Sports Takes Center Stage at IBC Awards

IBC’s annual Innovation Awards on Sunday night were a celebration of sports excellence, highlighted by the presentation of the 2010 IBC International Honour for Excellence to Manolo Romero, CEO of Olympic Broadcasting Services.

The IHFE is the highest honor IBC bestows and goes to an individual or organization that has made a significant impact over the course of a career. For Romero, it is a career dedicated to the Olympic Games and ensuring excellent radio and television coverage; a career that began at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City.

“I have been very fortunate to work in many sports events where we have been able to use state-of-the-art technology and innovations,” he said. “With the help of many colleagues, we have made important strides in the development of television sports coverage.
 I am honoured to accept this award and dedicate it to all the friends and colleagues who contributed through the years and to those who continue to strive for excellence in broadcasting in the future.”

As for the IBC Innovation Awards, they go not to technology companies but to the end user and a winning project demonstrating cooperation between supplier and customer to achieve a practical, commercial, or creative end.

That was certainly the case for the Judges’ Prize, which was awarded to a bold project that was not one of the nominations for the Innovation Awards: 3D coverage of the FIFA World Cup.

Because it was a true partnership of equals, four awards were presented: to FIFA; to HBS, its broadcast partner; to sports-specialist channel ESPN; and to Sony, which provided much of the technological muscle.

Niclas Ericson, director of FIFA TV, said of the award that it was “immense gratification for all the hard work in our race against time. Our dream of the first World Cup in 3D only became a reality thanks to the commitment and the professionalism of our partners in the project.”

ESPN was also a finalist in the content-creation category, as was NBC Olympics, but they lost out to another sporting spectacular, the Red Bull Air Race. 
After the audience had been thrilled with some stunning footage, Bernd Loidl of Red Bull Races said, “We are really proud of what we have achieved with the Red Bull Air Race, and it is an honor to be recognised with this IBC Award 2010.”

The fiber technology was provided by Riedel Communications, and founder Thomas Riedel added, “The Red Bull Air Race is one of our most prestigious and technically advanced projects, and we are proud to be recognised by IBC for our work.”

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