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AP wins IBC Innovation Award for underwater live video transmission


The Associated Press has won the IBC Innovation Award for Content Distribution for its groundbreaking transmission of broadcast-quality live video from the depths of the Indian Ocean.

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AP accepts the IBC Innovation Award for Content Distribution at the IBC Conference in Amsterdam, Sept. 15, 2019. From left: IBC Innovation Awards judge Heather McLean and AP representatives Stephen Barker, Peter Watson and David Hoad. (Photo courtesy IBC)

The award was announced on Sunday at the IBC Innovation Awards ceremony in Amsterdam.  

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An image taken from video issued by Nekton shows a submersible from the vessel Ocean Zephyr during a descent into the Indian Ocean off Alphonse Atoll near the Seychelles, March 12, 2019. (Nekton via AP)

Cutting edge optical technology allowed AP to send live footage of a deep sea scientific mission through the waves without cables to hundreds of broadcasters and digital publishers across the globe.

The technology was engineered by subsea communications specialist Sonardyne, with satellite transport from Inmarsat.

“Winning the IBC Content Distribution Award is a great honor,” said AP Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer Gianluca D’Aniello. “The award recognizes that the transmission of over 70 hours of live video from the depths of the Indian Ocean was a major milestone for the video industry and a stunning technical achievement — truly a first.”

AP achieved the underwater broadcasting milestone in March during the first descent by an international science team participating in a UNESCO-endorsed research mission to unlock the secrets of a vast stretch of unexplored sea. AP was the only news agency to document the Nekton mission off the coast of the Seychelles.

Video was transmitted from 200 meters below the surface using the blue light region of the electromagnetic spectrum, removing the need for the submersibles and the scientists within to be tethered to fiber optic cables.

 See AP’s coverage of the mission:


Lauren Easton
Director of Media Relations
The Associated Press

Patrick Maks
Senior Communications Associate
The Associated Press

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