Imagine sitting amid garden flowers and greenery high above Athens next summer sampling a tasty fare as the drama of human triumph and tragedy unfolds on the fields of athletic battle below. Imagine having the godlike power to see each athletic venue at will, experience the spectacle and relay the pageant to the entire world.
Well, hold the ambrosia and nectar, because this isn’t Mount Olympus. It’s the garden restaurant atop the new International Broadcast Center. No Zeus to be found anywhere, just the pantheon of broadcast gods who will deliver next summer’s Olympics to an estimated 3.7 billion television viewers worldwide.
Work was recently completed on the 130,000-square-meter International Broadcast Center building where principal television rights holders, including NBC, Channel 7 and the Japan Consortium, will originate coverage of the games. Athens Olympic Broadcasting now has the responsibility of setting up the interior of the building to satisfy those rights holders.
The IBC building is far more than studios, editing bays, offices and parking. It will be the focal point of activity for about 10,000 producers, directors, editors, managers and volunteers from around the globe who are responsible for putting the games on the air. Perhaps the building’s most striking feature is adjacent to the rooftop café –50,000 square meters of rooftop studios set amid a lush garden.
Athens Olympic Broadcasting, which is jointly owned by International Sports Broadcasting and the Athens Olympic Committee, will scout and establish 1,795 commentator positions and 2,580 observer spots. It also will provide some of the gear the expected 12,000 accredited broadcasters will need to do their jobs.
Athens Olympic Broadcasting will provide rights holders at the International Broadcast Center with about 3,500 hours of footage during the Olympics, which they will transmit to their home audiences via satellite and fiber optic cable.