Tour de France 2014: Globecast provides satellite infrastructure
Globecast has once again helped bring innovative and dramatic coverage of one of the world’s most iconic sporting events, the Tour de France, to viewers both across France and internationally.
François Persiaux, Globecast’s director of contribution, France, says: “The Tour de France is a huge sporting occasion, and one whose popularity continues to grow as the massive crowds at the Grand Depart in the UK showed. It’s a huge logistical and technical challenge, one that Globecast rises to. By its very nature the event is constantly moving: much of the TV infrastructure must follow the cyclists as they compete in each stage, and the production facilities, which are installed at the finish line, must be relocated every day. And then you add in the mountains and adverse weather conditions such as this year’s rain!”
Globecast provides the satellite infrastructure for the event, with signals being sent via microwave from multiple motorbikes along the route to a helicopter and a plane. These signals are then transmitted – again via microwave – to a stationary Globecast SNG unit out in the countryside. In turn, that sends all the signals via satellite to the production facilities at the finish line. Directors there can use talkback to provide instruction to the motorcycle cameramen. Globecast provided a live feed for use both nationally and internationally.
Additionally, Globecast also provided a package to capture the intermediate sprints that are held along the route on stages, including camera and cameraman.
Persiaux says: “We have had a long association with the Tour de France and it’s always exciting to work on it. It is a genuine challenge, even in today’s hi-tech age. When mother nature is involved, along with nearly 200 hundred cyclists covering big distances, you know there are going to be tough days. But whatever the situation we make sure that viewers know what’s going on at every stage of this dramatic event.”