On the ball: how Croatia’s HRT is preparing for EURO 2016

The Croatian team from the Euro 2012 finals

The Croatian team from the Euro 2012 finals

EURO 2016 will be the fifth time that Croatia has qualified from the six campaigns since the country’s independence. On two occasions, the team has made it through to the quarter-finals. Although it was penalised by one point for the behaviour of fans during the 1-1 draw with Italy in Split, Croatia secured second place behind the Italians in their group qualifiers.

Hrvatska radiotelevizija, (HRT) is the Croatian public broadcaster that has the broadcasting rights for Euro 2016. “We plan to cover all 51 games in the tournament,” explains Igor Ćutuk, the spokesperson of Croatian radiotelevision.

“Such is the interest in football in our country, that it would not be enough to simply show the matches involving Croatia!”

The Euro 2016 coverage is being overseen by Drago Ćosić, HRT’s main sports commentator.

“HRT will have two of its own cameras available and we will have stand-up positions at the Croatian games,” reveals Ćutuk. “Switching will be handled by our SNG truck that will be on site.”

In all, a crew of 15 – including journalists, cameramen, producers, directors and editors – will travel to France. In the run-up to each game, much of the crew’s time will be spent at the Croatian team’s training camp. Editing will generally be carried out at the Zagreb studio.

“We do not plan to use any facilities at the IBC,” says Ćutuk. “Our presentation studio will be at our Zagreb facility, and we will take the dirty feed from the host broadcaster and add our own graphics for the Croatian audience. Those graphics will include the statistical data provided by UEFA. EVS replays to show goals, incidents and tactics will also come from the studio.”

Alongside the matches, HRT will run a highlights programme on each match day. “We will also be broadcasting on our internet platform called HRTi for those who subscribe to the service.”

Ćutuk concludes: “In technical terms, we expect that everything will be fine, and we can confidently predict high ratings. On the football side, it will be a difficult tournament as we also play against defending champion Spain. At the same time, Turkey and the Czech Republic are strong teams. Nevertheless, the first objective is to qualify for quarter-finals. Of course we are hoping that Croatia will win and go on with the tournament.”

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