Live from FIFA World Cup: With 12 ENG crews TF1 France has Russia covered
The TF1 Group in France snagged the World Cup rights in 2016 to 28 matches (beIN Sports has all 64) and is in the midst of delivering the top 28 matches to viewers in both HD and 4K. Later today (6 July) France has a big quarterfinal match with Uruguay and the TF1 team will be on site with commentary and ENG crews following the team. But TF1 will also have personnel busy at the IBC and back in Paris.
TF1 has approximately 150 people in Russia and the team at the IBC is taking in signals from FIFA and their own production personnel at the venues and ensuring they are properly sent back to Paris where the TF1 studio show is produced and the final output is readied with graphics and other elements. The team in Paris also handles the vast majority of editing and post-production.
Laurent Michel Richard, TF1, engineer, says that things are going well and more smoothly than anticipated. The only challenge has been that the 4K HDR coverage expected to be delivered via the telco providers cannot be delivered in HDR. That requires the team in Paris to convert the material to SDR.
“That made an issue with the colourimetry after the conversion, but we are improving after each match,” he says.
The vast majority of TF1’s team in Russia is involved with the 12 ENG crews that are in Russia. Four of them are with the French team as it heads into its quarterfinal matchup with Uruguay today while four others are with TF1 news and four others available for other coverage.
“They are using Panasonic cameras and can send back content via file transfer or live via AviWest [bonded cellular transmission],” says Richard.
As well as the top 28 matches (including 18 in prime-time), TF1, the exclusive free-to-air broadcaster, is airing “Journal de la Coupe du Monde” after the 1 p.m. news broadcast, the “Magazines Après Matchs” for post-match coverage as well as five special editions of “Téléfoot spécial Coupe du Monde de la FIFA.”
The 4K is being delivered via a TF1 4K channel available via Iliad Telecom’s subsidiary Free’s Freebox Mini 4K. Free has made the channel available to Freebox Mini 4K customers connected to its fibre network who have signed up to the Mini 4K package, Freebox Revolution with TV by Canal Panorama subscribers, and Freebox Revolution subscribers with the multi-TV Mini 4K option.