M6 plans celebratory feel for UEFA EURO 2016 coverage
As commercial broadcaster M6 gears up to broadcast the 2016 Euro final, the group is leaving no stone unturned in making sure that its coverage will be as different as possible from rival TF1. “We want to have a big party; after all the hardship of the last few months, marred by strikes and massive floods, we know our audience will want to celebrate and we will do everything we can to match that mood,” said head of programmes Philippe Bony.
Whilst he will not give an estimation of the number of people M6 hopes to attract, expectations are high, as M6 previous record audience of all times was made during the 2008 EURO match between France and Italy: the channel drew 13,2 million viewers, a peak it has never reached since, even during the 2012 EURO in Poland and Ukraine.
When asked how many people at M6 have been preparing for the event, his answer was unequivocal. “Each and everyone one of us, because such a lot is at stake. But when it comes to the coverage of the games themselves, we will have a team of one hundred people spread among the various sites, including in every fan zone of the 11 matches we are airing.”
The broadcaster may show only 11 games compared to TF1’s 22 (see TF1 piece), but all of them are key, according to Philippe Bony. “They all are aired during the prime time slot after 9pm. We won’t be showing any afternoon games.”
On the production front, M6 has installed six cameras on the ground in addition to the UEFA setup, all HD of course, including a portable HF camera to follow Carine Galli, who is on site to obtain interviews with football players before the game, during half-time and after the match. “We have set up around four different studio points where players can be interviewed,” said Bony.
Liverpool-born Louise Ekland, whom M6 recently poached from France Télévisions, will be soaking up the atmosphere from the Paris fan zone during the final.
Deni Balbir and Jean-Marc Ferreri are M6’s commentators for the Euros and will be on hand for the final. The latter was part of Platini’s 1984 EURO-winning team. Both men already work together on the Europa League games, which are broadcast on M6 sister channel W9.
All M6 games are streamed live from its Internet site, 6play, featuring a fair amount of augmented reality. All the matches will be available in replay as well. Augmented reality also enhances the post-game magazine show 100% Euro, with French company Vigiglobe’s technology used to track social media reaction in real-time and orient topics for discussion.
“We have decided to play the fun card: a couple of standup comedians are in the studio together with the more serious commentators David Ginola and Nathalie Renoux,” said Bony. David Ginola came onboard M6 in time for the Euros, having moved across from Canal +.
The final will be aired in 4K to pay-TV operator Orange subscribers as well as one of the quarter-finals and the semi-final. “It is a great opportunity to test the technology in real-time,” concluded Bony.