Behind the scenes at the WTCC with Eurosport Events, AMPVISUAL TV
Eurosport Events has been in charge of organising the World Touring Car Championship since 2005. The event is officially recognised by the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile, with the current commercial rights agreement remaining valid until the end of 2017.
“Rather than just limiting ourselves to the purchase of commercial rights and broadcasting sporting events, Eurosport decided to organise the events themselves in order to have control over the production (formats) and own the complete distribution rights. This led to the creation of Eurosport Events some years ago,” explained Jean-Louis Dauger, Director of Operations.
Today, five car manufacturers take part in all of the 12 races of the season. Next year, Citroën will make its entrance with nine-times rally world champion Sébastien Loeb and possibly the former Formula One driver from Poland, Robert Kubica.
From this season, AMPVISUAL TV is the services provider for the live broadcasting of the races taking place in Europe. The French audiovisual group headed by Gilles Sallé is now a ubiquitous presence in motorsports TV production, both for its capacity to handle the entire video production and for its expertise concerning RF technology, especially for the World Endurance Championship and the European Rally Championship races.
Olivier Denis, a producer who specialises in motorsports TV production, including the 24 Hours of Le Mans, comments: “Thanks to a preferred partnership with the Porto Tourism Office, we had a helicopter at our disposal, in which we installed a Wescam. Porto being a city circuit we also deployed more track cameras than usual in order to avoid having concealed areas. There were a total of 23 cameras placed around the circuit in addition to 8 cars equipped with 3 RF on-board cameras.” In fact, it was the OB unit Millenium just back from the famous endurance race that was used in Portugal. It was equipped with five slow-motion LSM systems as well as five camera control units for the camera settings.
The practice/qualifying sessions were aired on Eurosport 2 on the Saturday, while Sunday’s races 1 and 2 were broadcast on Eurosport. The choice of a 30-minute format for the two races was specially conceived to promote the event. In addition to these live broadcasts, 24-minute highlight programmes were made available to numerous television channels as soon as the WTCC series was finished.
Incidentally, it is of interest to note that Discovery has owned 20% of the capital of the Eurosport group since the end of last year and this percentage could rise to 50% in the very near future. The rest is still owned by TF1 for the moment.