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58 TVBEurope The Workflow European football Festival of

FOOTBALL WAS once referred to as ‘The Beautiful Game’ and no one can deny the worldwide appeal of the sport. Perhaps that goes some way to explain why an estimated 150 million viewers around the world will watch live games in the upcoming Euro 2012 tournament. Kicking off on 8 June in

Warsaw, the following four weeks will see matches played at eight venues in the twin host nations of Poland and the Ukraine. The final will be played in Kiev on 1 July.

As in the last tournament

four years ago, organisers UEFA (Union of European Football Associations) will act as Host Broadcaster for the event. Alongside facilitating the multilateral coverage of every match it will service and manage the unilateral services booked by the rights holders (broadcast partners) selected by the organisation. “In 2008 the event was shown in a total of 231 countries and territories worldwide, and there will be a similar number for Euro 2012,” states Bernard Ross, head of TV Production, UEFA. “We also delivered around 2000 hours of broadcast material. So, this is a massive undertaking for the broadcasting industry.” He goes on to say that four outside broadcast suppliers will be retained for the main multilateral OB van facilities. “Those same suppliers and two additional companies will be providing the technical facilities for the Big Screen and Unilateral Services. Additionally, there are various other suppliers for special cameras – including hi-speed, aerial systems and jibs — plus EVS units, cabling and so on.” Apart from a few equipment

providers, most of these suppliers are drawn from countries outside of Poland and Ukraine. “They were selected because of their experience at covering major sports outside broadcasts such as this tournament.”

Broadcast Centre At the heart of the transmission operation will be the International Broadcast Centre. This is located in Warsaw, and has been constructed in the EXPO XXI site on the western edge of the city centre. Signals

Philip Stevens talks to UEFA about its production plans for Euro 2012 April 2012

32 cameras are required for UEFA’s coverage of each match. Steadicams allow close up and personal shots of goal celebrations

from each match venue in both Poland and Ukraine will be delivered to the IBC for distribution to all broadcast partners, and thus on to the world.

The IBC will have a surface

area in excess of 14,000sqm, and houses all operational broadcast facilities, including studios, production areas and

Comprehensive coverage Recent years have seen the numbers of cameras used to cover football matches increase significantly. According to Ross, the multilateral production for Euro 2012 will utilise 32 cameras to cover the action on and around the pitch at every match, with additional cameras (including helicopter cameras)

implemented and maintained to the highest possible standards across all venues. We also provide quality control during the event to monitor the coverage and ensure our standards are maintained.” Ross states that all the

cameras are recorded individually for host production, and a pre-defined

plan, providing them with a variety of feeds, available at both the venues and the IBC. These feeds will be available in both HD and SD, and are designed to support our broadcast partners with their individual production needs. Our service takes into account both those looking for a fully packaged production

“Multilateral production will utilise 32 cameras to cover action on and around the pitch at every match, with additional cameras (including helicopter cameras) servicing activities around the game”

offices. Also on site will be restaurants, a shop, courier and a cash machine. “We will install all multi-

production areas and systems, such as the server used by all our broadcast partners at the IBC. Individual broadcasters can install their own equipment for their own unilateral use. The broadcasters can book various facilities at the IBC, including office, studio spaces, and various technical and production areas – such as galleries and edit suites,” says Ross.

servicing the activities around the game, such as team arrivals at the stadiums, interviews, and media conferences. Ross says that eight super

slo-mo, plus two high-speed cameras will be used as standard at each match. In addition, three-dimensional aerial rigs will be used at each venue. He reveals that there will be further enhancements for the semi-finals and final. “We work with the directors

to create a production plan and guidelines that ensure consistency of coverage is

selection of these ISO feeds will be made available to the rights holders at the IBC. Broadcasters can then distribute them unilaterally from the centre. The service available at IBC and each venue includes a fully packaged live stadium feed (LSF), a clips channel, team A and B feeds and a tactical camera feed, among others. A new innovation for Euro 2012 is a fan/reaction channel, offering in-depth coverage of fans and player reactions and emotions. “We offer the broadcasters an extensive feeds

Bernard Ross, UEFA

as well as those preferring to focus on their own tailor- made programming.” Most broadcasters will access the LSF feed, which begins 60 minutes before kick- off. This output contains all the build-up to the match, including the stadium preparation and atmosphere, crowd shots, team arrivals, pitch inspections, and player warm-ups. The LSF continues after the final whistle and post match will include additional content such as interview material.

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