Euromedia scales new heights during latest Alpine Skiing World Cup
Italian company Infront Sports handles the media rights for a large number of international sporting events and events organisers, including the FIS (International Ski Federation). Infront Sports not only manages the media rights, it also produces various FIS events, such as the Alpine Skiing World Cup. Euromedia, which won the contract to cover all the ski events taking place in France, is starting to provide coverage from this season.
“We had contacted Infront a while ago in order to offer them our expert know-how in terms of producing leading international sports events. It is with great satisfaction and a strong sense of responsibility that we will take on the challenge of covering these major ski competitions,” explained Lionel Vialaneix, president of Euromedia.
It was essential to act very rapidly in order to deploy the required technical setup in line with Infront’s specifications, especially as in addition to the six events that Euromedia has to cover, another one has been added to the list following the cancellation of a competition that was initially planned for Colorado.
“Infront retains control over editorial content and uses mostly experienced Italian production teams and camera operators who know how to position the cameras, especially RF camera systems, as close to the action as possible, while keeping within the secure areas. We were able to join forces with them very rapidly, but we also had to learn how to work with mountain experts as far as the installations were concerned,” said Yannick Xuereb, director of development and operations at Euromedia.
Admittedly, considering the extreme winter weather conditions in the mountains, only highly experienced specialists are able to set up the equipment on site. They are all either mountain guides, ski patrollers or ski instructors from the various ski resorts around the area, and they have been doing this type of work for many years.
“Most of the filming equipment is dropped off by helicopter on the mountain slopes. The total area that needs to be covered is vast. For example, 27 cameras are needed to cover the length of only one 3 km long ski run,” continued Yannick Xuereb.
Although the cranes and camera cabling are handled directly by providers specialising in Alpine sports events, Euromedia is in charge of all the rest. For some of the events up to 15 km of dark fibre is deployed (or is sometimes already pre-installed). All the recording workstations are linked to the fibre network about 300m away, and they all consist of integrated power supply, intercom electronics and UPS units.
Due to the extremely harsh weather conditions and low temperatures, the crews use survival blankets to protect the Sony HDC 1500R, 2400 and 4300 cameras. The cameras also have to be switched on 24 hours before the event and are only turned off after the last shoot.