Visions, 021 play key role in UEFA Championships coverage

By Kevin Hilton
SVG Europe editor

Visions and 021 Television are keying TV coverage of the UEFA Cup for ITV and NTV and RTR, respectively, with host broadcaster ITV showing the Cup Final in standard definition to its UK audience but facilities provider 021 Television is making HD and 5.1 feeds available. 021had five vehicles in Manchester for a broadcast on May 14, including two HD scanners producing the international feed, while Visions will be on hand in Moscow on May 21 for the Final.

021 Unit 8 handled the main HD video signals and 5.1 audio streams, the latter mixed on its 128-input Calrec Alpha digital console. Unit 6 has been fitted with nine EVS XT2 digital servers for replays and recording, five of which are super slo-mos.

ITV1’s presentation was produced in Unit 3, a digital SD vehicle, and Tape 2, which had an additional three EVS units. 021 also provided its Unit 2 truck for Spanish broadcaster Antena 3, with an additional four cameras and two EVSs, and “add-on” equipment for Scottish, French, German, Russian and Middle Eastern services.

The May 14 match was shot using 23 Sony HDC-1500 cameras, plus wireless units, three super slo-mos and minicams fitted to both goals in case of disputed goals. As UEFA and FIFA are still holding out on adopting such technology officially these cameras are purely for the illumination of the TV audience.

The May 14 match was the second UEFA Cup Final to feature HD coverage by 021 Television, which is sending its HD Unit 7 to Moscow on May 21 for the Champions League Final between Manchester United and Chelsea and will also be involved in next month’s Euro 2008 Championships.

NEP Visions, meanwhile, has been selected by NTV and RTR in Russia to deliver host broadcast facilities for the UEFA Champions League Final to be held in Moscow on 21 May at the Luznhiki Stadium.

Visions will use more than 30 cameras and 100 production and technical staff operating out of a large OB production unit and a stand alone VT unit that work together in conjunction, ensuring all of its shots are right on target even if the players might not be.

Visions will provide host broadcast facilities at the match for Russian broadcasters NTV and RTR, something it has extensive experience of through its contract with Sky. Visions provide Sky with host broadcast facilities for its Premier League and UEFA Champions League coverage and will also be providing add-on facilities for Sky’s coverage of the Moscow final. This amounts to a lot of football experience with more than 200 matches covered this season alone.

As the Visions convoy of eight trucks departed from its depot in Staines on 8 May, Sky Sports were on hand to capture the start of the journey that will see the trucks travel via Helsinki before ending up in Moscow.

Operations Director John Turnbull says, “With a large number of international broadcasters relying on our feeds in Moscow it’s crucial that we provide an efficient and reliable service. Experience counts for everything in that situation and that’s why Visions were chosen for such a high profile event.”

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