Doha, Qatar: The eyes of the world were watching on November 4, 2008, as the U.S. held one of the most important Presidential elections in their history. Over 130 million homes stayed on top of the results with Al Jazeera English, the world’s first English language news channel headquartered in the Middle East.
Key to the network’s seamless election night coverage was AstuceMedia of Montreal, a broadcast graphics integration company with clients worldwide. AstuceMedia integrated election graphics using Vizrt – resulting in a completely automated process that imported fast-moving election data from AP.
In addition, the AstuceMedia Election System allowed the channel to project winners before most U.S. networks, both on-air and on the web, giving Al Jazeera viewers a continuous stream of the latest information.
Coverage was broadcast live from Al Jazeera studios in Washington, DC and Doha, Qatar. Adding to the network’s comprehensive coverage were Al Jazeera studios in London and Kuala Lumpur, along with a team of reporters worldwide.
Astucemedia worked closely with key Al Jazeera English departments throughout the project: Creative, Operations, Output, IT, Web and News/Editorial.
“I speak for all when I say AstuceMedia met and exceeded contractual obligations over the course of this project,” said Kelly Jarrett, Programme Editor. “The team took our brief and designs, then delivered a system as specified just a few months later. They were amenable and flexible at all times – making last minute changes well beyond the agreed delivery date.” She added, “In the final days when things became exceptionally heated, it was a pleasure to have a team of cool headed, experienced professionals at hand.”
AstuceMedia automated the entire system, ensuring realtime calculations for summary results and vote count tallies, as well as instant updates for interactive maps. Graphics were projected on a 13×2 Barco Video Wall and integrated a continuous flow of data from AP, which was automatically imported to the AstuceMedia Election Database.
In addition, AstuceMedia created a web interface so news producers could easily view and edit data. The data was pushed to Aljazeera’s website that featured a results table and interactive map. This enabled website visitors to view the most up-to-date election data available, often before other U.S. news outlets could provide it.
“Our decision to have AstuceMedia as our election solution integrators proved right,” said Ali El Husseini, Senior Broadcast Graphics Specialist. “The installation of the graphics and applications went without a glitch. Everything was accurate, fast and reliable.”
“Al Jazeera English’s coverage of the U.S. elections was one of the most important projects we’ve ever worked on,” said Alexandre Leclerc, CEO of AstuceMedia. “The world watched as some of the most critical data in election history came to life. We’re very proud that AstuceMedia was able to partner with such an internationally-respected network on such an historical night.”