OBS, TV PRODUCTION OF THE OLYMPIC GAMES, PARIS 2024 OLYMPICS

By Luis Sanz, Audiovisual Consultant

 

The XXXIII Summer Olympic Games will begin on July 26 in the city of Paris. Undoubtedly, it will be the biggest global sporting event of these years, until the XXXIV Games are held in the city of Los Angeles in 2028. But, in addition, it will also be the largest TV event of the time, both in audience and in operational and technological production.

With this article we offer readers an understanding of three elements: first, what OBS (Olympic Broadcasting Services) is and what it does; second, how television production of the Olympic Games in general is carried out and; finally, how the production that OBS will undertake for the next Olympics in Paris will be carried out.

For this we are relying on the active participation of Isidoro Moreno Tirado, Head of Engineering and Technical Operations of OBS, who will update us on the three elements that we are going to cover here.

 

OBS, THE OLYMPIC BROADCASTING SERVICES COMPANY

TV production of the Olympic Games was historically carried out by a host broadcaster, usually the most important television organizations in the country in which the city chosen to host the Games was located. From a technological point of view, the fact that every four years -two if the winter games are taken into account- the producer of television coverage was different and from different countries, did not make it easy to make the most of the experience gained from previous Olympics and, therefore, within the IOC -International Olympic Committee, responsible for the organization of all the Games -summer, winter, youth, and after an agreement with the International Paralympic Committee, also the Paralympics- began to consider the launch of a service company, directly reporting to the IOC, which would server as the host broadcaster in charge of television production of all the Olympic Games which would be responsible for their full coverage, drawing for each event from professionals at the broadcasters and offering them all the content they needed for their domestic broadcasts of the Games.

And so in 2001 OBS was born within the IOC, in the form of a non-profit company, and in 2005 it established its headquarters in Madrid. In this way, OBS, with the same main team of professionals, would be able to benefit from the experience gained from each edition of the Olympics to improve performance, quality and efficiency of the following ones.

Specifically, and in accordance with its statements, OBS produces live television, radio and digital coverage for the Olympic and Paralympic Games. Its coverage is neutral, does not favor any particular country or athlete and includes the sports competitions, as well as the Opening and Closing Ceremonies.

In addition to producing the live coverage, OBS’ main responsibilities are:

  • Support, facilitate and improve the operations of the holders of broadcasting rights for the Games, providing them with facilities and services at the IBC (International Broadcasting Centre) and at the venues where the sports competitions are held.
  • Design, build and manage the International Broadcasting Centre (IBC), the headquarters of OBS and broadcast rights’ holders during the Games, while ensuring a proper provision of broadcasting services at the respective venues.
  • As the ‘narrator of the Games’, produce a wide range of additional content (behind the scenes, interviews, highlights, feature reports, digital, data, etc.) and offer accessible and scalable content delivery solutions (support for remote operations and digital production).
  • Achieve greater efficiency in the workflows and solutions offered to broadcast rights’ holders.

The owner of the broadcasting rights for the Olympic Games worldwide is the IOC, which offers them to broadcasting companies through negotation of broadcasting rights agreements. OBS is responsible for supplying the international television and radio signals of the Games to all broadcasters holding the broadcasting rights.

The central production of OBS is intended for an objective, multilateral coverage of all Olympic sports, generating international television and radio signals to be delivered to broadcast rights’ holders, who can carry out their own unilateral coverage with production of their own images, interviews, data, analysis and comments that complement the global signal supplied to them.

 

©OBS – SILVIO AVILA

 

OBS, through an international broadcasr network, provides broadcast rights holders with unilateral capacity in the Multichannel Distribution Service through multiple satellites on the one hand, and unilateral LiveCloud links from the IBC and from the venues, through the Cloud and even the public Internet on the other, in a secure and reliable way.

The services that OBS provides to broadcasters holding broadcasting rights are:

At the IBC

  • Work areas.
  • Centralized technical area, centralized space for broadcasters’ equipment.
  • Internet access.
  • Infrastructure conditioning spaces, including satellite antennae.
  • Commentary facilities for events at venues that do not have them on-site.

 

At the venues

  • Camera positions.
  • Presentation points at the venues.
  • Positions for occasional presentations.
  • Interview points in general.
  • Positions for social media.
  • Buildings and temporary infrastructures.
  • Commentator systems and positions.
  • Mixed area for athlete interviews.
  • Energy, wiring, lighting and Internet access.
  • Connectivity within the venue.

 

Between Venues, External Studios and the IBC

  • Video, audio and data circuits.
  • Audio and video file transfer.
  • 5G/4G bonding for transmissions over cellular networks.

