America's Cup: Liveline wins Emmy for technical innovation

LiveLine showing marks and boat indicators - the key thrust of the graphics system is to overlay graphics on top of live video and for those to be accurately positioned and proportioned.

America’s Cup groundbreaking use of LiveLine, the technology that makes competitive sailing exciting to home viewers worldwide, has been awarded an Emmy for extraordinary technical innovation.

LiveLine technology, which is used for American football and NASCAR car racing broadcasts, is being recognized for making the sport understandable to new fans while assisting race management to run races.

LiveLine showing Mark trails - the key thrust of the graphics system is to overlay graphics on top of live video and for those to be accurately positioned and proportioned
We’re honored by this award. At the core, this team’s efforts are driven by a passion for sports and connecting people to sports they otherwise might not have the opportunity to view,' said Stephen Barclay, interim CEO, America’s Cup Event Authority. 'Stan Honey (America’s Cup Director of Technology) and the rest of the team are to be commended for their role in helping new fans and veteran racers enjoy a spectacular visual experience in a way never before imagined.'

America’s Cup organizers have invested in constantly improving the spectator experience. LiveLine superimposes graphics on live pictures as a technical aid for viewers. Spectators will recognize the technology from other Sportvision products, like the yellow first-down line use in the NFL and the Race/FX tracking and highlighting system used in NASCAR.

Driven by a GPS system that can track the America’s Cup catamarans to within a two-centimeter accuracy on the race course, event organizers leverage the system for on-the-water management of the sport. Telemetering of the course allows for rapid movement of marks and controlling course limits, while use of real-time overlap and zone-entry determinations enable umpires to make the most accurate decisions ever possible.

The team that developed the technology is made up of Director of Technology Stan Honey, LiveLine Project Manager Ken Milnes, Onboard Media Manager Mark Sheffield, and key America’s Cup management personnel including Denis Harvey, Richard Worth, Gary Lovejoy and Tim Heidmann; and Sportvision team members Jim McGuffin and Alan Trimble.

The George Wensel Technical Achievement Award from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences was presented on Monday, April 30, 2012 at the Frederick P. Rose Hall at the Lincoln Center in New York City. Others considered for the award included Hot Trax/Hot Spot, used by the Fox network for NASCAR and baseball telecasts, the Diamond Platform, used by baseball's MLB Network, and ESPN's 3-D coverage of the Masters golf tournament.


The 34th America's Cup will be sailed in San Francisco in September 2013.