15 Days before the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™ Kick Off
Media Delegation at the IBC
At the Aggreko Generator Park where both Rupert Soames, CEO of Aggreko, and Cyril Ramaphosa of the Shanduka Group, provided details of the overall power set-up and their respective companies' role in providing this.
The tour continued with a visit of the IT Command Centre (ITCC) and the floor was given to Phumlani Moholi, Chief IT & T Officer of the LOC and Dick Wiles CEO of Match IT, who addressed the role of the overall IT infrastructure.
On the African Plaza, which centres several of the main services and facilities in Hall 6 of the IBC, Niclas Ericson, Director of FIFA TV, informed attendees about FIFA’s policy for making the exposure of the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ unprecedented in Africa. This included its partnership with the AUB (African Union of Broadcasters), FIFA’s broadcast training programmes in Africa which have delivered Legacy Weeks in more than ten countries already, and the FIFA/ AUB Production Centre offering, for the first time, an IBC studio to African broadcasters.
Outside the Master Control Room (MCR), the hub of broadcast operations at the event, both Niclas Ericson and Francis Tellier, CEO of HBS, underlined the importance of the MCR and highlighted the major new developments in the production plan for the event, including the Mobile Match Feed and 3D coverage of 25 matches. Proceedings concluded with an open Q&A session which was attended by Jérôme Valcke, FIFA Secretary General, Danny Jordaan, CEO of the Local Organising Committee, General Siphiwe Nyanda, Minister of Communications, and Amos Masondo, Mayor of Johannesburg.
First MRL Arrivals Setting into Life at the IBC
The International Broadcast Centre has begun welcoming the first Media Rights Licensee (MRL) arrivals in preparation for the 2010 FIFA World Cup™.
On 10 May broadcasters from ARD-ZDF, TV Azteca, TV Bandeirantes, the BBC, TV Globo, SBS International and Sky PerfecTV became the first to begin the process of setting up their unilateral operations at the IBC. Most of the Japan Consortium members and SuperSport International followed in the succeeding days.
MRLs were aided on their arrival by members of the HBS Construction Help Desk, who ensured a smooth handover of the premises and provided the IBC User Guide. The HBS Booking Office and HBS Broadcast Information Office (BIO) also opened on 10 May to assist MRLs with enquiries about their booked services and facilities at the IBC.
Initial response to the IBC has been positive. “It is very good, we are very pleased with the construction, the IBC is of a high standard,” enthused Vitino Zoiro, Head of Engineering for ZDF. “Our facility covers 2,500m2 (the largest unilateral operation at the IBC) and we have brought over 40 containers of equipment.”
The HBS Booking team marked the opening of their IBC office with a group photograph
MRL PROFILE - TV AZTECA
As one of the first Media Rights Licensees to arrive at the IBC, TV Azteca were clearly eager to get involved in the 2010 FIFA World Cup™. Picking up the keys to their unit on May 10 – a full 32 days before the tournament kicks off – the Mexican broadcasters have been able to quickly set up their facility and familiarise themselves with the IBC in plenty of time before the action begins.
But why get here so early? “We are not only broadcasting the matches, but we are also producing three other programmes – a two hour morning show, a two hour evening show and a three hour prime time show,” explained Logistics Manager Mónica Skorlich. Expecting to transmit to an audience of between 15 to 18 million, they will be televising 30 first round games as well as an as yet undetermined number of games in the knockout stages all the way through to the Final. All 30 matches will be broadcast in HD as well as in SD. The opening game always brings pressure, excitement and anticipation, but for TV Azteca there is the added fact that their compatriots feature in the curtain raiser – against hosts South Africa. “The starting game is always important but taking into consideration that Mexico are playing we have to be especially careful about every detail. The opening match is going to be particularly important to the Mexican public,” explained Pedro Carmona, Head of Engineering for Special Events.
Bringing 160 staff with them to South Africa, they will additionally have two SNG crews on the road. There will also be a few familiar faces dropping in. Among those you may see in the IBC over the coming months are Emilio Butragueño, Jared Borgetti, and Hernán Crespo, who will all be providing insight for TV Azteca during the tournament. And what about Mexico’s progress? “We have expectations of making it to the second round,” Pedro added. “Our audience is quite sure, though, that we are going to play the fifth game, you never know...”