 

OBS has a core of 165 full-time employees from 28 countries, with a management team that has an average experience of working in 12 Olympic Games.

 

TV PRODUCTION OF THE OLYMPIC GAMES

The process begins when the International Olympic Committee convenes a session in which by secret ballot the winning city from among the candidates is finally selected. The process involves the submission of nominations, ongoing dialogue, project analysis and, finally, the election of the venue by the IOC. A big responsibility for the selected city or region!

There are many elements that are taken into consideration for the election of a candidate city, being very important aspects sustainability and legacy, environmental impact, people’s support, etc.

The election is normally held seven years before the event, but there are exceptions as was the case with the election of Paris 2024 and Los Angeles 2028 simultaneously.

 

Committees and Initial Plans

The chosen city sets up a local organizing committee that approaches OBS with a proposal for coverage of the Games, more refined than that included in the bid and that has to be in accordance with the Olympic Charter, a set of Olympic principles that are, among others, driving and supporting the advancement of ethics and good governance in sport, as well as educating the youth through sport, non-discrimination, solidarity and sustainable development.

This proposal includes the sports to be covered, the desired venues, what services they need for inclusion in the IBC (International Broadcasting Center), International Radio Television Center, etc. Sustainability is a key element, an attempt is made to reuse existing venues, temporary venues associated with an economic analysis to minimize the impacts, but at the same time enhance the areas of greatest interest to the city.

The local committee presents a competition plan including the sports proposed for the Games, which may slighly differ from those contemplated in the bid.. This plan is refined in the first meeting with the OBS. In addition, other types of events are discussed, as it is for example the case with Paris, a city that will promote a popular marathon with the participation of more than 40,000 runners, and we make a special coverage plan for its promotion and dissemination. Paris has also changed the opening ceremony of the Games, which was initially intended to be held at the Stade de France and it was decided in the end that it will take place at the River Seine, an opening ceremony open to the city in a place where many people can attend. The aim of the Olympic Games is to pay a tribute to the athletes, but at the same time they are also intended for promoting the host city. This kind of change occurs during this planning period, as it has been in the case with Los Angeles 2028, where we have had several changes for the proposed location of the IBC, up to four times.

The planning of the Games is based on the Master Plan, in which the critical action plans and their specific dates for implementation are defined for the delivery of the IBC building, the supply of energy, the fine-tuning of the air conditioning, etc. From a certain moment on, there are no options for modification in regard to each specific action plan. The local committee has to bring the building to a good condition by means of previous works that they are meant to manage: electrical connection, telecommunications, air conditioning, fire extinguishing, etc.

Next, they deliver the building to OBS -in the case of Paris eight months before the Games- and at that time we start with the implementation of action plans, the “fit out”, that is, we begin to install the general construction equipment, with paneling of spaces for the location of the broadcasters, fitting of doors, windows, carpets, etc. Once the building has been made available, OBS takes care of everything happening inside.

A local committee not having enough experience in television coverage may propose extremely expensive things that offer little benefit, and OBS can offer solutions that, being also valid, can lower the budget, although they may be less comfortable for us. Despite this, in the case of Paris, the local committee has decided to hold the surf competition on a beach in Tahiti, in the French Polynesia, more than 15,000 km away from Paris, with the resulting difficulty of its coverage and its associated high cost.

OBS, in coordination with the local committee, begins to carry out the initial location visits to the venues to get to know them and assess their features, basically evaluate the best positions for the placement of cameras in order to have the best possible coverage and see how wiring them can be best achieved. The venues proposed in the bid can be visited, but, it may be the case that now, years later, there are changes to be venues for a certain sport by thoroughly studying the location and seeing that another location may be a better option based on difficulty and cost.

 

Teams

At OBS we have five production teams and five engineering teams. Each of them take charge of a certain number of venues, according to their specialization. A producer and an engineer who almost always do the same sports go together. This makes them more efficient, as they have a very deep knowledge of the relevant sporting activity. In each venue the particular sport to be covered is analyzed and determination is mae in regard to all the additional services that must be provided to broadcasters, planning for mixed areas for interviews with athletes and where the “compounds” (dedicated enclosures) for mobile units or production equipment or catering will be placed.

Absolutely everything is coordinated. OBS has work teams for the “games services”, that is, services related to logistics, access, transport, catering, accommodation of the personnel who will work at that venue. The engineering team determines the camera placement platforms, the paths for wiring with the mobile unit, the latter’s swivel range, safety, in sum, everything perfectly coordinated. It’s a day-to-day job with the local committee. Sometimes the committee gradually discovers things that, perhaps, had not been considered and have to be resolved.

