EBU and partners gather to begin planning for 2018 European Championships TV coverage
By: David Davies
Thursday, May 18, 2017 - 9:37 am

International broadcasters came together this week to meet with Eurovision Production Coordination (EPC), host cities Glasgow and Berlin, and the seven participating European sports federations for a world broadcaster briefing ahead of the inaugural multisport European Championships in August 2018.

The working session, complemented by site visits to some of the main event venues, is a major milestone in developing up to 300 hours of programming to be delivered to a potential worldwide audience of more than 1 billion people.

The European Championships is a major new multisport event taking place every four years, supported by Europe’s free-to-air broadcasters, which aggregates the existing senior continental championships of athletics (European Athletics), aquatics (LEN), cycling (UEC), gymnastics (UEG), rowing (FISA), triathlon (ETU), with a new Golf Team Championships (ET & LET) – all unified under a common brand.

The EBU and part of its business arm, EPC, will act as both the broadcast partner (representing European public service media) and the host broadcaster (overseeing the overall production of the event).

Presenting in Glasgow, EPC introduced its international signal production plans and gave an overview of the content, venue and network services to be offered to rights-holding broadcasters, including integrated digital solutions to support first- and second-screen programming.

The participating broadcasters visited some of the key venues including Glasgow’s Tollcross International Swimming Centre (Aquatics), Emirates Arena (Track Cycling at the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome), and SSE Hydro (Gymnastics), as well as Strathclyde Country Park in North Lanarkshire (Rowing and Triathlon).

The venue tour also covered George Square and Glasgow Green, along with a visit to BBC Scotland’s facilities, where EPC will set up the Broadcast Operation Centre (BOC) during the event. (A similar facility, the International Broadcaster Centre, or IBC, will be in Berlin, next to the Olympic Stadium). Glasgow’s George Square will be the heart of a Cultural Festival planned during the Championships, bringing the city centre to life as a creative hub showcasing the very best of Scottish and Glaswegian culture.

The three-day meeting also offered an opportunity for broadcasters to meet with the Glasgow and Berlin local organising committees and Federation representatives.

“As the Broadcast Partner and Host Broadcaster for the upcoming European Championships, we are pleased to see such strong interest coming from the broadcasting community for this milestone event,” said Stefan Kuerten, Director of EBU Sport. “We’ve received positive feedback from rights-holding broadcasters and will continue working with all parties to provide the overall production and technical solutions for broadcasters to showcase engaging content for audiences.”

Colin Hartley, Glasgow 2018 Championships Director, said, “We are delighted to be hosting the World Broadcaster Briefing for the inaugural European Championships where a compelling backdrop for what will be a must-see, must-attend event will be presented by both Glasgow and Berlin.

“Under one united brand and broadcast experience both cities will set the stage for a spectacular 10 days of wall-to-wall broadcast which will elevate the status of the European Champions in some of the continent’s major sports.”

Earlier this year, the seven European Federations, Host Cities Glasgow and Berlin, and the EBU agreed on a sports competition schedule that will run from Thursday 2 August to Sunday 12 August 2018 with a compelling 10 days of television coverage starting on Friday 3 August.