ESPN and Canal+ hit the slopes for Winter X-Games Europe
France: The second Winter X-Games Europe get underway on 16 March in the French resort of Tignes. Featuring ski and snowboard SuperPipe and SlopeStyle competitions, ESPN, in partnership with Canal+, is producing 12 live windows from the event for a total of 18 hours of coverage. All windows will air live on ESPN3.com, the broadcaster’s live sports broadband network, and live or delayed on ESPN channels worldwide and a long list of other networks.
Nine Bristol-based staff from the US office make up the onsite ESPN production team, alongside a freelance staff drawn from around the world. According to Paul DiPietro, coordinating director for ESPN event operations, the coverage is mainly being produced from AMP Visual’s Car 11, a triple-expanding HD rig supporting 20 Sony HDC 1500-based camera channels. Based around a Sony MVS 8000 vision mixer, its kit spec also includes up to 8x 6-channel servers, a STUDER Vista 8 audio console and Riedel comms.
“We will be working in a mobile unit with Canal+ to produce the ESPN and syndication productions with English commentary and graphics. Canal+ will take a split from this production to add French commentary and on cameras,” says the company. Spanish commentary is being added back in Bristol for the broadcaster’s Spanish-language channels.
The production is also using several AMP support vehicles and an Arqiva satellite truck to support coverage from the two competition sites.
Emerging media is seen as a key component of the coverage. “We will also provide daily video news releases sent via Bacchus webdrop to syndication clients,” says the company. “These VNRs will also be used for ESPN.com. Additionally, we will provide athlete interviews to emerging media to give viewers an opportunity to learn more about the athletes, and will also use Facebook to allow viewers from around the world to interact with the production.”
Catch the action on ESPN’s microsite.