action, but also create digital solutions that support our Race for the Future ethos. The V-VAR not only ensures that our umpires have immediate access to all the data needed to make crucial, split-second decisions, but also – by being able to operate remotely – we reduce the carbon footprint of our umpiring operations.”

In addition to the V-VAR solution, SailGP also leverages Tata Communications’ Video Delivery Network (VDN) – a next generation low latency streaming platform for delivering a broadcast experience direct to consumers. VDN combines the best parts of traditional broadcasting and new-age OTT applications, providing high quality, low latency, synchronous viewing along with the interactivity and next generation data feeds, providing a truly unique experience. The VDN-powered SailGP app was available to the sailing fans at the Bermuda event, enhancing their event interaction while enjoying the live competition.

Dhaval Ponda, Global Head, Media and Entertainment Business, Tata Communications commented, “We are happy to further digital innovation and help reduce carbon footprint in live sports through Virtual Video Assisted Referee solution. Also, our low latency streaming solution enables global sports federations to deliver video in sync or faster than live TV. From umpires to fans, these digital solutions enable organisations to offer a thrilling and high-drama experience to the entire sports ecosystem.”


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