Sky Sports’ Giovanni Bruno on technological changes and landmark projects (part one)
In the first of a two-part interview, SVG Europe speaks to Giovanni Bruno, director of special initiatives at Sky Sports Italy, about the evolution of its football coverage and its most significant projects of recent times.
From the sports season point of view, what can we say of 2013 in comparison to 2012?
In sports the odd years are the ones with no major events. All the more reason for those who, like us, came out from the Olympic Games celebrating the event with 12 TV channels and even a 3D one. But for us 2013 was the year of the return to Formula 1, which has [led us] to restate the philosophy of the multi-channel mosaic on screen. [Hence] our subscribers have been at the centre of the races throughout the season, choosing the points of view in a personal direction, and were able to propose a totally new way to present Formula 1 car races – a never seen before empathic show on TV.
Which sports activities and related programs have seen the most growth?
I might be taken for granted, but I have to answer with regard to football. This is because for Sky Italy 2013 was the [first] year for Fox presenting Liga, Ligue 1 and Premier, so completing our channel offer in a spectacular fashion, including Serie A, Serie B, Champions League and Bundesliga. At the same time, we are not forgetting the qualitative and quantitative growth as well involving other sports, for example golf and tennis, that we are now dealing with the same in-depth analysis as that dedicated to football. I refer to the technical whiteboards and the presence of experts working in the field to explain what’s going on just by appealing to their experiences.
Perhaps 2013 was the final year of the affirmation of these values and I would like to emphasise that it was just a choice of Sky. After a great run in the London Games, we have involved Andrea Zorzi, a former volleyball player, more and more in the commentary for football matches. He is now a recognised ‘added value’ of ours. This is in the sense that we have added a technical interpretation, but not maddeningly [so], and one that self-referential, as it can be when expressed by an insider. This is a new point of view in our sports presenting layout which affects the whole array of our channels (Sky Sports HD 1-2-3, Sky Sports 24, Sky Super Calcio HD Fox Sports HD, Sky Sports F1).
What was the greatest broadcast project of last year, its impact and why?
As mentioned, Formula 1 for us was the main commitment of the year, and not because we have neglected our commitments in other areas. We have deliberately followed paths that had not yet been explored before. In 2013 we launched a first channel totally devoted to Formula 1. Before that the need to unite the live circuit shooting with the live and in-depth study – carried out by from the studio – did not exist, and we created a unique multi-angle feed continuum.
Again, as said, this was a possible experience since we came out of the London Games experience so successfully and with precious know-how. Soon we began to consider this experience as being very useful and studied how to present the Motorcycle World Race, Motomondiale, in 2014 that will complement our offer on motorsports.