RTS Secures Communications for the Broadcasting of Eredivisie Soccer from the Netherlands

Each year United’s OB trucks ensure the broadcast of nearly 240 games in Holland’s highest football league

UEFA ranks Holland’s Eredivisie (Honorary Division) among the ten finest football leagues in Europe. Founded in 1956, the Eredivisie comprises 18 teams who play 34 matches each in the course of the season in their quest for the league title.

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Of the nine Eredivisie matches played each week, the Dutch service provider United has for the last 15 years been charged with broadcasting seven. To guarantee flawless transmission quality, United devotes a lavish outlay in human and technical resources to its coverage of these matches, with up to 15 employees and ten cameras involved each time. Nonetheless, according to Bolke Burnaby Lautier, Manager Operations Sports and Events with United, each new production proves as demanding and nerve-racking as the first. Tight schedules pose a constant challenge: “When we arrive at the stadium on match day, we have to set up our equipment immediately. A 15-minute test follows, during which every item of equipment must be functioning flawlessly as by then the start of the broadcast is imminent and little time remains to put things right – especially since, as well as our own staff, other studios along with their respective presenters all have to be integrated into the network.”

To be sure of satisfying in full the demands of the Eredivisie contract, United deploys its entire fleet of OB trucks, with the larger vehicles ­– OB6 (HD), OB8 (HD), OB12 (HD) and OB15 (HD) as well as the leviathan OB14 (HD) – assuming the lion’s share of responsibilities. In each of these mobile control rooms, the intercom system plays a decisive role.  It is the first thing that is set upon arrival at the stadium and the last that is shut down at the end. Only when the intercom system is fully functional does the set up of the rest of the equipment begin.

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In all the United vehicles, RTS equipment from Dutch distributor AXON is relied upon to assure flawless communications. The centrepiece in each case – depending upon the size of the truck – is either an Advanced Digital Audio Matrix (ADAM) from RTS with a 144 x 144 or 64 x 64 port configuration or else an RTS Cronus matrix with 64 x 64 ports. Somewhere between eleven and 31 keypanels from RTS’s KP-12 and KP-32 series are linked to the matrix in question, whether ADAM or Cronus. AIO-16, AES-3, Madi-16+ and RVON-16 VoIP interface cards allow for effortless trunking, thereby considerably expanding the communication capabilities of the system. The inventory of the various trucks also includes numerous RTS 2W/4W interfaces and RTS beltpacks.

For the communication between cameramen, the director and the complete United team RTS products are indispensable

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“The quality of RTS systems is simply tremendous,” affirms Bolke Burnaby Lautier. “They are technically sophisticated, very easy to set up and extremely reliable.” The importance of this last characteristic is difficult to overestimate. “During a live event, like a football match, there’s no such thing as a replay head. It is essential therefore that all persons involved in the production be able to hear their interlocutors clearly. Our staff is constantly lauding the level of communications comfort afforded by RTS equipment.”

RTS is an industry leader in the design and manufacture of intercom solutions. From the Advanced Digital Audio Matrix systems used to coordinate major network broadcasts of the world’s largest events to small-format systems used for in-house productions, RTS is dedicated to innovating the future of global communications.

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