The Tour de France heads for its final day next Sunday, and GlobeCast is providing French national broadcaster France Télévisions with contribution facilities to broadcast every stage of the race, for the 15th consecutive year, writes David Fox.
Each day, GlobeCast delivers ten hours of satellite transmissions and five hours via microwave for France Télévisions. The mobile units responsible for these feeds are spread out along the entire course, involving about 30 staff for the length of the race.
GlobeCast’s 21 mobile units are stationed on the starting line and at intermediate points on the course. On the final few kilometres, a digital microwave transmission truck, also operated by GlobeCast, broadcasts coverage of the arrival at each stage. In addition, footage from helicopters and motorcycles is received at the finish line from the Atlantic Bird 1, Atlantic Bird 2, and Atlantic Bird 3 satellites.
The infrastructure put in place by GlobeCast allows the broadcast of up to 27 simultaneous video feeds to its hub truck to offer coverage of the race in its entirety. The whole operation is the result of close collaboration between teams from GlobeCast, outside broadcast production company SFP, and France Télévisions.
“Signal transmission is an essential element in the coverage of the Tour de France,” said Yves Dumond, who, as the vice president of sports for France Télévisions, is in charge of production. “For many years, GlobeCast has been a loyal partner for France Televisions; this close collaboration has allowed us each year to improve the technical means that we put in place, until finally arriving at the one we have today, which is world-famous.”