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ITN Sport set to unveil new tech innovations for World Athletics Championships

ITN said its expertise in live broadcast production will be reflected in the complex technical set up in Budapest and new innovations that will bring audiences even closer to the sport

ITN is in the final throes of preparation for this year’s World Athletics Championships in Budapest, and it has revealed some insights about the technical set up and new innovations that it will be using to bring the action to viewers during the event, which runs from 19th to 27th August.

ITN has been the host broadcaster for the Championships since 2019, through a joint venture with the World Athletics governing body, as World Athletics Productions. New innovations for 2023 include a new Wirecam for long jump and triple jump competitions (to provide a more accurate representation of the athletes’ speed), plus the “longest distance Wirecam used in athletics or a major city” for the marathon, where a 1k Wirecam will operate for the last kilometre of the race. The marathon will also be captured by drone, jimmy jibs and alternative camera planning to become the first major road race to be broadcast without a helicopter, minimising the environmental impact of the coverage.

There will also be a ‘behind the scenes in the q room’ set-up where athletes waiting to find out if they’ve qualified for the next round post-race will be filmed as they await their fate.

“The World Athletics Championships demand a fitting production plan and support services for the biggest international sports event of the summer. Broadcast and streamed live in more than 200 countries, there’ll be a combined audience of more than one billion. The National Athletics Centre is a stunning purpose-built stadium, and after the intimacy of Oregon, this will be a grand celebration on the banks of the Danube,” said Alastair Waddington, ITN director of sport and managing director of World Athletics Productions.

“Our approach, as ever, will be service orientated as we capitalise on our collaboration with rights holding broadcasters over the past few years to attract new audiences to athletics. Audiences can expect ITN’s signature up-close-and-personal storytelling to celebrate heroes, rivalries, and performances, as we put the athletes front and centre once more. Whether they are on the track, in the Call Room, or behind the scenes, viewers at home are guaranteed the best seat in the house.”

The production will comprise ten broadcast galleries, more than 250 cabins and 20 rights holder OB trucks, six studios, 10km of power cable, 52km of sempte cable, 22km of fibre installed, 130+ cameras to rig, and a team of 400 ground staff. In keeping with ITN Sport’s “ongoing commitment to reflecting athletics off-camera”, 80 per cent of producers and 60 per cent of directors are women.