JC-OPS at the FIFA World Cup 2010

Tetsuji Yamamoto (centre) and the JC-OPS team

One of the hardest challenges facing a broadcaster at an event like the FIFA World Cup™ is the organisation and lo­gistics. Fortunately for the members of Japan Consortium-Operations (JC-OPS) all that hard work is done on their behalf. Comprised of one national broadcaster – NHK – and five commercial networks, as well as 76 commercial radio broadcast­ers, JC-OPS purchased the rights for the tournament from FIFA and then distrib­uted them amongst their members.

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Of course, that does not mean there are no difficulties for the 500 staff working in South Africa for JC-OPS members, but there are always solutions to any problem. “The time difference here is defi­nitely going to affect the ratings, we are broadcasting 44 matches in HD and tried to pick the games with earlier kick-off times. However, Japan-Denmark (24 June) is on at 03:30 local time so viewers must try to decide whether to stay up late or watch our rebroadcast the following day,” explained Principal Program Director Tetsuji Yamamoto.

Viewers in Japan will also have the opportunity to view matches and highlights on their mobile phone handsets – an innovation which may prove useful to those wishing to catch up on the overnight games while at work or study. A first FIFA World Cup™ in Africa has thrown up new challenges, but innovative solutions ensure operations still run smoothly. “We have 20 ENG crews here but with certain difficulties moving around the country we have ordered FIFA Max Server access and hope to utilise this to provide more footage. As time goes by we hope to produce more stories about the background of South Africa,” says Tetsuji.

One aspect of South Africa that viewers have already seen is the remarkable view from the arch above Durban Stadium – the venue for Netherlands-Japan. “TV Asahi have already taken one of their com­mentators up the funicular to the viewing platform to shoot from the top of the arch for their night show. It is such a unique spot they may do something again nearer to the game,” Tetsuji remarked.

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