High-spec workflows deliver coverage of the Four Hills ski-jumping tournament

The 64th edition of the Four Hills Tournament – which took place in Germany and Austria between 29 December and 6 January – was broadcast by Media Broadcast live in HD quality to ARD, ZDF and ORF. Besides the transmission of the TV signal via fiber and SNG, the service provider also set up additional data and communication connections.

As a result of this comprehensive service, viewers could track the thrilling action involving the likes of Slovenian ski jumper Peter Prevc and German favorite Severin Freund. The most important winter sport event of the year again brought about 30,000 people to the villages of Oberstdorf, Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Innsbruck and Bischofshofen.

Stage by stage

The 64th Four Hills Tournament kicked off in Oberstdorf, where German fans had high hopes for Severin Freund, who won the first competition. But three days later, when the German public broadcaster ZDF covered the second part of the four-step competition in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, audiences saw Peter Prevc get ahead of the German ski jumper for the first time. For the HD coverage of these developments, the broadcast centre in Mainz received the signal via a fiber connection from Media Broadcast.

The third part of the Four Hills Tournament took place in Innsbruck where the Slovenian ski champion was again in first place, although he had to deal with the difficult wind conditions at Bergisel. This event was also broadcast by the ZDF, with an SNG vehicle from Media Broadcast transmitting the signal.

For the final event of the Four Hills Tournament the small Austrian village of Bischofshofen was at the centre of attention as Peter Prevc became the ‘shooting star’ of the ski jump season 2015/2016. After being in the first place three times in a row he commented: “I have to stay focused.”

For the ARD live report from Bischofshofen, Media Broadcast provided a quick fiber connection via Vienna to the television company station MDR in Leipzig. As a back-up on site, Media Broadcast supplied a vehicle from its SNG fleet.

Sports fans in Austria who were following the competition via ORF also benefited from Media Broadcast’s transmission. The service provider connected the locations in Oberstdorf and Garmisch-Partenkirchen by fiber to the ORF broadcast centre in Vienna. In addition, the host provided two quick Internet connections as well as a web connection for the communication.

Tournament reflections

“As a long-standing expert for the live TV transmission of international events Media Broadcast provided the signal transmission of the Four Hills Tournament in first class HD image quality,” emphasises Wolfgang Spelten, project manager event broadcasting, Media Broadcast. “Based on our often experienced redundancy concepts we achieved everything in order to guarantee the highest possible signal availability for the millions [of] spectators in front of the TV screens.”

The 64th Four Hills Tournament attracted 6.36m TV viewers. For Intersport, the official main sponsor of this prestigious ski jump series, this was a good reason to stay on board for the season 2015/16.

At all four ski competitions the logos of Intersport were visible on the LED boards at the finish, on the start numbers of the athletes, as well as on the logo wall at the awards ceremony.

“The Four Hills Tournament is a fixture for fans and TV viewers in the international winter season,” says Michael Witta, CEO Infront Austria. “We are proud to have Intersport with its multifaceted product spectrum as an exclusive sponsor who can benefit in this environment from high visibility and increasing TV quotas – especially in Central, Northern and Eastern Europe.”

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