Regarding the needs of the staff, in OBS the main “core business” of all professionals who carry out the planning of the coverage for all the Games is limited to 165 people, all of them located in the Madrid headquarters: production, engineering, finance, admin, etc. For Summer Olympics, in the process of executing a global project for television coverage of the Games and their development, this set grows to more than 8,500 people. At OBS we have a large Human Resources database that allows us to find freelancers for different tasks. Most of the OBS permanent staff, the above-mentioned 165 people, will be physically at the Games, but another part, less linked to execution, such as finance, human resources, etc., work remotely from Madrid.

 

Services

Nowadays, it is more practical to provide local services, although a broadcaster who does not travel to the host city is always given a remote signal. The need is stronger for on-premises services, but the service is provided remotely when necessary. If there is a broadcaster that is going to do athletics coverage at the Stade de France, OBS cannot tell them that the signal produced will be sent to Madrid and from there to that broadcaster. He will say that he is already in Paris. On the other hand, international lines are not cheap and it is better to do it locally. It is very different to cover Summer or Winter Games, than doing so in Youth Games, when broadcasters do not travel in many cases to do the local operation but expect OBS to send them the signals with which they will carry out  their coverage. There is a very clear transition from previous Games in which due to technological limitations, the IBC was an almost unique space, very suitable for broadcasters to do their television operations, to current times, where the operation can be distributed. For example, in Paris there are broadcasters who do studios outside the IBC, in the heart of the city. If you plan a studio in Trocadero, you can have the Eiffel Tower in the background, with people walking around, thus resulting a very olympic atmosphere. Many broadcasters want to do outdoor sets whenever they can. The requirements for studios at the IBC are lower than outdoors and athletes can be grabbed for interviews with images embedded in a colored background.

These situations that are different in each case, have to be discussed and clarified with broadcasters. In Paris, OBS offers 20 sets outside the IBC in two locations: Trocadero and “Stade de France”. There are times when broadcasters or National Olympic Committees look for what they call “the house of “, the house of Switzerland, the house of Canada, etc. They are somewhat iconic places, where a mini-set is erected for interviews, getting a more accessible external operation.

 

© OWEN HAMMOND. OBS

 

Planning

The production and engineering teams go to each venue and plan the production, setting up the necessary technical infrastructure to cover the events with the layout and placement of cameras and microphones. In parallel and independently, the schedule for the competition is discussed, which the sports federations have previously agreed with the local committee and, based on it, OBS creates the schedule for broadcasts, so that all the necessary signals are distributed though the 47 channels foreseen. Competition schedules are adjusted to help broadcasters have the broadest possible audience in sports of their choice depending on their relevant geographical area. Sometimes this is very complicated, because there are sports that are very popular worldwide and there are others that are restricted to specific locations or regions of the globe. The calendar with its schedules is a very important element.

The production plan even includes the placement of the cameras for the coverage of each event. It is intended that the outcome of the sport’s broadcast has at least the level of television coverage that is offered for the world championship of the relevant sport. In many cases, we manage to offer more coverage in a sport than the relevant World Cup, as for example in table tennis. The reason for this position is because OBS has means, knowledge and interest and therefore a more complete coverage is made. However, there are sports such as football that, because of their very essence as a unique event in their world championship, offer more services than the OBS, like allocating an individual camera per player, offering many more replays, etc. OBS does not reach that level, but this happens in very few sports. The problem lies in the difficulty for OBS to cover 33 sports and 40 disciplines for Summer Games, and each stadium requires a different production plan. A football world cup is held in many venues, but the production plan is very similar for all and the coverage prepared for one of them can be replicated for the others. In the Olympic Games it is not the same to cover a football match or a surf competition or climbing or a breakdance event. Each sport has its own idiosyncrasy.

Having proposed the production plan and with four years for developing and concluding it, OBS has a first briefing meeting with all broadcasters who have broadcasting rights, the so-called “world broadcasting briefing”, in which the production plan is presented to them. Later on, unilateral meetings are offered with all broadcasters.

On the production plan, broadcasters give their opinions and raise their statement of intent to cover the event, which are included in the plan. Next, a “world broadcasting meeting” is held in which OBS presents the broadcasters with the directory of services that we propose, and the broadcasters can propose some more, which are discussed and included, where appropriate. The calendar of events is also presented, and then the development plan for the coverage of the event begins.

