2006 FIFA World Cup Germany™
With the experience of Korea/Japan providing a solid base for planning for the 2006 FIFA World Cup Germany™, HBS moved forward with further enhancements and innovations in the coverage of the event – expanding on already tried and tested methods and introducing new ideas and advancements.
The multi-feed concept, which created enormous added-value and more choice for all broadcasters, was further optimised. Elsewhere, broadcast history was made with the production of every one of the tournament’s 64 matches in widescreen 16/9 High Definition.
Facts and Figures
• 12 host cities: Berlin, Cologne, Dortmund, Frankfurt, Gelsenkirchen, Hamburg, Hanover, Kaiserslautern, Leipzig, Munich, Nuremburg, Stuttgart
• Cumulative TV audience of 26.29 billion
• More than 250 Media Rights Licensees from more than 200 countries
• More than 2,200 hours of feeds produced by HBS
• 16 distinct feeds produced by HBS for each match
• 20 OB Vans
• 12 Technical Operations Centres
• Approximately 50 interview studios
• Approximately 70 presentation studios
• More than 2,000 commentary positions
• 1,300 km² cabling in total for 12 venues (not including the IBC)
• Over 2,000 HBS staff from more than 30 countries
The road to Germany
An early but critical step on the road to the 2006 FIFA World Cup Germany™ was the First World Broadcaster Meeting, held in Munich on 12-13 April 2005. The two-day event saw MRLs presented with the overall HBS Plan and Catalogue of Services as well as featuring technical and production workshops. Furthermore, it marked the start of the booking process for services and facilities.
Having already played a role in the host broadcast of the FIFA Confederations Cup 2003, HBS took on the Host Broadcaster role at the FIFA Confederations Cup 2005, allowing for the HDTV production plan to be fully demonstrated in advance of the FIFA World Cup™. This event allowed the delivery of services, equipment and on-site personnel to be tested – thus identifying early any potential issues.
Six months prior to the event, and just days after the Final Draw, HBS presented its final plans at the Second World Broadcaster Meeting, again in Munich over 11-12 December 2005.
HBS built upon its success in 2002 when putting together the Production Plan for the 2006 FIFA World Cup Germany™, with the number of cameras increased to 25 per match. The Basic International Feed (BIF) was again complemented by multi-feeds, but a further innovation was the continuation of the ‘Dream Team’ concept – which has since been adopted for other major football events.
This pioneering idea, first used in 2002, brought the most talented football directors and crews together in Germany under the HBS banner. Six directors with extensive experience working for major European channels hand-picked their own teams, with whom they had previously covered hundreds of high-level matches.
For the first time in FIFA World Cup™ history the coverage of all 64 matches was available in High Definition. All cameras used were HD, with outputs down-resolutioned to also provide Standard Definition material.
MRLs were offered much more control over the product and were given the option to choose which of the ‘Super Feeds’ they wished to use by ordering cabling individually from HBS Booking, rather than having to book a full package of feeds – as was the case in 2002.
Furthermore, HBS implemented two new bookable services which offered MRLs even greater flexibility and access to match footage – the HBS Media Server and the Clips Compilation Channel.
Material generated by HBS was ingested and logged on the Media Server, which MRLs could then search via dedicated browsing stations and transfer their required material for their unilateral programming requirements. The system also allowed MRLs to upload and share their own material with each other.
This development revolutionised the way broadcasters could plan their coverage, giving them access, during live programming, to unseen isolated camera angles which allowed them to build personalised analysis reels as well as giving them a rich archive of content for highlights, features, analysis and music pieces.
In a similar vein, the Clips Compilation Channel provided access to high-quality real-time angles generated at the venues but not included in the main match feeds. Each time one of the match coverage EVS operators made a clip of any of the 24 camera feeds it was made instantly available to the Clips Compilation producer who then judged its quality and interest before deciding whether to include it on the Clips Compilation Channel. This feature allowed MRLs to have near live access to quality clips not used as part of the live match coverage and longer versions of real-time replays used as part of the match coverage.
The New Munich Trade Fair Centre served as home to the International Broadcast Centre (IBC) for the 2006 FIFA World Cup Germany™. Three of its halls were used by HBS, assigning 30,000 m2 of the complex’s total 160,000 m² for IBC space. The venue itself received a great deal of daylight, and broadcasters were able to take advantage of this by requesting premises without ceilings.
The 2006 IBC project also gave HBS the opportunity to show awareness of global environmental issues. When HBS Construction first sat down to outline the IBC in Munich their objectives included providing MRLs with a pleasant work atmosphere and also to respect Germany’s commitment to the environment.
As a result HBS decided to build the first-ever wooden IBC. The fir lumber used was cheaper than steel, lighter, natural and reusable. It therefore, on a practical and professional level, offered greater flexibility in terms of design and structure, allowing for greater customisation of MRLs premises. Furthermore, post-event the materials used to build the IBC were shipped off to various destinations and reused to build homes in Germany. Even items like windows, breaker boxes, cable trays and lights were reused on a variety of projects.