SBP, NEP OB Trucks Cover Champions League Final

By Kevin Hilton

The big European football showdown of the year takes place at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome tonight (May 27) as Manchester United take on Barcelona in the Champions League Final. The clash is being broadcast in HD across Europe and the UK, with plenty of slow-motion shots for analysing all the action of a much anticipated game.

The joint host broadcasters are satellite channel Sky Italia and public national broadcaster RAI, which will be showing the match on its HD test channel as well as on RAI 1. International facilities are provided by Italian production company SBP, which has a fleet of five HD trucks, including three new vehicles, although there are no details on which will be used tonight.

SBP’s big truck is OB20, which can accommodate either 24 Sony HDC-1500s or 20 1500s and four HDC-3300 super-slow-motion units. The company’s OB6 offers 20 cameras, again Sonys with the option for four 3300s, while the new OB2 is equipped with six cameras, either all 1500s or replacing one with a super-slo-mo. The other new trucks are standardised on Grass Valley: OB21 has 12 LDK6000s and four high-speed LDK6200s, while OB2 features 10 6000s and one 6200.

UK interest in the final is high, and the game is being broadcast live by both Sky Sports and ITV. NEP Visions, working for Sky, sent out four articulated trucks from London on May 20, with additional facilities provided by two expanding-side HD technical production units and 10 support packages.

Sky’s presentation and reporting coverage is based on 14 HD cameras, including two RF systems, a Tri-Motion super-slo-mo camera, an Arri Hi Motion camera, and one mini robotic system. Other equipment includes six HD EVS XT[2] replay servers and an Avid Adrenaline HD editing suite. More than 50 technical and production staffers are involved in the Sky coverage, which began last night with a preview programme.

Facilities for ITV are supplied by O21 Television, which began rigging its vehicles and cable runs at the Stadio Olimpico at the weekend. The company has three trucks in Rome: one production scanner, one tape unit for ITV’s unilateral coverage, and an HD VT/EVS vehicle sub-hired to SBP as the main slo-mo facility for the multilateral host feed.

O21 is using nine cameras for the presentation, with four HD EVSs providing replays and Final Cut Pro workstations for editing packages. Kevin Moorhouse, chief operating officer of O21 Television, says fibre circuits are being used for the cameras because the OB enclosure is 600-700 m from the pitch and studios.

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