Media Guide: Innovative TV with Infront and HBS
TV coverage at the 2006 FIFA World Cup is the responsibility of Infront Sports & Media and its Host Broadcast Services (HBS) subsidiary. The companies intend to build on their success at the 2002 FIFA World Cup Korea/Japan, an event which entered the history books for a string of innovations covering TV rights, broadcast technology and production.
Infront works with 300 local broadcasters to realise FIFA's vision, whereby 213 countries will be provided with 41,100 hours of programming. The 2006 FIFA World Cup Germany will be available to view in every corner of the globe.
More stations are involved than ever before, and fans will enjoy unprecedented choice: TV, radio, mobile operators and the Internet will ensure a 24/7 stream of information.
HBS Broadcast Information Office IBC Munich & all 12 stadiums (Broadcast Compound)
A heavy responsibility falls on HBS's collective shoulders. The company must capture and broadcast the signal, and provide space and equipment for partner TV stations to provide commentary, insert segments and so on. HBS is in charge of the International Broadcast Centre (IBC) in Munich, plus the multi-lateral and unilateral broadcast facilities to and from the IBC to the 12 FIFA World Cup stadiums.
This summer's tournament is the first to be produced entirely digitally in HDTV 16: 9 widescreen format. Stations retain the choice of receiving the signal in standard 4:3 format, in line with FIFA principles whereby no broadcast partner around the world should receive preferential treatment. HBS will deploy 25 widescreen HDTV cameras at each of the 64 matches.
An international "dream team" of camera crews will be tasked with providing 100 percent consistent, high-quality coverage of the 32 teams. At the 2002 finals, HBS produced 10 different feeds for every match, providing TV stations with a wealth of choice and flexibility. The multi-feed concept, highly praised by the stations, will be improved again and deployed at the 2006 event.
HBS faces a daunting logistical task. The company deploys a core project management team to establish individual areas of responsibility for the 2006 FIFA World Cup Germany. No fewer than 11,000 tasks are defined in charts, tables and corresponding software, allowing each area of responsibility to be broken down into manageable units. Subsequently, critical convergences are identified to ensure the project functions as a seamless whole. The company deploys back-up systems to provide a safety net and maintain service even in the event of human error.
At the start of the 2006 FIFA World Cup, the operation will feature more than 2,000 international and domestic staff in Germany. Infront Sports & Media and HBS will be headquartered at the IBC in Munich, with branch offices in the Broadcast Compound at every stadium.