15th Asian Games Doha 2006
Working in partnership with TWI, now IMG Media, HBS answered the call from Doha Asian Games Organising Committee (DAGOC) to provide the host broadcast solution for the 15th Asian Games Doha 2006.
Doha Asian Games Broadcast Services (DAGBS), the organisation created with the single-purpose of hosting the 15th Asian Games, represented a unique joint venture between two industry leaders. Such a pooling of resources and knowledge was necessary for the host broadcast of the 15th Asian Games – the largest to date in terms of investment, number of participants, amount of sports and in terms of the overall broadcast quality.
An important milestone along the journey was the successful delivery of the 3rd West Asian Games Doha 2005 by DAGOC and DAGBS in December 2005. This event acted as an opportunity to test various methods and principles and to put the HBS and TWI cooperation into action, as well as providing top-class HDTV pictures of the competition.
Come event time a number of unique challenges were presented, such as the unusual weather conditions – intensive rain – and the diversity of sports, which ranged from chess to football, sepaktakraw to kabaddi and aquatics to wushu. In fact, the range of sports and venues was greater than the Summer Olympic Games, and with a 15-day competition programme covered an equal timeframe.
Consequently very tailored and sport-specific production plans were necessary, and with the Asian Games philosophy of allowing competitor entries until the day of competition it meant flexibility and adaptability had to be key facets of the DAGBS approach. Furthermore, the event was held across 40 venues – each of which required extensive venue planning pre-event and trained venue staff.
A full digital 16/9 production was provided for all events, with over 30 production crews, close to 650 cameras and renowned directors from around the world taking part to ensure the highest quality coverage. The scope of the project meant that for the most part, equipment had to be sourced from overseas. Weighing in at over 500 tonnes, the Games saw the largest collection of ‘fly-away’ equipment assembled at one location in broadcasting history.
The operation also allowed for some innovative cameras to be showcased, with many being seen by the public for the first time at the 15th Asian Games Doha 2006. The pioneering use of DVB-T based low latency radio frequency link systems allowed for exceptionally stable pictures to be delivered from bikes, boats and helicopters.
Meanwhile, inside venues, such as the ASPIRE halls, the use of the Indoor Camera Envelope (ICE) gave viewers exciting wide shots from high above the competition area while the aquatic events benefitted from the Plungecam, Periscope cam and Halibut underwater camera among others.
The International Broadcast Centre (IBC) was located in the Qatar International Exhibition Centre (QIEC) and housed all production and broadcast facilities, including the Rights Holders’ unilateral areas and services. Meanwhile, the Main Press Centre (MPC) was situated in a temporary building adjacent to the IBC and shared media facilities.
The IBC, designed, constructed, fitted and operated by DAGBS, covered an area of 10,000 m² and included 19 Rights Holders areas, 12 television studios, 2,500 m² of multilateral production areas and two satellite farms. A Broadcast Information Office, a Booking Office and a Construction Help Desk ensured all broadcaster requirements and queries were met on site. Post-event dismantling was completed by mid-January 2007, a little over five months after DAGBS arrived to begin construction.
Facts and Figures
• Produced over 2,000 hours of coverage
• Estimated cumulative audience of 1.5 billion
• 450 tonnes of broadcast equipment shipped to Doha
• 2,200 accredited DAGBS staff from 55 countries
• 10,000 m² IBC floor space
• 150 km of cabling
• 170 monitors in the Technical and Production Centres
• 12 TV studios
• 2 Satellite Farms
For more information on the 15th Asian Games Doha 2006 please refer to the IGBS website, www.igbs.tv