 

Coverage

OBS’s 165 permanent staff cover many events simultaneously. Work is underway for the Paris Games (2024), the Milan-Cortina D’Ampezzo Winter Games (2026) and the Los Angeles Games (2028). This multiple and cross-sectional work ensures consistency in the way of covering events and the knowledge of which services are useful and recommended, because they have already been tested in other Games and the level of interest they raise is already known. It is not interesting to propose services that are expensive and that are known to be requested only by a few broadcasters. On the contrary, there are services that are in high demand such as satellite distribution of the entire production of the Games. Most broadcasters make an intensive use of this service, because it is very interesting to have channels already fully produced by OBS and use them in their own broadcast channel, maybe requiring the work, at most, of translating them into their local language, if the audience are not English speakers. They are also interested in satellite distribution as a backup, in order to have an alternative broadcast if the optical fiber linking them is interrupted or they experience any other issue.

There are services that have a wide spectrum of users. In Paris we are going to distribute 47 different channels simultaneously. On a peak day, you can have 38 simultaneous sports, plus the images of the panoramic cameras of landmark areas of the city, which are used in production for transitions between events. For satellite distribution, sending 47 signals in UHD is unfeasible from a financial point of view. Therefore, it has been decided to rearrange the content of the 47 channels and reduce them to 16, which, together with the news channel -the Olympic Channel News (OCN), which includes only recorded content- make the 17 channels that are sent by satellite in HD format.

With 16 signals we have the problem that certain sports cannot be broadcast live, since more than 16 are held simultaneously. Therefore, OBS discusses with broadcasters so they choose 16 “premium” events to broadcast them live as a priority. Whenever there are more sports taking place live than the 16 premium sports, the rest is shifted along time and when one of the 16 chosen ends, another sport is broadcast on that channel with some overlapping time (as it started before the premium sport ended) or is set to be broadcast in full afterwards if there is no overlap. This ensures that all finals and semi-finals of all sports are broadcast live.

 

Promotion

Prior to the start of the Games, OBS produces a lot of promotional content. “Technical features” pieces are made, which are videos explaining the technical features and dynamics of each sport. More sports are added in each edition of the Games. For example, in Paris will se breakdance for the first time as will be cricket in Los Angeles. Videos explaining the dynamics and characteristics of these sports must be made so that viewers will be able to understand them. And it OBS understands the sport well, it’s much easier to get good coverage and engage audiences. These promotional videos are produced by OBS, but external companies are hired for the execution of the works. More than 1,000 videos are produced and OBS has platforms where these promotional contents are available for broadcasters to use on their own channels.

In a new sport, the first thing OBS producers do is understand it and study it. It is imperative to do so in order to plan for adequate coverage. The technical means and the professionals who will use them in production, video and audio technicians, camera operators, filmmakers, etc., are outsourced from external companies and are sought among the thousands of people who are already in our HR database, in locations where the specific sport is important or has been broadcast for a long time.

We make aerial recordings of all the stadiums and how their fit-out is progressing. In addition to the promotional videos produced by OBS, there are others produced by our suppliers and we have to check that they are compatible with our UHD format. For example, a top sponsor is OMEGA, which produces augmented reality in many sports in Paris, runs simulations, 3D analysis, etc. as well as promotional videos to contribute to the understanding of the sport being analyzed.

 

Formats

In the Olympic Games, OBS makes the coverage with a comprehensive vision of each sport, there are no privileges, all the athletes in a given sport are covered by our cameras, it is our commitment with the olympic movement. Therefore, many times we have to change the coverage format that the companies we hire for the production of the events usually make. For example, at the Rio de Janeiro Games we reached an agreement with the North American broadcaster NBC for the production of golf, a sport that was added to those Games, because they had a lot of experience, but their type of coverage was limited to following the players who were in the lead and disregard the others, so the means they used were a few cameras and a few replays. OBS had to cover all the players, so we needed dozens of cameras and dozens of replays and that’s what was finally done. Every time a new sport joins in, producers have to make an effort to study it thoroughly and thus be able to give coverage in the format that we need.

And there are more needs to cater to. Nowadays, all sports have “video refereeing”, like VAR in football. The judges in a sport need to have videos to analyse the results, assess who wins, whether a record is valid or not, etc. Judges have their own video and replay systems for analysing the development of the sport. Each sports federation discusses with the IOC -International Olympic Committee- the means they need and OBS helps them with additional means. We use 1,000 cameras and in “video refereeing” we are asked to provide images from 600 of them. OBS gives them copies of those cameras to help them in their work.

 

And here comes Paris

The commissioning works for the IBC in Paris began last January, after due coordination with the local committee that has made the building available to us and provided the electricity supply that we have requested . For the broadcasters’ facilities, each broadcaster designs its own space in the IBC and OBS has agreed with it the plans for installation as a result of the supervision job we have carried out, so that the local regulations on safety, fire, working and risk conditions, etc. will be complied with. We have engaged a company for the construction of the spaces within the IBC, according to our instructions. They are working with about 150 professionals.

