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Grass Valley wins lead equipment contract from Host Broadcast Services for World Cup

As it was for the FIFA World Cup Germany 2006, Grass Valley is the lead equipment supplier to the host broadcaster for the 2010 World Cup. It will provide 290 HD broadcast cameras, 43 production switchers, 1200 modular cards and three routers.

Grass Valley is being contracted by Host Broadcast Services (HBS) to supply and deliver (to the HBS designs) the identical technical infrastructure for the tournament’s host production, including 10 technical operations centers and 10 outside broadcast (OB) facilities to which the operations centers are integrated.

In turn, Grass Valley outsourced the build of the operations centers to Gearhouse Broadcast, and HBS asked Grass Valley to contract the OB build to Alfacam for Durban, Port Elizabeth, Johannesburg/Ellispark and Pretoria venues; Studio Berlin for the Johannesburg/Soccer City and Rustenburg venues; CTV (part of the Euro Media Group) for Polokwane and Nelspruit; VCF France (also part of Euro Media) for the Cape Town stadiums; and Spain’s Mediapro to deliver for Bloemfontein.

��The biggest challenge from a conceptual point of view is to manage the increasingly complex production requirements for the World Cup with multifeed productions and integration of feeds from more specialty cameras,” according to Grass Valley representatives. “This goes hand in hand with the new technical concept of a container infrastructure replacing the traditional OB vans, providing separate production areas with improved working environments for the international production teams.”

Grass Valley’s provisions for each of the 10 OBs are as follows:

  • Multilateral production: Nineteen LDK 6000/8000 WorldCams, including 2 wireless versions and one dedicated to the mobile TV feed, and six LDK 8300 Super SloMo cameras (60 in total);
  • Unilateral production: Two LDK 6000/8000 WorldCams, for possible interviews on the sideline or special coverage of a player for individual broadcasters and not used in the multilateral world feed;
  • Infotainment: Two LDK 6000/8000 WorldCams, feeding large-screen stadium displays.

The production switchers for the OBs include one 4M/E Kayenne XL HD and one 2M/E KayakHD for multilateral production; one 1M/E Kayak HD for unilateral production; and one 1M/E Kayak HD for infotainment. That totals 10 Kayenne HD and 30 Kayak HD across the venues.

At the Johannesburg international broadcasting center, Grass Valley equipment includes two 1M/E Kayak HDs and a 4M/E Kayak SD as well as three routers (256 Trinix, 512 Trinix and 256 Trinix NXT), 55 Kameleon frames, 56 Gecko Flex frames, 23 Gecko frames and more than 700 HD/SD distribution amplifiers.

Adrian Pennington
Adrian Pennington

Adrian Pennington is a journalist specialising in film and TV production. His work has appeared in The Guardian, RTS Television, Variety, British Cinematographer, Premiere and The Hollywood Reporter. Adrian has edited several publications, co-written a book on stereoscopic 3D and is copywriter of marketing materials for the industry. Follow him @pennington1