Italy’s Telelombardia reflects on enduring success of football magazine show
The regional Italian TV channel Telelombardia, which operates in the northern area of Lombardy, has at the core of its schedule a football magazine programme that has been on-air since the 1980s. Entitled Qui Studio a Voi Stadio (translation: Here Studio, You Stage), the programme has historically involved extensive OB operations and significant teams of camera operators, journalists, technicians and assistants.
In recent years, the nature of the programme has changed somewhat due to the changing rights environment meaning that it is sometimes not possible to carry images from inside the stadium. Nonetheless, the programme remains a popular staple of Telelombardia’s sporting schedule.
The Mediapason Group headquarters – which house Telelombardia, Antenna3 and many other channel – is situated in Milan, via Colico 21. A hugely impressive facility, it features a maze of offices, staircases, warehouses, editing rooms, control rooms, contribution, playout, technical areas, dressing rooms, large studios and much more.
Sandro Franchini, technical manager, explains the evolution in the technology dedicated to this programme: “QSVS is broadcast with long live productions from 18.00 to 23.00 on Saturday and 12.30 to 23.00 on Sunday, as well as for pre-match and post-match coverage.
“The production layout has crystallized in time around the typical configuration of the live transmission that could be called ‘classical’. The setting is now completely created in a shooting studio and consists of some distinct areas. The main set is a raised platform for the presenters, facing two rows of seats for a total of eight opinion leaders on the right and left. The presenters have behind them a video wall of 6x6m with rear projection of live images.
“Then in another part of the study there are three comment stations [for] the various matches from the main fields that replicate the historical locations once allowed inside the stadiums.
“In total there are ten/eleven commentators in the studio and, according to the comments they want to provide, they choose the game received on the monitors. In fact, all the games are fed across all workstations and every single commentator can choose a different match or focus on a single match [for pre- or post-coverage].”
“The programmes in question are all live and the recordings only make sense for possible reuse on other channels, while significant or funny episodes are used as ‘pills’ to be [dropped into coverage of subsequent events] and on the website.”
Studio and suites
The 400 sqm of shooting studio Sony cameras are placed on dollies, backed by camera operators, while in general 15 technicians work on the show. There are several separate suites involved, including: the audio production suite, video gallery, technical control room, etc, each assisted by at least one technical operator, director, assistant, video control personnel, lighting technician, video mixer, audio engineer and more.
Images are shot and broadcast in SD since Mediapason Group is not only a content provider, but also the mux network operator (on channel 46) and therefore tends to resell airtime on available bandwidth to accommodate as many outside customers as possible.
At the moment the channels delivered are: Antenna 3, Telelombardia, Top Calcio 24, Top Gusto, Top Tech, Top Musica, Espansione TV and other third party channels, including two radio stations.