GSMA THRIVE NORTH AMERICA: Executives from WarnerMedia and the National Basketball Association (NBA) highlighted how the entertainment and sports industries are using 5G to overcome Covid-19 (coronavirus) challenges, noting changes are likely to remain permanent features.

WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar (pictured) said the health crisis accelerated adoption of 5G to enable distributed content production, explaining “high-speed connections and big fat pipes” are critical to sharing digital assets during filming.

He added the need for connectivity and data transport “only goes up” from here, noting the features will continue to be used to provide advanced camera effects when in-person production resumes.

“You can’t do that unless there’s an incredibly robust data transfer protocol that’s on set. So having 5G on our stages is going to allow for low-latency workflows…as opposed to moving a camera and then sitting and waiting, hoping that things render quickly”.

Virtual meets
Steve Hellmuth, EVP of media operations and technology for NBA Entertainment, discussed a 5G collaboration with AT&T which enabled holographic interviews between hosts and players during quarantines, tipping the set-up to improve “the quality of our interactions” going forward.

He said 5G could also enhance a virtual courtside experience the league launched this year to bring fans together despite social distancing, and be used to create more interactive sports betting experiences.