On the ball: How ZDF plans its EURO 2016 coverage

Bookmakers are placing World Cup winners German as joint favourites, with hosts France, for the Euro 2016 tournament. Joachim Low led Germany to that coveted trophy – its first since Euro 96 – and this year marks 10 years since he took charge of the national team.

Not only that, in 1972 and 1974, West Germany won both the Euros and then went on to triumph in the World Cup. So, could today’s German team achieve the same double – but in reverse order?

Viewers in German will be able to follow their team’s progress in France through coverage offered jointly by ZDF, ARD and SAT1/Pro7. “All 51 matches will be available live for viewers in Germany – with ZDF and ARD covering 45 of those games,” explained Dieter Gruschwitz, ZDF Head of Sports. “Our main presenter will be Oliver Welke, with Oliver Kahn at his side, while ZDF’s lead commentators will be Bela Rethy and Oliver Schmidt. We will also utilise bookable stand-up positions at each ground, as necessary.”

Using the IBC

Gruschwitz confirms that ZDF will have a significant presence at the IBC, occupying a studio, offices, bureaux and technical facilities. “We will receive a dirty feed for our live programmes, plus a clean feed that will be employed for post productions. In addition, for the games involving the German national side, we will have our own production truck and cameras at the ground to supplement the world feed.”

He continued, “We will be adding German language graphics within our facilities at the IBC. Those graphics will include not only our own statistics, but those that are provided by UEFA. All that means, of course, is that we will have our own directors in our gallery at the IBC controlling our comprehensive coverage for our viewers back at home.”

For all games, ZDF plans to take ISO feeds from all the host broadcaster cameras and use them mainly for analysing play and tactics by the pundits in the studio.

Beyond the games

Outside of match coverage, ZDF is planning a highlights programme to be broadcast live after the last game of each match-day. “That programme will include more than just the games. We will have three travelling crews composed of anchors, commentators, ENG crews and a producer who will gather stories. Naturally, we will have a significant presence at the German team’s training camps in France. And there will also be a special studio for presentation and interviews.” Editing will be carried out at the IBC using ZDF’s own Avid equipment.

For viewers in Germany, ZDF offers an app ZDF.de to allow subscribers to watch games on other devices. “We will also be offering a great many second screen services, mostly delivered by UEFA and the host broadcaster. We want our viewers to get the most from the tournament where we expect our national team to do really well,” concluded Gruschwitz.

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