Videe brings the Marcialonga classic to global audiences

On Sunday 28 January, the Fiemme and Val di Fassa Valleys heard the echo of gun shots announcing the start of the 51st Marcialonga, an international cross-country skiing race held in Trentino, Italy.

Marcialonga is a member of the Worldloppet Skifederation and the Ski Classics, a series of long-distance ski races held across Europe.

The not-to-be-missed winter sports event features a starting grid consisting of both professional and amateur skiers. This year saw nearly 7,000 participants taking part, including more than 5,000 overseas entrants coming from 43 countries worldwide.

A joint venture between the LOC and Sweden’s WSportsmedia has been in charge of the technical TV production of Marcialonga for some years.

Videe was chosen by the Marcialonga committee as the host broadcasting services provider to catch the inimitable specatcle of the 70km-long cross-country skiing race and to broadcast it live worldwide.

“We chose to rely on Videe for their proven experience and professionalism. They provided cutting-edge technology and a highly skilled crew. I can really say that the technical production was managed at the best level and I am very happy with it. It is with great satisfaction that I say that the broadcasters congratulated us for the utmost quality of the product, which they fully appreciated,” commented Angelo Corradini, Marcialonga OC president & marketing director.

“Skiclassics TV operation is a challenging project combining the use of RF technologies, bonded systems, OB cameras, mobile cameras on skidoos and helicopters, and other technology resources. To put all this together we need a solid core – a good OB van and especially an experienced and client-oriented team ready for challenges. We found Videe equipment and people perfectly fitting these needs,” commented Karel Jonak, director, WSportsmedia.

Videe, which provided its HD12 OB truck and had a team of 16 people onsite, was in charge of managing both the mobile and fixed AV signals.

As far as the mobile signals were concerned, signals from the snowmobiles and the helicopter, provided by partner AMP Visual, were received onboard the OB. To ease communication between the snowmobiles, helicopter and the control room onboard the HD12, Videe provided Riedel Bolero intercom systems. Moreover, the company managed the LiveU LTE signals, which guaranteed a live connection with the reporters all along the course.

Regarding the fixed signals, Videe covered both the starting grid and the finish line. The technical provision consisted of remote-controlled cameras with CCU and intercom positioned at the start in Moena and various cameras and RF cameras positioned on the last kilometre before the finish line in Cavalese. That distance was covered via fibre through a Riedel Mediornet.

“We chose to provide Sony HDC-4300 cameras as they deliver uncompromised image quality, flexibility and control, whatever the temperature and the external condition,” said Andrea De Bortoli, technical sales manager, Videe.

When asked about the most challenging aspect of the production, Roberto Pischianz, chief broadcast engineer, Videe, answered: “We succeeded in guaranteeing a live connection from the start in Moena to the arrival in Cavalese, which are at an air distance of nearly 40km, by relying on a fibre optic cable. After careful analysis and onsite testing, we decided to transport the full HD H264 video signal through a MediorNet instead of reverting to LiveU. Given the specific environment and the distance, it was a real challenge and I’m very proud to say we won it.”

“As an OB services provider you don’t meet Skiclassics every week, that’s one of the aspects that makes this TV operation challenging for OB providers. Different systems integration together with challenging weather conditions and on-the-go changes make it different from, for example, a football match. You never know what challenge will face you tomorrow – heavy wind, freezing cold, snow storm, avalanche dangers, road closures. But the goal is the same. You have to deliver. And we, together with Videe, did it in Val di Fiemme,” added Jonak.

Bruno Mercuri, president and founder, Videe, commented: “Our great and proven experience in the field of ski productions and the ability to provide innovative and cutting-edge solutions was key in dealing with such a prestigious competition. Our team proved it had the flexibility and capacity to adapt as well as to successfully co-operate with the national and international partners onsite. The result was brilliant. Our business development in the field of winter sports is giving us great satisfaction; our motivation pushes us to work on expanding our business network and the co-operation with sport federations at the national and international level. We’re very happy to see our professionalism highly appreciated.”

“We can already confirm our intention to keep relying on Videe for the 52nd Marcialonga, to be held in January 2025,” concluded Corradini.

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