Superleague Formula Racing Debuts, With Production Services by HBS
By Kevin Hilton
Motor-racing groups have been looking for some time at ways to broaden the sport s appeal beyond the processional cash cow that is Formula 1. The latest attempt is Superleague Formula, which began its maiden season this past weekend (Aug. 30-31) at
England. The new competition will run until November — featuring races in
Spain — with host broadcast facilities provided by Host Broadcast Services (HBS).
The idea is to combine the speed of motor racing with the loyalty and near-obsessional following of football by kitting each V12, 750-hp car out in the team colours of a top club, including AC Milan, PSV Eindhoven, Olympiacos, Borussia Dortmund, FC Porto, Galatasaray SK, Rangers, Tottenham Hotspur, and Liverpool FC.
HBS won the contract to supply production services because of the involvement of its parent group, Infront Sports and Media, in the HANNspree Superbike World Championship (SBK). The company will be working with Superleague Formula s in-house host broadcast department SFTV, supplying cameras for the main broadcast signals.
Coverage will be 16:9 digital standard-definition, with the possibility of adopting high-definition in the future. The 25 cameras supplied by HBS include a super-slow-motion unit, a Jimmy Jib-mounted camera, four minicams, and RF cameras for the pits. On top of this, SFTV is putting two cameras on each car, bringing the grand camera total up to 65.
Two separate signals will be generated in an
OB truck, with the world feed distributed by satellite-uplink provider GlobeCast. HBS will have a crew of 60 production staffers on-site for each race, working with Infront Italy, which is also involved in the SBK.
Says Superleague Formula president and chief executive Alex Andreu, The quality of the coverage will be absolutely critical in allowing Superleague Formula to get its message across. We wanted something modern and innovative for the TV screens and believe that HBS, with its FIFA World Cup and motorsport experience, has the best ideas and track record for this role. Superleague Formula will have more cameras at the circuits than most other motorsport championships, with the possible exception of F1.