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University of Kentucky

Sports Venue Digital Signage & IPTV System

Improving the Fan Experience

Commonwealth Stadium is home to the University of Kentucky’s football team. In October 2015, the University completed a $120M renovation that included the installation of a CastNET Sports Solutions digital signage system by Alpha Video Sports & Entertainment, a division of Alpha Video & Audio, Inc. The objectives for the CastNET system were to improve the fan experience, increase revenue for the university, and increase safety.

The stadium renovation included adding more private suites, more club seats, new press facilities, a multi-purpose recruiting room, improved concession areas, and the installation of the CastNET Sports system. CastNET Sports manages content on the screens in the concourses, suites, lobbies, locker rooms, recruiting rooms, press box, and lounges

Unique Customized Features

The CastNET Sports installation at Commonwealth Stadium is a massive digital signage integration project. Its success depends on a number of customized features:

  • CastNET provides real-time data integration with the Daktronics scoreboard so that scoreboard data can be shown immediately on stadium screens.
  • CastNET StatsView is integrated with Stat Crew Software so that live game day statistics can be shown on stadium screens.
  • CastNET is integrated with a closed captioning system to comply with recent ADA rulings.
  • CastNET developed a CastNET Game Day Controller so that a tablet can easily control the entire IPTV distribution and digital signage system.
  • Touch screen tablets using CastNET SuiteView remotely control the screens in the executive suites and lounges.

The system provides access to 32 cable channels from Time-Warner and fourteen digital signage channels. A total of 563 new Samsung screens were installed by Alpha Video Sports in half of the stadium.

Challenges

One significant challenge was that the new CastNET IPTV system architecture and new Samsung monitors are installed in only the home team half of the stadium. The rest of the stadium’s monitors on the visitor side are using an existing RF system architecture. The CastNET Sports installation needed to be flexible enough to support both sides. The remaining half of the stadium will be upgraded in the summer of 2016.

Another challenge is that most screens are in public spaces and are subject to accidents, tampering, or abuse. CastNET developed a trouble-shooting dashboard to quickly identify and respond to non-functioning screens. CastNET’s Game Day Support supplied one technician to be on-site during every home football game during the 2015 season to respond and fix non-functioning screens.

Alpha Video Sports Services

Two significant services offered by Alpha Video were instrumental in making this installation a success. One was the consulting services provide by the Alpha Video Sports and CastNET technical teams to design a network that supported the IPTV system architecture along with the existing RF architecture.

The second service was provided by CastNET’s creative team who designed customized digital signage templates and digital signage advertising content that are used throughout the stadium.

The CastNET Sports system installed by Alpha Video has allowed us ultimate flexibility on our game day presentation. It’s an upgrade for the fan experience in both the public areas and premium spaces of the stadium and has added significant opportunities for our rights holder in activating new and existing sponsorships. The system is user friendly and we appreciate the Alpha Video and CastNet team’s professional approach to the installation.”

Nathan Schwake, Associate AD Marketing and Licensing, University of Kentucky