Capturing the stories from within the ring

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Capturing the stories from within the ring
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For audiences in the arena, the energy at an All Elite Wrestling (AEW) live event is explosive. Hundreds of hours go into a live pro wrestling show—from training the fighters, to stage lighting and camera equipment, to the costumes, hair, and makeup. But what happens in the ring is only part of the story. Since its inception in 2019, AEW has garnered millions of fans across North America and around the globe—the majority of whom watch the live broadcasts from their living rooms. Yet, for these loyal fans, the TV experience packs the same emotional punches as the in-person shows.

“All Elite Wrestling stands out because it’s very storyline-driven,” says Corey R, a lifelong pro wrestling fan who tunes in with his family from their living room in Brooklyn, New York. “They'll give you a lot of high-energy matches, so you never know what's going to happen next.”

The ability to keep audiences at the edge of their seats—not just from the live action but from the emotionality and storytelling—is crucial to great entertainment, and AEW has it down to an art. For the property and the professionals who train for every fight, the art of pro wrestling is conveying the same emotional intensity that live audiences get to experience, to the millions of fans watching at home.

“When you're a pro wrestler, it’s not just about the body slams or the clotheslines,” says Pat Buck, Vice President of Talent Development at AEW. “It's about taking that emotion that the fans in the arenas see and making sure the people watching on broadcast at home can pick up the energy from the cameras and go, ‘Wow, I actually feel like I'm in the arena.’”

To deliver the excitement, tension, and drama from the cameras to screens around the world, properties like AEW need to ensure a consistently error-free global distribution. Every millisecond counts in professional wrestling, and storylines can shift in an instant. AEW needs flawless transmission from the most reliable technical team they can find. This team needs the technical capacity and industry know-how to flawlessly deliver live broadcasts, so that audiences at home don’t miss an unexpected punch or split-second plot twist.

As AEW’s transmission partner, SES works closely with the property through our Sports & Events team. Together with AEW, our dedicated team of experts ensures everything is pre-booked, set up in advance, and ready for global distribution—for annual events like the Grand Slam, and on a weekly basis. Using multiple solutions, including fibre line transmission and IP, we receive the live feed from the venue and re-encode, manipulate, and reconfigure it. From there, the video captured at the event is distributed globally.

Crucially, our team provides AEW with full backup capacity to ensure audiences catch every second of the action, wherever and whenever they’re watching. Our solution includes full redundancy, providing backups should the primary feed experience an outage. Two SES satellite trucks accompany every AEW event. One has the main feed, and the second has the international feed, and can supply backup to the main feed if needed. From the venue, everything is transmitted to Hawley Teleport, and distributed from there to customers in 130 countries.

Leveraging the power of satellite and hybrid solutions, SES provides the technical support and expertise that AEW needs to continue to capture the imaginations of viewers at home. For Jamal L. from Brooklyn, New York, another lifelong fan, watching pro wrestling has been an important opportunity to bond with friends and family.

“We all have other things going on in our lives, so when we have a pay-per-view or something big coming up, we make time to watch it all together,” says Jamal L. “It's about enjoying those moments and creating those memories, especially with my wife, my kids, and my little brothers.”

Looking forward, AEW is expanding its content into new markets, reaching fans around the world who will undoubtedly be starting their own family traditions around the living room TV.

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