Euro 2024: Multi-site setup allows TV 2 Denmark to deliver dynamic and engaging viewing experience

TV 2 Danmark © (copyright TV 2)

The football passionate Danes, while reserving some sense of realism, still dream about repeating the biggest Danish football success ever, their unexpected crowning as European Champions back in 1992.

While that dream did not become a reality this year, ahead of the 2024 UEFA European Football Championship (Euro 2024), which is currently taking place across 10 different venues in Germany, it was not unusual to see a host of nostalgic review programmes being streamed by Danish broadcasters. That is precisely what Danish national broadcaster TV 2 Denmark had in store for its viewers, along with a whole host of other features including a variety of preview programmes, as the tournament kicked off on the 14 June.

Since football is by far the largest sport in Denmark, the Euros is the biggest sporting event in the Danish sports broadcast calendar, unless there is an Olympic Games in the offing, as is the case this year.

Post 1992 a lot has changed in terms of the Euro’s team structures and how it is broadcast. Danish law requires all citizens to be able to watch all the matches at Euro 2024, it is, therefore, a joint broadcast operation between the two national broadcast outlets, Danmarks Radio (DR) and TV 2.

Credit: TV 2 Denmark

Due to the size of Denmark and its population, TV 2 has nowhere near the resources and capacity of the largest sports broadcasters in Europe, but it was still keen to put on a spectacular show, the man in charge of the production tells SVG Europe.

Taking some time out from his hectic schedule, TV 2 Sport’s chief of content Kristian Hyldgaard says that due to the sharing of rights they are broadcasting a total of 22 matches. In addition to this, a host of other content is being produced. Extensive highlights of all the matches are available on TV 2 Play, the broadcaster’s VOD platform. In addition, shorter highlights are being produced for its website, Longer documentary-style content such as the biggest highlights of the Danish national team through the years has also been produced for TV 2 Play.

State-of-the-art virtual studio production

A core element of TV 2’s Euro 2024 production is its virtual studio, which has been set up in the middle of the Danish fan zone at Islands Brygge, a harbourfront area in Copenhagen, which also shows the matches projected on a big screen.

The studio hosts the technical production teams and support staff, with the rest of the production being done at TV2’s headquarters in the city of Odense. “This set-up functions as an OB truck, but instead of a physical truck, we have placed a long fibre cable between the studio and production, and the advantage of having the production in Odense is that we have direct access to all the signals from Germany, which would have been a lot more challenging with an OB truck at Islands Brygge,” Hyldegaard explains.

During the transmission of Denmark’s matches, a smaller pitch-side studio supplements the main virtual space. The virtual studio is also used to host live panel debates, broadcast in between the matches, with guests including football experts as well as personalities from the world of culture.

The production

TV 2’s Euro 2024 production is split across three locations. In Germany, the broadcaster has a team of 20 people, including editorial staff as well as experts pulled in for the tournament. Of those, 15 are working daily during the tournament. Additionally, for each Denmark match, seven production staff are also required. Sixteen production staff are required daily for the Islands Brygge set-up, and, in Odense, 17 staff are working on the production split between editorial and transmission. Hyldegaard explains that this mix ensures more effective coverage.

With the exception of the live transmission, TV 2 produces 80-90% of the content which is produced in both Germany and Denmark, and the remainder of the content is UEFA HIVE-produced content.

Read more Euro 2024: How (and why) BBC Sport opted for a mixed reality presentation studio for its tournament coverage

Live transmissions from Germany are received via satellite and fibre connections. Sixteen video line transmission feeds have been established between Germany and Denmark which makes it possible to receive multiple signals. This includes the transmission of two matches underway at the same time as well as several extra recordings, and additional camera angles. Through these feeds, the Odense production and transmission centre receives its own as well as internationally produced interviews.

Credit: TV 2 Denmark

TV 2 also has a presence at the International Broadcast Centre (IBC) which is staffed and constructed by a team from the broadcaster, but it also services other Nordic broadcasters.

Additionally, TV 2 has several ENG-camera teams present in Germany sourced with Awivest equipment. “These teams allow us to deliver live coverage as well as produce updated news and interviews directly from the centre of the action,” Hyldegaard explains. He further adds that as a result TV 2 believes it can create the best possible experience of the tournament for viewers.

Analytics and innovation

TV 2 uses the Viz Libero analytical program from Vizrt, which allows the broadcaster to create detailed and interactive analyses of the matches. A key component of this setup includes a 10sqm projection screen which is used to visualise these analytics in the studio.

In addition, a drone is being used by the broadcaster to capture the fan zone and the surrounding area around the virtual studio at Islands Brygge. Live AR graphics are then incorporated into these shots via an advanced tracking system which precisely tracks the movements of the drone, making it possible to insert graphic elements into the picture matching the real world.

“By adopting virtual productions and advanced technology, we believe we can create a dynamic, visual and engaging experience for our viewers,” Hyldegaard concludes.

Read more Euro 2024: SRG producing tailored unilateral coverage in multiple languages for Swiss TV viewers

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