From Utrecht to Champs Élysées: technical, logistical challenges on Tour de France
2015 has again seen Globecast contracted to bring one of the world’s great sporting spectacles to screens around the globe: the 2015 Tour de France. Globecast was contracted by both broadcasters and a corporate customer to cover the event including national, international and unilateral feeds. This involved eight HD SNG trucks, one mobile master control room, two microwave trucks and a 50m crane.
The mobile master control room, which was moved from stage to stage, was designed to handle the feeds from the five motorcycles and two helicopters out on the course. The microwave trucks were strategically placed along each stage to receive and re-transmit the signals from the mobile vehicles. In total, there were 27 HD satellite feeds each day using four satellites.
The first live broadcast began at 09.30 each day, with the last at 18.45GMT, meaning the Globecast was more often than not the first to set up in the TV compound and the last to leave.
Michele Gosetti, VP Contribution and Media Services at Globecast, says, “This year we faced the additional challenge of the final mountain stage ending at the top of Alpe d’Huez. Because of the landscape, the TV compound was actually 140 km away at Grenoble Airport. Globecast supplied a 10 Gigabit Ethernet fibre connection via parent company Orange. This allowed 16 TV signals from the Alpe, with four in the reverse direction as well as 24 audio links and three for data.”
Globecast travelled approximately 3,000 km in 21 days with the company’s Special Events team providing the understanding of how to bring such a huge event to the world.
Gosetti adds, “Our experience and commitment were essential on this project. We began building the mobile control room at 06.00 each day and then dismantling it at 21:00 so that it could be driven through the night to the next location. The logistical challenges are considerable! But our ability to handle these, in combination with our technical expertise and the level of connectivity that we can provide, allows us to supply an unrivalled broadcasting package.”