Rugby World Cup moves into high gear

After a month of competition, the group stages are finally over and the Rugby World Cup moves into the crucial knock-out phases. ITV is among many of the broadcasters now sending its studio teams over to the other side of the world to anchor the coverage.

Given that that coverage starts at the distinctly unsociable hour of 05.30h on Saturday morning, the broadcaster might have to wait for the PVR figures to come in to really ascertain the viewing figures. But with three of this coming weekend’s quarter finals promising to be absolute vintage matches (and New Zealand are always capable of shooting themselves in the foot in the fourth against Argentina) interest is high.

ITV’s punditry team now shifts from The London Studios to a pitchside studio set up at Auckland’s Eden Park, with OB facilities being provided by OSB. Editing etc stays back in the UK.

MPEG-4 is being used to bring the signal back to the UK. Fibre and satellite facilities have been provided by Globecast, backed up by a diversely routed path and C-band Satellite for transmissions.

“Sky NZ has been a good host and the coverage is very high quality,” says Roger Pearce, Technical Director at ITV Sport. “I’m pleased with what is on the screen but I would love to be able to get round the laws of physics and bring the feed latency down so that UK-NZ two ways could be easier. If quality is inversely proportional to latency, then UK to NZ paths don’t have a good compromise setting yet IMHO.”


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