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April 2012

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TVBEurope 59

Bernard Ross: “This is a massive undertaking for the broadcasting industry”

Bringing Euro

Tailoring the output As well as the stadium feed, individual broadcasters can supplement the coverage with their own cameras. A variety of positions are offered at various locations around the stadium, and these can be booked in advance through UEFA. “To ensure that we can service such a high number of broadcasters, there is an allocation of pre-defined

viewers around the world will watch live games 150 million An estimated

unilateral positions including studios, pitch-side presentation places, camera positions, and flash interview spots, that are made available to UEFA Broadcast partners,” declares Ross. He continues, “We provide pitch-side stand-up positions and a further stand-up position — often referred to as an announce platform — in the stand at every venue.” As far as on screen graphics

are concerned, each UEFA Broadcast Partner has the opportunity to book certain own- language graphics, which are synchronised with the main graphic feed during transmission.

tracking system with statistics provided for broadcasters and the web, and a centralised server at the IBC delivering content to all broadcasters around the world.” He concludes, “In addition to the 2D multilateral coverage of the final in Kiev on 1 July, UEFA is planning a 3D option. This will include a minimum of seven 3D-specific cameras, as well as a number of converted 2D cameras. The cameras will be a mixture of mirror rigs and side by side. The Euro finals take a great deal of planning – but the results will be well worth the effort.”

Ross states, “Our intention is

to always improve on our offering at each tournament reflecting the changes in technology and ensuring that broadcasters and fans have the best possible view of the game. The enhancements for this year’s event include a tablet app, which includes multi- camera viewing capabilities of the game, integration of a

ONE ESTIMATEreveals there are almost 5 million football players in the United Kingdom — and by far the vast majority are located in England. In addition, there are many more people who regularly watch games either at grounds or on television.

It is no surprise, therefore, that the television coverage of such an important tournament as Euro 2012 — and the fact that the England team made it to the finals — is treated with some seriousness by broadcasters in the UK. As in previous years, the rights to show Euro 2012 games in the UK will be split between the BBC and ITV — with only the final being shown simultaneously on both outlets. All 31 matches of the final tournament will be transmitted live, with both channels also utilising their internet and mobile platforms to enhance overall coverage. Although there are certain

advantages to despatching presenters and football pundits to the country (or in this case, countries) where such tournaments are being played, it was decided in this instance to keep those on-screen teams in England — at least for the initial stages of the competition. “We had to consider the options of moving our presenters to the International Broadcasting Centre in Poland or utilising a studio at our new centre in Salford, near Manchester,” reveals Phil Bigwood, the BBC’s executive producer for football. “But as most of England’s group games are to be played in the Ukraine — some considerable distance from Warsaw, the cost didn’t seem justified. However, if England reaches the final stages, we have an option of moving our presenting team closer to the action.”


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On site teams

Although the initial programmes will be presented from Salford, the BBC will, of course, have a presence at each game. As a broadcast partner to UEFA, the BBC will supplement the host coverage with tailored output for the UK audience. “We will have four commentary teams across Poland and the Ukraine. In addition, to make the best use of resources, we will be sharing reporters with BBC Radio 5 Live and the BBC World Service to ensure all the stories are sent back to our broadcast centre in the most efficient manner.”

2012 to the UK Coverage of the football championship for the UK will be split between the BBC and ITV. Philip Stevens discovers the Corporation’s plans

The BBC’s on-screen presentation team will be based in the UK. If England reach the final rounds, they may move closer to the action

allowing the on site producer to tailor our coverage to suit the UK audience.” But, according to Bigwood, the real advantage at this year’s tournament is the comprehensive service available at the UEFA IBC. “That is a major plus for us. We are going to make full use of the server the organisation has installed in Warsaw. That server will allow us to access ISO feeds from each of the cameras covering the games. Not only that, the facility will offer all manner of feature material and promos that we can dip into. Alongside that, there will be PSC crews from UEFA following each of

“We are going to make full use of the server installed in Warsaw. That will allow us to access ISO feeds from each of the cameras covering the games”

Phil Bigwood, BBC

Bigwood has booked camera positions at pitchside for interviews and for any BBC specific shots during each game. “We will probably have just one or two cameras, as the host coverage is such that it is unlikely that any major incident will be missed by the stadium feed. The UEFA feed is of the highest quality.”

The output from the BBC cameras and the host broadcaster will be fed into an SNG truck at each venue. “We will also have access to designated ISO feeds into the truck,

the teams, and their material will be on the server for us to use as we need.” The BBC will have its own editing facilities within the IBC, and will feed back material to the studio in Salford for inclusion in the main programmes. “Although there is the facility to send all the ISO material back to the UK, the production crews in Poland will carry out a certain amount of filtering at the IBC. We will aim to squeeze all material down one large pipe to Salford, rather than send everything and utilise two or three pipes.”

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