FA Cup Final 2013: elaborating on the broadcast workflows

A day after losing in the FA Cup Final Manchester City sacked its manager, Roberto Mancini, showing that the competition still matters to top football clubs. It’s still important to broadcasters as well, with ITV devoting nearly four hours of airtime and ESPN giving the match between City and Wigan Athletic a whole day’s build up.

The entire game, featuring Wigan’s late winning goal, was broadcast live in both SD and HD. Arena Television supplied facilities for ITV, with 93 staff working variously in two scanners, OB8 and OB9, a video van, VT6, and seven support units. A total of 29 cameras was used round the pitch and in Wembley Stadium, as well as a Cineflex system mounted on an Arena Aviation helicopter with full links.

A further seven cameras were used for ITV presentation, with one each for the presenter (Adrian Chiles) and guests, a Dolphin-arm mounted camera and a locked-off shot. Two RF cameras and a roving system for flash interviews made up the total. This mass of cameras broke down into 17 standard motion cabled units, eight tri-motion cabled systems, two radio Steadicams based on Arena’s custom Sony P1 system, four radio handheld cameras, two ACS goal-line units, two Sprintcam VVSs and one Spidercam.

Production equipment included 16 EVS media server-players, a mix of XT2s and XT3s, three 3 XDCAM recorders and one Final Cut Pro workstation, with a 1 Piero analysis system and a Deltatre GFX package on the graphics side. Arena TV’s managing director Richard Yeowart estimated the value of facilities on-site at £17.25 million.

ESPN went with 12 hours of programming leading up to the match itself, staring at 8am with breakfast at Wembley. A number of presentation points was set up round the Stadium, including at pitch-side, on the gantry and in the on-site studio. SIS LIVE supplied location facilities, with OB 1, OB 5, Tape 2 and Link 21 at the venue. A departure for this year was a presentation position in the Sky Bar at the Hilton Hotel, with the Stadium in the background. OB 3 was parked outside to manage contribution from there.

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