Montreal, Quebec, Canada, November 21, 2012 – Astucemedia —a Montreal-based provider of live broadcast graphics products and services with an office in Dubai, UAE—provided graphics and data integration for the 2012 US Presidential election results for seven globally diverse channels in three languages. Four were Aljazeera channels – Aljazeera Arabic, Aljazeera English (AJE), Aljazeera Balkans and Aljazeera Mubasher – two were for one of the “Big Three” US television networks; and one was for Saudi TV.
Though very experienced at integrating live election data and broadcast graphics, this was the first time Astucemedia managed the data feeds and displays at this scale. On the night of the elections, November 6, 2012, the combined graphics and data were broadcast from New York, Washington D.C., Doha, Riyadh and Sarajevo, in English, Arabic and Serbo-Croatian. To ensure flawless performance, Astucemedia staff were on site in the US, Qatar and Bosnia-Herzegovina.
The key component of the live data/graphic integration was the Astucemedia Data Platform US Election Module. This technology monitored and ingested data from the AP in real-time and dynamically fed it to on-air graphics created in Vizrt in the right language and display for that language.
The Astucemedia Data Platform also allowed the channels to release the projected winners manually in order to be ahead of the official automated AP projections. “As in 2008, the ease of use of the US Election Data Platform interface allowed our customers to react very quickly to the incoming data, update the electoral vote summary, and make projections almost instantaneously. As a result, Aljazeera was able to display results and make projections ahead of all other channels in the Middle East and Balkans and many of the US networks,” said Alexandre Leclerc, Chief Executive Officer of Astucemedia.
For Aljazeera, this was the first important project to coordinate a “common” graphic branding across their different channels. The graphic design for Aljazeera was created by their internal design team and Astucemedia did the implementation in Vizrt, not only for the broadcast graphics, but also providing data for Aljazeera’s mobile applications and primary website.
“This was the second time that AJE had to face the challenging task of covering the US election ... challenging because we had to compete with the American television industry. Yet once again, with Astucemedia as our partner, we managed to break into the US market and capture viewers, not only in the US but also across the world. The Astucemedia Data Platform provided data/graphics integration that was captivating, accurate, fast and reliable. In addition, the experience of Astucemedia’s team in dealing with last-minute requirements gave us the confidence to launch our election special,” said Ali El Husseini Head of Studio Graphics.
For customers in the US and Saudi Arabia, Astucemedia not only did the data/graphic integration, but also did the creative design of the complex interactive Vizrt scenes, which were integrated for a Microsoft multi-touch monitor (formerly Perceptive Pixel). This extensive design work included creating county-level data maps in Viz World and also detailed demographics statistics and exit poll data. Data was integrated into the Vizrt interactive scene using the Astucemedia DataBinder plugin in the Astucemedia Data Platform Suite.
Graphics based on Astucemedia’s design package were also displayed live in several of New York City’s massive Time Square screens. Overall, the design job involved creating multiple graphics templates for different display formats, including full-frame graphics, video walls, video floors, virtual graphics, touch-screen interactive graphics, and signage screens in Time Square.
The 2012 US general election was another signature achievement for Astucemedia’s team, which has significant election coverage experience, including US primary and mid-term elections, Canadian Federal and Provincial Elections, and national elections in Bahrain and Kuwait.