SVG Europe SportTech Europe 2015: Tour de France insights from Euro Media Group and Avid

Luc Geoffroy, CTO of Euro Media Group

Luc Geoffroy, CTO of Euro Media Group (image: James Cumpsty)

Last week’s SVG Europe SportTech event in Manchester included a revealing insight into the broadcast production of the world’s most prestigious road cycling race, the Tour de France. Whilst Luc Geoffroy, CTO of Euro Media Group (EMG), discussed EMG’s role as the tournament’s overall wireless systems mastermind, Avid director of solutions design Rob Roberts explored the use of the manufacturer’s systems in TdF production.

EMG’s RF commitments to the TdF are nothing if not extensive, encompassing five camera motorbikes, five audio motorbikes, two camera helicopters, two relay helicopters, two fixed wing relays (airplane), two receiving trucks (intermediate points) and, at the finish line, one aggregator truck. Seventy technicians are involved in the production, whilst each edition of the tournament involves six full months’ preparation.

Geoffroy went on to outline some of the specially adapted vehicles used to carry the wireless systems technology, including motorbikes with customised Grass Valley LDX cameras and two onboard mixers, as well as helicopters and airplanes sporting auto-tracking receiving antennas, mast and auto tracking transmitting antennas, and positioning software.

He also explored the composition of the multipurpose truck positioned at the finish line, which is capable of delivering overall RF aggregation and coordination, including back-up, as well as standard production without RF – all contained within a modular workspace.

Among the many leading vendors whose equipment is involved in the production of the TdF, Avid is central to the post-production workflow, which makes extensive use of

Avid's director of solutions design, Rob Roberts

Avid’s director of solutions design, Rob Roberts (image: James Cumpsty)

Avid | Interplay media production and asset tools and IRIS storage. The deployment of Avid’s Media Composer video editing software “has been an important asset to be able to find brilliant editors all around the world,” said Roberts, “whilst [effective] management of all the assets allows the highlights to be edited every day.”

Roberts also highlighted the contribution of Avid technology to the “continuity and preservation of metadata generated at all stages” – a component that “improves the efficiency and impact of edited packages”. There is also the possibility to send content to the main broadcast facility in Paris for the editing of content for weekly sports magazine programme Tous les Sports.

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