Fifa hosts conference to spread awareness about new media coverage of World Cup

MUMBAI: Football's governing body Fifa's marketing agency Infront Sports & Media and its wholly-owned subsidiary Host Broadcast Services (HBS) hosted a meeting for New Media Licensees of the World Cup in Munich a few days ago.

The meeting addressed production issues for the event in Germany. New media coverage of the worlds greatest sports event is set to reach new standards. Fans will be able to receive near-live clips of dramatic and decisive moments of the event. New media coverage, will ensure that fans do not need to miss another goal or key play.

The event will be the the first major international sports event to commit fully to high definition television. All 64 matches will be originated in HDTV. By using HDTV as the source, big improvements can be made in the focus, quality and relevance of the pictures that the end-user receives. Fifa says that the experience can be made significantly better and easier to follow on a small screen than current coverage of national football leagues on mobile phones.

Infronts executive director, Broadcast Operations Dominik Schmid said, HDTV is acting as a driver for New Media and the quality of the HD multi-feeds that Infront and HBS will be producing for the Fifa World Cup will provide an incredible source of content for a new range of subscribers to new media services.

HBS will service the very special requirements of New Media Licensees through a dedicated approach. It is the first time in sports broadcasting that the New Media Licensees have direct access to the broadcast centre and are being provided with a state-of-the-art and sophisticated new media content package, tailormade for their respective needs and markets.

The new media content package is based on the clean feed which will be delivered directly to the broadcast centre, where experienced editors and producers will create a package designed for exploitation without the need for extensive editing.

Based on the standard license of four minutes of raw material, material is used creatively to provide the client a rich menu of options including near-live clips, match summaries and competition summaries, graphics, and different language voice-overs.

The 'Near Live video clips will arrive with the viewer in minutes. The editor selects the shot and uses Pan & Scan technology to zoom in and capture the core action or goal, producing a picture that is much more exciting for tiny handsets. Pan & Scan was originally developed in the movie industry enabling big screen films to be adapted to the smaller format of the television screen.

HBS CEO Francis Tellier says, The Pan & Scan technology on its own is not new. What is new is the first time utilisation of this technology for New Media Licensees on basis of the high-quality HDTV multi-feeds produced by HBS. This combination will provide perfect focus.

The edited clip is then encoded, picked up by licensees, placed into their content management systems in their home country and made available to subscribers, the entire process taking only around five minutes.

Licensees can access the new media content package at the broadcast centre on a central file server and transport it to their home country via data lines. It can also be made available for secure FTP download via the Internet. This is in contrast to broadcasters, who receive their content via satellite.

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