IGBS Ramps Up Asian Winter Games Preparations
The host broadcast of the 7th Asian Winter Games will include all 11 sports as well as the Opening and Closing Ceremonies, with between 13 and 32 High Definition 16:9 cameras covering every event. IGBS has contracted over 800 staff members for the event, gathering broadcast industry veterans from all over the globe, including around 100 local hires. These staff members are working in rotating shifts, allowing for true 24/7 operations over the course of the Games.
UK outside-broadcast operator NEP Visions has sent flight-case-packed facilities and 85 crew members to Kazakhstan. Visions has been contracted by host broadcaster IGBS to provide equipment at the six venues in the city of Almaty, which is hosting alpine skiing, the biathlon, cross-country skiing, ski jumping, and ice hockey.
The flyaway OB systems include more than 100 camera channels (a mix of Sony and Grass Valley HD units), 56 big lenses, and 28 EVS media servers. These will be installed in either existing buildings or custom-made temporary structures at the venues.
The National Television of Kazakhstan and Khabar Television are the national broadcasters in Kazakhstan. All sports coverage will be broadcasted via three TV channels: Kazakhstan TV, Khabar TV and El Arna. Both HD OB Vans of Kazakhstan TV will be on location and currently prepare for departure to the event locations.
The International Broadcast Centre (IBC) in Almaty was officially opened on 10 January, marking the symbolic start of IGBS’ event-time period, but dozens of experienced IGBS staff members have been based in Kazakhstan for months, working in close collaboration with the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) and the Astana-Almaty Asian Winter Games Organising Committee (AWAGOC) in order to develop and implement a broadcast plan of unprecedented scale and ambition. Over the last few weeks hundreds of additional personnel have joined the “locals” at the IBC and at the ten venues in order to receive event-specific training and put the finishing touches on the preparations.
As always, it is IGBS’ intention to build on the experience gained from its previous host broadcasting projects to raise the bar still higher. This objective is reflected in the company’s considered implementation of technological innovations as well as its methodical recruitment of experts in each of the specific domains involved in its operations.
Some facts and figures about the host broadcast of the 7th Asian Winter Games Astana-Almaty 2011
• 11 sports, 10 venues, 8 days of official competition
• Over 800 IGBS staff
• Between 13 and 32 HD 16:9 cameras per event
• Approx. 2,600 flights
• Approx. 130 tonnes of equipment shipped into Kazakhstan
• 2,050m² IBC in Almaty (which involved 49 days of 24/7 construction)
• 362m² of unilateral space and 720m² of multilateral space custom-built
A note on the contractual environment of the 7th Asian Winter Games Astana-Almaty 2011 host broadcast:
AWAGOC initially contracted SsangYong Information & Communications Corp (SICC) for the provision of data, graphics and host broadcast services at the event. SICC, which has been successfully involved in several international sport events, including a previous partnership with IGBS at the 15th Asian Games Doha 2006, then contracted this latter function to IGBS.
IGBS, formerly DAGBS (Doha Asian Games Broadcast Services), is a unique joint venture between HBS and IMG Media which was set up in September 2004 with the mission of being the Host Broadcaster of the 15th Asian Games Doha 2006. It has since provided production teams for the 16th Asian Games Guangzhou 2010.
The combined skills and experience of the two parent companies make IGBS a genuine and unique “turn-key” Host Broadcaster, drawing experienced personnel and expertise from the top levels of the television industry. The company’s head office is in Zug, Switzerland. Its Chief Executive Officer is Francis Tellier and its Chairman is Jeremy Cole.