ARD and ZDF at the FIFA World Cup 2010

Katrin Mueller-Hohenstein and Oliver Kahn, presenting for ZDF - Dieter Gruschwitz looking forward after yesterdays 4:0 victory

Taking up the largest space at the IBC (2,500m2 ), with approximately 300 of their 550 team members based in Johannesburg, is the joint ARD/ZDF operation. Shipping 180 tonnes of equipment, partly coming direct from their Olympics operation in Vancouver and partly from home, the two broadcasters cover the whole of Germany. Both are public nationwide stations, ZDF being a single entity, and ARD a coalition of regional stations combining to create a nationwide network.

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Dieter Gruschwitz, Joint Team Leader and Head of Sports for ZDF, has been at every FIFA World CupTM since 1990. At that event, and then four years later in the USA, he was working solely for ARD, before switching to ZDF, and so is in a great po­sition to understand the needs and methods of both stations. “The workflow is very close,” Dieter explains, “there may be editorial differences, but these are slight. We work together, especially on the production and technical side.”

The jointly used Studio of ARD and ZDF at the IBC in Johannesburg

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Along with those based at the IBC, ARD/ZDF have another 250 crew work­ing around South Africa. A custom presentation studio at match stadiums, from which a presenter and guest experts deliver their content, as well as OB units at matches and crews following the national team, keep these other crew members busy. “In the early stages, because of the volume of matches,” continues Dieter, “we used a combination of the presentation studio at the venues and our own studio built at the IBC. As the number of games per day decreased, we began to use the presentation studio as our primary studio.”

ARD/ZDF are covering 55 matches live during the whole tournament, sharing the coverage on an alternating day ba­sis, with the remaining nine matches being shown on a private station. The coordination of these broadcasts has been planned since the day of the draw, with refinements as the tourna­ment progresses. “We will be showing all of Germany’s matches,” says Dieter, “as well as the opening and closing ceremonies, and all games from the semi-finals onwards.” “The record viewing numbers in German TV history, including non-sport­ing events, stands at 29.66m, a number recorded in the 2006 semi-final between Germany and Italy,” Dieter adds, “at this World Cup we have so far reached 29.19m, during Germany-Ghana. Having Germany reach the semi-finals would be very special, it offers us a chance of redemption. We have been booking everything that is possible for our coverage of this match, maybe we will beat the overall record.”

“It is always a great feeling to be at a World Cup,” concludes Dieter, “we are all aware of the number of people who are watching our work. There is no bigger event in the world, and you will not get a better response on TV in Germany.”

ARD Graphics from EVA and ZDF Graphics from Libero Vision

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ARD Graphics from EVA and ZDF Graphics from Libero Vision

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