As UEFA EURO 2020 Round of 16 matches continue today (Croatia versus Spain, 11:30 a.m. ET and France versus Switzerland, 2:30 p.m.), the latest Euro postcard highlights the International Broadcast Center (IBC) and the 13 members of ESPN’s remote operations and production and management operations teams working there throughout the month-long tournament.
Beyond the 11 stadiums hosting matches, no venue in Europe is more critical to EURO 2020 than the Expo Center in Haarlemmermeer, Netherlands. Located just outside Amsterdam, this is the epicenter of the tournament’s broadcast activities. It is ESPN’s central distribution point for all audio, video, and data signals originating from every match venue back to Bristol, Conn.
A minimum of 36 cameras are utilized at each EURO 2020 stadium. That includes eight native UHD-HDR cameras, eight super slow-mos (300 images/second), two high-speed cameras (600 images/second), an aerial cable cam, two in-goal POVs, robotic hotheads behind each goal, two polecams, two Steadicam, and five handhelds, respectively. All of these sources feed into the Expo Center.
“It’s a massive amount of connectivity to ingest, service, then convert to our appropriate format standards prior to safely migrating all those signals back to Bristol for final integration into ESPN’s impressive telecast line-up,” said John La Chance, Director of Remote Operations for ESPN’s Euros campaign.
Another major role of ESPN’s IBC team is to facilitate access and availability to the “Hive,” a massive EVS-based server system and media asset management system that serves as a repository of thousands of hours of content for this year’s Euros, as well as past Euro tournaments for remote access by rights holders.
Thanks to the tireless work of the Amsterdam crew, producers in Bristol can browse clips and have access to everything they need right at their fingertips.
Global Correspondent and Senior Writer Sam Borden and producer Jim Witalka began their journey in Rome and will crisscross the continent to capture the best sense-of-place stories. Borden has been updating his Instagram with plenty of behind-the-scenes photos.
Martin Ainstein, one of four ESPN reporters covering EURO 2020, is based in Seville, Spain. Two additional reporters – Alexis Nunes (UK), and Archie Rhind-Tutt (Germany) – will provide additional coverage based in their home countries.