ITV warms up for the World Cup with England in Miami

The recent England warm-ups in Miami gave ITV – working in conjunction with Broadcast Service Group – an opportunity for some of its core personnel to get into the World Cup spirit ahead of today’s big kick-off. Roger Pearce, technical director sport at ITV, spoke to SVG Europe about the practicalities of covering these vital friendlies – and the differences in workflow with its UK broadcasts.

Did viewers in the UK tune in to watch the warm up matches? Do you have any rating numbers at this point?

Yes, England’s friendly games performed well, averaging approximately six million viewers.

This production was done a long way from home…who were the production partners in the US that helped bring it together?

We were working with Broadcast Service Group, who we have a long standing relationship with, for live sport production. They serviced all of our facilities and provided the match coverage for Pitch International. They used Lyon OB facilites.

How did producing this coverage in America differ from the way you would typically produce a match in the UK?

It was a familiar production plan for an ‘add-on’ OB at important football games, with a pitchside presentation and commentary adding to host coverage. The OB technical setup was very different; the same kit but set-up and used totally differently…a bit like the language in fact. Audio/comms were a particularly complex cultural change and needed a lot of care and attention. We used ISDN for our UK comms, which is generally not used for broadcast TV production in the USA. Once again, care and attention were required!

How many cameras were used?

We had five unilateral cameras adding to the 13 host.

Did you do anything unique in terms of the production?

We concentrated on a robust plan that would allow us to concentrate on the content. We took out our own graphics (deltatre) and analysis system (Piero) to allow us to work in a familiar production environment.

How many of the personnel who worked in Miami will make the trip to Brazil?

We diverted a core production/operations team of around fifteen via Miami to Rio.

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