Rio 2016

Live From Rio 2016: Preparation for Dutch Success Helps NOS Shine on a Big Start to Week 2

Network celebrates 60 years as Olympic-rights holder in the Netherlands

The Dutch Olympic team has enjoyed a super start to Week 2 here in Rio, and NOS (Nederlandse Omroep Stichting) was fully prepared to cover the celebrations.

Monique Hamer, executive producer for Dutch broadcaster NOS in the network's center at the IBC in Rio.

Monique Hamer, executive producer for Dutch broadcaster NOS, in the network’s facility at the IBC in Rio

On Monday, Sanne Wevers stunned a pair of American stars to claim gold in the balance beam in women’s gymnastics, and Sharon van Rouwendaal raced to gold in the open-water marathon. On Tuesday, Ferry Wertman completed the Dutch double in the open-water marathon with a gold on the men’s side, and the women’s volleyball team stole headlines, continuing their Cinderella run in the competition, upsetting South Korea and advancing to the country’s first Olympic semifinal in the sport.

Through it all, NOS and Executive Producer Monique Hamer kept their cool, thanks to a little bit of confidence and a lot of preparation.

“I wasn’t so surprised,” she smiles. “We expected to medal, so I booked a bunch of mixed-zone positions yesterday. It all worked out more or less. It went quite well because we were able to be prepared for it.”

NOS has a respectable-size crew onsite, with just under 115 staffers — ranging from talent to camera operators, to production personnel and more — helping program a nearly 24-hour broadcast day. NOS’s programming schedule is highlighted by a live studio show from the network’s set in the TV Tower in the heart of Olympic Park; it airs in the Netherlands at 6 p.m.

In the IBC in Rio, NOS has two edit suites and a master-control room. Even though much of the studio programming comes from the network’s studio at home in Hilversum, where an even larger contingency is working the Olympics, NOS is trying to send back as much completed-for-air content as possible.

NOS has three ENG teams roaming the various venues to report on the goings-on with Dutch athletes. The network relies heavily on LiveU technology to file those reports and has been very pleased with its performance.

“We are very happy with how well the three [LiveU units] have been working,” says Hamer. “I think that’s the future, and OBS won’t like that because why book a presentation platform or a ‘mixed zone’ if we have LiveU working so well.”

As for those dedicated mixed zones provided by OBS, NOS has taken advantage of a few of them at selected venues: swimming, athletics, both pitches of field hockey, and the cycling track.

These Games also mark a special milestone for NOS, which is celebrating 60 years of holding Olympic rights in the Netherlands. The network’s coverage of consecutive Games dates to the 1956 Winter Olympics in Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy.