TeleArena Sport is born: and going ‘glocal’

In a recent interview to Italian magazine Millecanali, engineer Alessandro Zelger, managing Director of Network TV and New Media of Gruppo Editoriale Athesis, among other things declared: “Networks like ours live with sports, and chronicle politics and information as a service.” And with TeleArena Sport covering Verona, Mantua (via Telemantova) and Brescia (via Brescia Punto TV), he is putting his money where his mouth is.

His idea in recent years has been to transform his company into a multimedia publishing company; an organism capable of offering citizens, institutions, public and private companies a rich multimedia platform from printed paper to television and radio and web in which everyone could identify and reflect himself into, as a member of a community.

This plan comprises three well known Italian networks – TeleArena, Telemantova and Brescia Punto TV – and the inspiration of this project moves towards a new model of thematic TV channel of local inspiration, very tight to the territory where it belongs, but created around high quality standards. Actually this idea, though new to Italy, is derived from already existing models in the USA, France and England.

“We are mindful of what we are, what we need and what our territory expresses,”, explains Giambattista Bianchi, director of Network TV and New Media branch of this Group, before deploying the term ‘glocal’ (a lexicographical mash-up of ‘global’ and ‘local’).

“The most followed macro-areas are sports and news,” he continues. “Actually sports programmes receive a lot of room in our weekly schedule.” So football programmes gather a huge portion of programming and collect the highest audience, due to the two main football teams, Hellas Verona and Chievo Verona. Nevertheless the network dedicates many inside views and information programmes to all other sports in several disciplines and categories.

Among the most important programmes, the live show ‘Diretta Gialloblu’, ‘La Domenica nel Pallone’ (Soccer on Sunday), presented by Gianluca Tavellin, the long running series ‘Palla lunga e pedalare'(Long Ball And Pedal), ‘Obiettivo dilettanti’ (Amateur Goal), ‘Che aria tira’ (What’s New?) and volleyball, basketball, cycling, athletics, swimming, and rugby with several sports bulletins like TG Sport e Tuttosport.

In the next few months this project is reaching other TV stations of the group, Brescia Punto TV and Telemantova, as well as the whole ‘digital department’ from websites to tablet and smart phones content providers, plus a brand new series of vertical thematic channels totally devoted to news, sports and others.

TeleArena has been thoroughly digitalized, basing the system on a completely digital routing system to switch signals and no longer a hybrid configuration based on some digital and some A/D conversion. Even the playout systems have been changed and digitalised: from the original Tektronix video servers, Tele Arena switched to seven Grass Valley K2 servers. In the main TV production studio (Studio1) several LED projectors by Coemar were chosen and for each of the three networks the HF choice was on Grass Valley encoders in order to optimize band usage in the Mux.

Studio1 is equipped with 16:9 Thomson LDK 100 TV cameras while in Studio2 they are still using some Sony BVP7 (though this is bound to be changed soon in favour of a virtual set).

Nowadays, sports ENG troupes use Betacam SX in the field (again, bound to be changed soon, possibly with a switch to Panasonic P2 models). The editing area is using Adobe Premiere Pro CS 5.5 attached to a 16 SAN disks (3TB) and a couple of editing suites with Avid Media Composer. A few areas make use of analogue VTRS/.

The Group is also implementing a digital dedicated network among the several TV station headquarters to inter-deliver audio and video signals and the internet so that servers may exchange media and all editorial offices might access all materials simultaneously.

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