MRL PROFILE - SBS KOREA
As the only 2010 FIFA World Cup™ broadcaster for the Korean Republic, SBS’s Deputy Chief Engineer, Taeyoug Kwon hopes for big things from the event. “At the Olympic Games in Vancouver,” Kwon says, “we had 50% of the Korean public as viewers – we expect more for this event.”
One innovation this time for SBS will be in their use of two commentators and an announcer for all Korean Republic games. “Usually,” Kwon explains, “the viewers have their favourite commentators, and will choose a station based on whose voice is heard during the match. We tested this new model in Korea to a very good reaction.”
3D is another innovation that SBS is very excited about – as well as showing all 64 games in HD and SD, SBS is planning to make extensive use of the games available in 3D. The scale of SBS’ operation required the arrival of ten tonnes of equipment, delivered on 10 May, including three OB vans which will be set up soon. There will be 14 technicians working with the OB vans, a commentary team of three and nine members of staff at the IBC itself. “So far everything has gone extremely smoothly,” Kwon continues, “HBS and the people at the IBC have been very helpful – everything is on schedule, we are set up and ready to receive!”
MRL PROFILE – TV BANDEIRANTES
“We have a very good team, we have very experienced players but in a World Cup you have no margin for error,” says Jose Carlos da Silveira Junior, or ‘Juca’ as he is affectionately known, of the Brazilian national team’s chances at the FIFA World Cup™. The same can be said of the TV Bandeirantes team, given that they will be debuting eye-catching HD coverage of the event for Seleção fans.
“It will be the first time the World Cup has been broadcast to Brazil in HD, as we only went digital in 2007,” explained the Planning Director of the Bandeirantes Network, the second largest broadcaster in Brazil and a sub-licencee of TV Globo, the main rights holder in the country. In total TV Bandeirantes will air 56 games live, with the eight remaining matches – the games played simultaneously at the end of the group stage – broadcast in full later that same day.
Juca, now at his fourth FIFA World Cup™, is a veteran of IBCs and media centres, so how is the Johannesburg version shaping up? “The IBC is very good, I went on the FIFA inspection (MRL Venue Tour) during March around the country to every city which will be hosting matches and they have done a very nice job at the stadiums, press areas, TV compounds... congratulations to all South Africans. The FIFA Max Server is also a very good upgrade and will benefit our work.”
As expected though the São Paulo-based broadcaster’s biggest concern is Brazil, and they will have three ENG crews purely following Dunga and his squad. “Apart from the games we will air lots of Brazilian stories and pieces about other participants. Our biggest challenge will be to bring to Brazilian viewers the same flavour and ambience we are feeling here.” And will they be broadcasting a sixth Brazilian triumph in impressive HD? “We are confident Brazil will reach the Final, but we are here until the end – with or without Brazil. The main expectation is that we play well in the style we like to see Brazilians play, attacking and making goals.”
Unprecedented 3D Production Plan Launched
Following an agreement made between FIFA and Sony in December 2009, matches at the FIFA World Cup™ will be covered in 3D for the very first time. Of the 64 matches to be played at the 2010 FIFA World Cup™, 25 will be covered in stereographic 3D-HD. These matches are identified in a dedicated 3D match schedule which is now available to download from the FIFA TV Extranet.
HBS is responsible for implementing the Production Plan of the 3D coverage and is forming a completely separate and dedicated production unit, in charge of the planning and engineering phase in close cooperation with Sony. Two specially trained 3D crews will utilise 3D Sony cameras and OB vans as well as other specific 3D equipment.
One main 3D feed will be produced, the 3DSF (3D Stadium Feed). This feed will start 60 to 30 minutes before kick-off (in order to deliver pre-match content to the public viewing audiences) and finish 10-15 minutes after the final whistle. The production concept is based around a 3D dedicated coverage with eight cameras, supplemented with additional feeds from the 2D cameras which will be converted into 3D to be used as ‘cutaways’ and slo-mos (e.g. steadicams, pitch centre camera, cranes, etc). In principle, the camera plan will consist of low-lying cameras close to the pitch as this helps enhance the 3D effect.
Live camera coverage and replays will be enhanced with 3D match graphics and replay wipe to add to the audience impact of 3D. Overall, the 3D effect will remain soft or easy for most of the match, and will use dramatic 3D effects only occasionally (e.g. during slo mos) to avoid 3D-fatigue in the audience. Audio production for 3D will be based on the 2D 5.1 Surround Sound feed produced at the venue. For all questions relating to acquiring rights for 3D broadcasts, please contact Mr. Paul Calder at FIFA (email@example.com).
