Videe and AMP Visual TV bring European Athletics Championships to a global audience

It’s been 50 years since Rome last hosted the European Athletics Championships. The long wait was worth it: this year’s edition was an incredible experience which captivated an audience of more than 700 million worldwide.

From 7-12 June 2024, just a month and a half before the Paris Summer Olympic Games, 1,629 athletes competed at the Olympic Stadium, in Foro Italico Park and along some of Rome’s most picturesque streets, filling Italy’s capital city with the colours of the 48 European Federations attending the championships.

EBU Sport guaranteed extensive media coverage of the 24 disciplines during the six days of competitions, reaching 56 countries worldwide thanks to the involvement of over 35 broadcasters. The more than 1,200 hours of live coverage for linear TV featured innovative and technologically cutting edge content and made the EAC Rome2024 unique in athletics history.

In Italy full coverage was entrusted to RAI2 and to RAI Sport HD, which helped in promoting the values of athletics across the country with healthy competition, inclusivity and a positive lifestyle being the stand out elements. RAI2 recorded an average audience of over 2.2 million in its prime-time slot, with peaks of 2.5 million and a viewership share of 17%.

Based on their proven experience in major events, their versatility in providing customised technical solutions to meet specific requirements and their excellent teamwork, Actua Sport, HB partner of EBU Sport, chose Italian company Videe as the provider of host broadcasting services for the event, together with the main technical partner of the project, AMP Visual TV.

A dedicated Videe team was in charge of the coordination, management and the supervision of every aspect of the project from the early stages. “The attention to detail and a constant dialogue with the client is what makes us a reliable solution provider. Organisation and collaboration are essential, in particular when dealing with such challenging productions. Our team of professionals has been making Videe a synonym for quality and efficiency; the EAC Rome2024 confirmed it and I’m very glad about it,” declared Erica Grillo, project team leader, Videe.

Read more Eurovision Sport on the Road to Rome tech initiative 

For the coverage of the championships, Videe provided two OB vans on top of the main integrated feed truck provided by AMP Visual TV. The three host broadcaster OB trucks found their spot at the Olympic Stadium’s HBTV compound, and each OB van was dedicated to specific disciplines.

Videe’s 77sqm triple-expanding 4K-HDR OB truck OBX was in charge of the HB production of the shot put, horizontal and vertical jumps, i.e. long jump, triple jump, pole vault and high jump. The main and secondary galleries produced six contemporary feeds (program and A&B qualifiers for each competition) and a second truck produced track events, outside races (race walk and half marathon) opening and medal ceremonies.

“Thanks to its welcoming, large and comfortable work environment, OBX successfully hosted the two contemporary productions for vertical and horizontal events. Based on our experience, when the truck was engineered the utmost attention was given to maximising the space’s functionality so OBX would become the best solution for large-scale events. The two independent control rooms proved to be strategic and efficient in this case. Both galleries feature two EVS XT-VIA and audio follow video. OBX managed the signals from 20 cameras: Sony HDC-4300 3x super slo-mo, micro cameras, RF cameras, SSM polecam, railcam, cablecam and jimmy jib, as well as the GFX feeds. We delivered 35 HD-SDI 50i signals to the Technical Operation Centre, where our partner AMP Visual TV was in charge of producing the integrated feed,” commented Fausto Colavecchi, broadcast chief engineer, Videe.

“The biggest challenge we faced lied in the extreme flexibility required in the camera repositioning. The need to cover multiple events taking place in different areas of the stadium while relying on a defined number of cameras meant quick and frequent camera repositioning and calibration of the equipment after each session. Multiple site surveys and a thoughtful scenario analysis which considered the time factor allowed us to choose the most suitable equipment for this job. We therefore provided compact equipment which would be as ‘invisible’ as possible and would facilitate the camera repositioning thus guaranteeing nice and clean images that would emphasise the gesture of the athletes. Our attention to detail has been highly appreciated,” said Andrea De Bortoli, technical sales manager, Videe.

“Our team and tech crew onsite proved to be key in dealing with such a challenging production. We coordinated a group of 45 people: their ability to work as a team and to comply with all the requests, even the unexpected ones, proved how crucial it is to combine high-performance technology with skilled and motivated professionals. This is definitely our added value,” said Nicola Degano, production coordinator, Videe.

The EAC Rome2024 HB team

Franck Choquard, director of Actua Sport and content & platform expert for EBU Sport, acting as executive producer for the Host Broadcasting coverage of the championships added: “Together with our main technical partner, the French company AMP Visual TV providing the OB for the integrated feed and working closely with the IBC engineering team from Actua, we were looking for an agile and innovative company. Videe has been an obvious choice as thanks to their own OBX but also their strong partnership in Rome, they helped us provide a global live production system delivering 12 live feeds from three outside broadcast units. But their support was not only related to the provision of outside broadcast facilities, they have also been working with us for more than a year planning the event, sourcing a local production team (long throws) and providing support for the venue management. Working with Videe is always a great experience and we are very much looking forward to the next event.”

“Our professionalism, the ability to work together with AMP Visual TV, Actua and EBU Sport and our teamwork skills confirmed that Videe is at the same time a great partner and a proven protagonist in managing important and challenging projects. Videe ensures a reliable service and top-notch performance to our clients in a positive and cooperative work environment. That’s why major national and international broadcasters, production companies and sporting federations choose to rely on us. A particular feature I’d finally like to stress about the EAC Rome2024 was the remarkable presence of women in key production and technical roles with whom we had the pleasure to work on our truck. We share with EBU Sport the mission to involve more women in the broadcast industry as part of the inclusivity and gender equality goals we should all be engaged with. I’m proud to say that at Videe we’ve been committed to that for years,” concluded Giulia Mercuri, sales coordinator, Videe.

Read more European Athletics Championships: EBU provides comprehensive coverage and technology debuts in Rome

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