Infront, HBS win Judges’ Award at IBC2006 in Amsterdam

MUMBAI: Infront Sports & Media, the company which handled the worldwide marketing and sales of the broadcast rights to 2006 Fifa World Cup and its subsidiary Host Broadcast Services (HBS) have won the Judges’ Award at the IBC show in Amsterdam.

HBS was responsible for the host broadcast operations of the 2006 Fifa World Cup.

The award was for New Media production at the 2006 Fifa World Cup in Germany. The tailored production services provided by HBS transformed the coverage of the event for New Media in terms of quality and content. The prospect of tailored production drove sales – this was the most widely covered sports event on the internet and on mobile phones to date. More than 100 countries were covered by 50 licensees in Mobile Telephony and World Wide Web.

A team of 40 producers and journalists created a special New Media Content Package - tailor-made for licensees, designed for exploitation without the need for extensive editing and incorporating various innovations designed specifically for the 2006 FIFA World Cup. The near-live clips were enhanced with specific or customised match and competition summaries, graphics, background sound, music and commentary.

The fact that this was the first FIFA World Cup covered entirely in HDTV opened the door to improved picture quality for New Media. HD video-based Pan and Scan technology was utilised, allowing the editor to zoom in and capture the core action, producing a clear picture more exciting than ever for tiny handsets.

HBS also offered a voice-over commentary service in the language of one’s choice. A total of eight different languages were booked and produced simultaneously in the IBC during the tournament: Arabic, Dutch, English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, and Swiss German.

The benefits for licensees were considerable - better quality production, reduction of cost per licensee through central multilateral production and HD-based content, delivering “never seen before” picture quality in small formats.

HBS director of production Peter Angell received the Award on behalf of HBS and Infront. He said, “This award confirms that our two companies, Infront and HBS, were right in deciding to embed new media requirements in the overall production strategy, providing licensees with a level of service never experienced before. The fact that all matches of the 2006 FIFA World Cup were filmed in HDTV has transformed the quality of New Media coverage.

" Combined with the use of Pan and Scan technology to capture the core action in a way that is relevant for tiny handsets, it has delivered pictures of unprecedented quality. Licensees and consumers were thrilled”, he said in his acceptance speech.

HBS CEO Francis Tellier said, "This special award acknowledges the quality of services and innovations our team has provided in the area of host broadcasting. The new media production of the 2006 Fifa World Cup has been the defining step forward and underlines our ambition, to lead the industry through innovation."

Infront Sports & Media president and CEO Philippe Blatter says, "We are proud that the outstanding production capabilities of the Infront Group have been recognised and we see this year's IBC Judges' Award as a challenge to push even further in future".

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