TV 2 Punches Above Its Weight
Sochi was the first Games at which the Norwegian commercial broadcaster flew solo
March 12, 2014
SOCHI, RUSSIA-- Although TV 2 has shared rights and broadcasts in a limited way with
Norwegian public broadcaster NRK in the past, Sochi was the first Games the
Norwegian commercial broadcaster flew solo.
were worthy of Norway’s solid second-place finish in the medal hunt. The
broadcast included all-day 7 a.m.–9 p.m. coverage across three channels, along
with an extensive on-demand Web offering.
Most of the
country’s medals were won in sports held in the mountain venues, particularly
those sports involving cross-country skiing.
of the broadcast infrastructure reflected this with two exterior studios at the
biathlon and cross-country ski sites, a large studio and facility at the
mountain cluster of venues, and a smaller control room at the main IBC that
connects all the Russian positions to TV 2 facilities back home. Roughly 80
percent of the personnel onsite in Russia were at the mountain facilities.
A studio near the
sliding centre (bobsled and such) housed the main presenters, with cameras and
some production control. But for TV 2, Sochi and its mountain venues were not
where the final work was done or played back, said Tore Storaas, systems
engineer with TV 2.
“We don’t do the final production
here in Sochi,” said Storaas. “Everything is sent back to Norway where the
graphics are added, and all the clips are played back … so that’s the final
production control before the playout.”
With a time
zone only a few (three) hours off Sochi, most programming was presented live or
near-live, with little longer-form programming produced during the Olympics.
What Norwegian viewers saw was the event itself with commentary, and a studio
presence including a primetime show produced from Sochi called “Senkveld” or
This kind of schedule made heavy use of
the host broadcaster (OBS) service called the Multichannel Distribution Service
(MDS), which provided six ready-to-air channels of competition plus the Olympic
News Chanel, via satellite. Four additional video channels connected Bergen and
the Sochi IBC.
IN THE MOUNTAINS
done in the mountains?
All of the main venues had an EVS
XT3 with operator, for recording camera feeds and editing packages. An XT3 in
the coastal cluster TV 2 broadcast centre could access the OBS archive via EVS
IPBrowse software. It could take material from the mountain venues, but more
commonly it was pushing material as files to edit teams. EVS XFile and EVS
XTAccess managed these transfers.
working on PCs or Macs would send packages back to Norway via FTP or
accelerated file transfer.
There was a Norway component
of the production; highlights clips for use on the Web and also in broadcast
were produced here, partly from content sent home from Sochi, and partly from
the MDS feed.
“That is done at home,” said Storass,
“because we already have the staff and the infrastructure to do that at home.”
In Norway this material is ingested into Quantel sQ
Servers and edited on Qube and sQ Cut editors, used for sports editing and part
of TV 2’s existing home infrastructure, which also includes Vizrt live graphics
and a Vizrt Ardome MAM system. The Ardome was also taking in the host
broadcaster Broadcast Data Feed and adding all of this metadata to the
For TV 2, Sochi was the first stop in a two
Olympic tour, with rights for the 2018 Winter Games undetermined. Rio will be
the next destination.
“We have just started thinking
about Rio … but we haven’t decided how to do it yet,” said Storaas. “This
workflow has worked very well, but we won’t have as many people in Rio.”
Storaas said they would consider moving some of the production
control back home, and might also make more use of the MDS from the much larger