HBS CEO Francis Tellier and FIFA TV Director Niclas Ericson took part in a panel on the topic of the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™ at the IBC Amsterdam this past Saturday. Both men pointed out the logistical challenges presented by the sheer size of the host nation but emphasised their utmost confidence that their respective organisations would be up to the task. "It's looking very good in terms of preparations," said Niclas.
Francis presented the production plan for the event, focusing in particular on the ever-expanding demand for multimedia content and pointing out that HBS' long presence on the frontlines of this particular issue put the company in an ideal position to meet this demand. HBS was digital-based from its first FIFA World Cup™ in 2002, when it immediately began creating more content than had ever been done before, producing multifeeds for live match coverage as well as for pre- and post-match sequences. "In 2006 of course we went fully HD," said Francis, "and introduced a media server, and in 2010 we had more than 40 ENG crews on the road producing content outside of the matches themselves. So at the end of the day, in 2014 there will not be a need to introduce much more than that." The issue in Brazil will therefore relate less to the production of additional content than to the issues associated with its distribution and delivery, but "it's stating the obvious that the 2014 FIFA World Cup™ will be fully multi-screen and multimedia."
From left: FIFA TV Director Niclas Ericson, HBS CEO Francis Tellier, Sony Professional Solutions Europe Director of Marketing David Bush, TV Globo News and Sports Engineering Director Jose Manuel Fernandez Marino and panel moderator Ken Kerschbaumer
Francis confirmed that due to both the distance between venues and the limited availability of OB vans in Brazil, HBS is currently planning to do without this component of traditional operational plans and to build temporary production facilities instead. "Anyway," said Francis, "our set-up now is so big that it doesn't fit in an OB van. […] The kits – provided by Sony – will be fixed at the stadiums, which is also a way of avoiding risks."
Joining Francis and Niclas were TV Globo's Jose Manuel Fernandez Marino and David Bush, Director of Marketing for Sony Professional Solutions Europe. Twenty-four hours earlier HBS, FIFA and Sony had announced that they had reached an agreement regarding the provision of production equipment for all venues of the 2014 FIFA World Cup™ and FIFA Confederations Cup 2013, including among others 340 HD cameras (of which 72 Supermotions), 48 switchers and 816 monitors. Mr. Bush explained that Sony is "delighted to be playing an even greater role" than in 2010, when the company partnered with HBS and FIFA TV to work on the pioneering 3D production of 25 of the tournament's 64 matches for which FIFA, Sony, HBS and ESPN won the 2010 IBC Judges’ Award.
A video of the entire panel can be viewed on the IBC Amsterdam 2012 website.