Live from Rio 2016: RTVE Serves Games to Spain Viewers

Victor Sánchez Garcia, Radiotelevisión Española (RTVE), technical support director and technical manager for special events, is on hand in Rio with a team of 128 people to ensure that Olympic fans back in Spain get their fill of the action, even if the time zone difference is not ideal. “The best hours were in London as down here it’s 5 a.m. or the middle of the night when some of the finals take place and that’s been the worst thing for us,” he says. “But yesterday we had the largest audience so it’s been good.”

Victor Sánchez Garcia in RTVE's master control facility which serves out Olympic coverage to viewers in Spain.

Victor Sánchez Garcia in RTVE’s master control facility which serves out Olympic coverage to viewers in Spain.

The RTVE operation includes a master control room that receives incoming feeds and produces the coverage that is seen in Spain from 3 p.m. to 5 a.m. every day on La 1, RTVE’s flagship channel. There are also four off-tube commentary positions and a small insert studio within the channel’s IBC footprint. The channel has commentary positions at eight venues.

RTVE’s 24/7 sports channel, Teledeporte, is wall-to-wall with sports coverage and Spanish fans can also see all of the content OBS is packing in its Multichannel Distribution Service (MDS) as those channels are all being streamed. Fiber connectivity with the channel’s main broadcast facility in Madrid is via two fibers with around 300 Mbps of capacity each. MPEG4 and MPEG2 are being used for signal transport.

“We have eight ENG crews moving around Rio and also a studio at Copacabana with four cameras,” says Garcia. “We mix all of those signals here with the other coverage.”

Like all broadcasters working at the games RTVE has battled its share of logistical issues like telecommunications, electricity, and power.

“But now we’re up and running, focused on the operation, and all the systems are working well,” says Garcia. “And our team has a good relationship with each other and in these kind of events you always leave with more friends than you came with.”

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