The EBU is taking care of signal distribution of the Olympic Games to its Members, as well as their individual needs from Beijing - live shows, live news reports and more. The EBU’s experience, having covered the Olympic Games since 1956, will help its Members deliver flawless transmissions across all major platforms: mobile, internet, as well as radio and television. The EBU’s broadcast infrastructure for Beijing is more than double the size of that for the Athens 2004 Olympic Games. The Eurovision network will bring over 2,000 hours of high definition and standard definition content from Beijing to national broadcasters across 61 countries in Europe and beyond.
A team of twelve people under the leadership of Oscar Teran took care of cable connections for all the EBU Members' premises and the EBU Master Control Room (MCR) in Beijing. The group started the cabling activities on the 4th of May and finished just weeks before the Games took off. "Back in February, we started sending cable to Beijing. We actually sent five containers worth of all kinds of technical equipment that we're going to need to build our facilities in the International Broadcasting Centre. We've also arranged for direct shipments from the UK, Ireland, Germany and Switzerland. It's an absolutely massive undertaking," says Sonia Sancho, EBU Operations Booking Manager who, with her team, is responsible for what she calls "the main gate to the Games."
The EBU coordinates accreditation, accommodation, commentary positions and a whole host of broadcast needs for over 4,500 staff of EBU Members, all of them determined to make this the best Olympics to date. Satellite giant Intelsat, which has transmitted coverage of every Olympic Games since 1968, is providing multiple transponders to the EBU for HD coverage from Beijing. "By using Intelsat to deliver the Games, we are confident that our Members will benefit from the reliable service Intelsat offers when it comes to large-scale events," says Stefan Kürten, director of the Eurovision Operations department.
The EBU is not only dealing with radio-, regular TV and HD broadcasting, also with online distribution. In total, a custom-made video portal is carrying over 9,000 hours of live streaming videos to 61 countries. Furthermore, anyone who missed crucial action will be able to view Video on Demand (VoD) highlights of all the major events and finals. Due to IOC Rights requirements, viewers outside the EBU territories are denied access to the video portal by geo-blocking technology. said EBU Director General Jean Réveillon. "The EBU’s video portal promotes the widest possible distribution of EBU Member’s coverage of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games across EBU territories for the benefit of pan-European audiences. The EBU and its Member broadcasters continue to make innovative use of its Olympic new media rights portfolio,"
The video portal is sponsored by Lenovo, the exclusive computing equipment provider to the Olympic Games and a worldwide partner. Catherine Ladousse, Executive Director, Corporate Marketing & Communications at Lenovo says it is using the live video portal "to project the Lenovo brand to a younger generation of viewers who are increasingly turning online to watch sports."
The EBU and its Members are delivering the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games wherever the audience expects to find them in Europe and beyond. It is providing the most extensive media coverage of the Olympic Games in history across all major platforms: internet, mobile as well as radio and television.
About the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games
The Games of the XXIX Olympiad are currently taking place in Beijing, China, and last until the 24th of August. Over 11,000 athletes, representing some 200 countries, take part in competitions featuring 28 different sports. The 17-day event is expected to attract the largest television audience ever, with a projected cumulative total of 4 billion people likely to tune in.