January 1, 2006
For the World Cup in Germany, the first major sporting event in the history of television to be produced in High Definition format, over two thirds of the world’s broadcasters are relying on systems from Telex/RTS.
The whole world is watching. Until the final ball is kicked on the July 9th and the new world champions crowned from among the 32 teams competing in the twelve German stadiums hosting the event, there will scarcely be another topic on the lips of soccer fans. For most of the planet, this is the sporting event that really matters, which is why the world’s broadcasters began meticulously planning the logistics of their coverage the moment the contracts were awarded.
To minimize the risk of something going wrong in the course of what is the first major sporting event ever to be produced in high definition format, no fewer than four of the seven HD outside broadcast vehicles relaying the images are employing intercom equipment from Telex/RTS. There’s a reason for this: under similar circumstances at both the summer and winter Olympics as well as last year’s Federation Cup, Telex/RTS equipment gave conclusive proof of its reliability and effectiveness.
Manuel Brico, Product Manager Telex/RTS Intercom EAME with EVI Audio, outlined the complexity of the problems associated with providing images of the tournament: “Each of the outside broadcast vehicles has to cover matches in two different stadiums, shuttling to and fro from one to the other. At the end of each match the systems have to be dismantled and then set up again at a new venue, so ease-of-use and reliability are paramount considerations when selecting which to use.”
Among the intercom equipment most in evidence at this year’s World Cup are ADAM digital matrices, KP-32 keypanels and the new RVON-8 cards. With Univision, for example, the host broadcaster for North America’s Spanish-language stations, the ADAM in the International Broadcast Centre (IBC) in Munich is linked to the company’s own ADAM at its Miami headquarters by an RVON-8 card. Brico explained: “Both systems are connected to the trunkmaster in Miami, which makes intelligent communication between the systems possible.” To ensure a swift response in the event of any problems arising, the system engineer Chuck Roberts and Manuel Brico will be standing by in Miami and the IBC in Munich respectively.
The World Cup 2006 – media superlatives
This year’s World Cup in Germany is one of the largest and most complex broadcast productions in the history of television. The Swiss firm Infront Sports & Media is responsible for marketing the worldwide television broadcasts. As far as the magnitude of the event is concerned, the figures speak for themselves: more broadcasters are covering the World Cup than ever before. According to Infront:
“Virtually every country on earth is tuning in.” The ratings for the opening match on June 9th between Germany and Costa Rica underlined the point, with over 2 billion sports fans worldwide said to have followed the game.
Furthermore, the four-week competition marks the premiere of the new high-definition 16:9 widescreen technology (HDTV): it will be the first major sporting event to have been produced exclusively in this format, although images from all 64 games are also being made available in standard definition.
The following outside broadcast vehicles equipped with Telex RTS systems have been hired out by the Host Broadcasting Service (HBS)
- Visions HD-1 (UK)
- Visions HD-2 (UK)
- VCF (France)
- Visual (France)
- Media Pro (Spain)