On-Screen Design Webpage up and Running
A dedicated on-screen design website for the 2010 FIFA World Cup™, http:// www.2010fifaonairdesign.tv, has been launched. This website, which MRLs can access using their FIFA TV Extranet username and password credentials, contains a variety of design elements which broadcasters can download to support their unilateral programming. The FIFA on-air design platform introduces MRLs to the new graphics and FIFA content designed for the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™ and has been specifically created to meet broadcasters’ needs. All graphic elements included on the platform are available for demonstration, downloading and editing. All material is available in High Definition (HD) 1080/25p.
The elements available on the site include: match graphics in both preview and downloadable formats, the replay wipe (available shortly), the on-screen design titles and animations, city profiles, enhanced graphics to be used in the production of the EBIF Show (available in the coming weeks), audio files, participating members association flags and shortly before the event will include photographs of all 23 players from the 32 participating teams.
Small but Perfectly Formed
MRLs who have booked commentary positions with a commentary camera (ComCam) for the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ will be able to take advantage of a state-of-the-art system.
The innovative ‘Q-Ball’ ComCam (pictured), developed by Camera Corps, is based around the renowned Sony HD camera block, which has a series of features marking its status as one of the most impressive mini camera systems available. These features include a built in 10x optical zoom lens, 16x9 and 4x3 aspect ratio, an optional wide-angle lens adaptor, smooth accelerating pan/tilt motors, a fully waterproof aluminum sphere, up to four embedded audio channels that allow for the incorporation, by default, of the PGM Go Commentary Signal, as well as master black and colour saturation control. The ComCam is operated via a joystick panel, located either at the commentary position itself or inside the MRL’s OB van.
The ComCam output can be made available as either a HD or an SD feed and cameras arebooked with a view of tribunes or of the pitch. The number of cameras available depends on the match and/or venue. Please refer to the HBS Catalogue of Services.
The Directors for the World Cup Games
It was HBS production department director Dan Miodownik’s responsibility to select the seven directors to cover the 2010 World Cup.Six of the directors for the HBS-produced World Cup matches include Jon Watts and Jamie Oakford from the UK, François Charles Bideaux and François Lanaud from France, and Wolfgang Straub and Knut Fleischman from Germany.
All six were employed as directors of World Cup matches in Germany 2006, and five of them were selected as match directors for Euro 2008. “For 2010 we monitored the performance of the six directors in regards to the style, size and level of matches they were covering before selection,” said Dan Miodownik, HBS director for the 2010 World Cup production department.
A seventh director, Jean-Jacques Amsellem, is also joining the HBS team. “JJA’s credentials made him an ideal candidate,” Miodownik said. “He directed the final of the World Cup in 1998, and he directs big matches in France on a regular basis. We also felt that France had enough strength in depth in regards to the rest of the personnel so as not to dilute the quality of the production teams.”
Each director has the responsibility to hire 50 production personnel (separate from the technical crew), including cameramen, EVS operators and gallery crew. François Charles Bideaux will direct the World Cup final.
First MRL Briefing on Monday 31 May
The first MRL Briefing for the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ will take place on Monday 31 May at 11:30. The Briefing will be held at the FIFA HD Cinema / Briefing Room within Hall 6 of the IBC. The Briefing is an ideal opportunity for FIFA, the LOC, HBS and the broadcasters to discuss key issues, provide feedback on points of concern and learn about upcoming events. For MRLs who can’t attend the Briefing, a recap will be provided in that day’s MRL Newsletter. The second Briefing will take place on Thursday 3 June.
Warm-Up Match: 8 June 2010
As at past FIFA World Cups™, a warm-up match will take place shortly before the event. It will be organised by the LOC by request from FIFA and HBS, and take place at Soccer City stadium on Tuesday 8 June at 16:00. The match is an opportunity for HBS to demonstrate its multilateral operations as all feeds will be produced and available as during a regular FIFA World Cup™ match.
Most unilateral facilities and services will be available to MRLs. Bookings for such services are necessary (services are free of charge); details will be released in due course. MRLs are strongly encouraged to take advantage of this opportunity to test as many services as possible and to become familiar with the various HB feeds. More information regarding the warm-up match will be available in the days leading up to the match from the IBC BIO and on the FIFA TV Extranet.