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UK OBs line up for 2012

18 August 2010
UK OBs line up for 2012

Contracts with OB suppliers to supply the host broadcaster of London 2012 have been agreed, with UK firms taking a third of the business, writes Adrian Pennington. In addition 3D stereo feeds of the 2012 Olympics will be experimented with but are unlikely to form part of any official coverage.

Olympic Broadcasting Services (OBS), part of the International Olympics Committee (IOC) responsible for broadcasting the 2012 Games, has assigned 64 outside broadcast units to the host broadcast of the 2012 Games with contracts for approximately 20 vehicles going to three UK companies.

According to the man in charge of the operation, OBS CEO and managing director Manolo Romero: “We went first to British mobile unit suppliers and made up the balance with companies from continental Europe.”

The major UK and European OB companies are represented and are thought to include NEP Visions, Euromedia and SIS Live. UK-based Arena TV has been contracted for what MD Richard Yeowart describes as “a very large commitment”, while Belgium giant Alfacam says it will supply nineteen OB vehicles.

Contracts with leading broadcast equipment vendors for London 2012 have also been signed, among them Panasonic, which will provide P2 cameras for official ENG, Evertz and EVS.

A thousand students who will graduate from college in 2012 are being trained by OBS in one of twelve media disciplines including logging, camera assist, commentary equipment and sound. “This is something we have done for previous Games and our experience shows that many people involved in broadcasting careers now got their first start at an Olympic Games,” said Romero.

OBS itself will organise and systems integrate the International Broadcast Centre which will begin building in Stratford next July.

Asked whether stereoscopic 3D production would feature in his plans, Romero said: “It is still very early days for 3D broadcasting to consider covering the Olympics in 3D. For a FIFA World Cup 3D is more manageable since you require two mobile units to cover multiple venues but the scale of an Olympics with multi-venues and multi-events makes 3D stereo production a much more complex operation.

“We might experiment with recording some events and perhaps the opening ceremony in 3D. Right now though we are not receiving any requests from broadcasters for 3D.”

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