The OBS engineering works in Paris began last March at the IBC facilities, starting with the pre-wiring. For the other venues, the work begins later, as their size is smaller than the IBC (40,000 square meters of usable space). In May, OBS will send the bulk of the headquarters engineering department to finish the works.

Broadcasters are already starting to head off to Paris. Some, North Americans, Japanese, Canadians, etc. have important infrastructures that take a long time to have ready. French televisions will also appear soon, which also entails a lot of infrastructure as they want to cover the Games with high quality.

 

THE XXXIII OLYMPIC GAMES PARIS 2024

The TV production that OBS is going to make at the Olympic Games in Paris features the following elements:

  • Deliver more content than ever before, including more athlete-focused coverage, behind-the-scenes material, interviews with coaches and athletes, pre-competition and post-competition content.
  • Adopt a cinematic approach in the coverage of broadcasts, using for the first time cameras with cinematic lenses that provide a shallower depth of field.
  • Capture the urban atmosphere of Paris, with the most iconic places and monuments of the French capital as a backdrop for the broadcast.
  • Offer complete coverage for all platforms and all ways of consuming audiovisual and communication media.
  • Use technology to the benefit of storytelling, with access to more data and more immersive solutions. At the Youth Games, teen athletes have been interviewed who, perhaps, will become medalists in the future. This way, we have data to write their story from the beginning.
  • Greater drive to achieve gender-balanced coverage between men and women.
  • The IBC (International Broadcasting Centre), the headquarters of the broadcasting operations, is located in halls 2B, 3, 4 and 5 of the Le Bourget Exhibition Centre in Paris and will be operational 24/7 on 26 June next.

 

 

PREPARATORY ACTIONS

  • Back in July 2023 OBS participated in the operational test of the Opening Ceremony on the River Seine that will be hosted by Paris 2024. New technologies and camera systems have been developed to bring the creative team’s vision of the Paris 2024 Opening Ceremony to life.
  • OBS captured pre-Games content, including aerial and landmark images of Paris. These images have been made available to broadcasters holding broadcasting rights for use in their promotional programming.
  • OBS has identified partner universities and schools for the Broadcasting Training Program (BTP). The training workshops took place last fall. OBS will hire more than 1,300 BTP students for full-time paid positions.
  • In collaboration with Paris 2024 and the French authorities, OBS has developed an interim production plan for the air coverage of the Games.
  • 12 panoramic cameras have been confirmed, located and chosen to highlight the most iconic images of Paris.

REDUCTION OF THE BROADCAST FOOTPRINT

Numerous initiatives have been developed to streamline the smooth running of the Games and achieve an overall reduction in the broadcasting footprint at both the IBC and the venues. New technologies, such as OBS Cloud, enable OBS to do “more with less”, this resulting in a significant reduction in physical space and energy needs. As a result, Paris 2024 saves space and infrastructure, and certain venue optimization processes will create additional opportunities for ticket sales.

The adoption of new workflows, as well as the introduction of more options for remote production has also helped broadcasters save resources and manpower. However, these optimizations do not imply any type of reduction in the quality of OBS coverage or in services provided to broadcasters. OBS’ commitment remains to constantly improve the quality of the broadcast in each succeeding Games.

 

INNOVATIONS IN THE OLYMPIC GAMES PARIS 2024

The guiding principles of OBS coverage are:

  • Improve the quality of OBS production and the service level to broadcasters.
  • Use technology for the benefit of storytelling with more athlete-centric coverage and immersive solutions.
  • Make content more accessible and scalable (to support remote operations and digital production).
  • Increase the efficiency of OBS workflows and tools, enabling to do more with less, in a more intelligent cost-effective way.

 

Technological advances in OBS coverage

  • UHD HDR + 5.4.1 immersive sound: The Games will be produced in fully native Ultra High Definition (UHD), combined with High Dynamic Range (HDR), which results in a resolution that provides four times more detail than Full HD, and also 5.4.1 immersive sound.
  • Cinematographic lenses: Will be used for the first time in all sports.
  • 360º multi-camera replay systems: More than twice as many systems for frozen slow-motion replays as compared to Tokyo 2020.
  • Testing of a newly developed virtual mobile unit, whose proof of concept was carried out in earlier this year in January at the Gangwon Youth Games in South Korea. The aim is to replace the use of large traditional mobile units by the use of standard hardware equipment connected to software applications of different companies in the cloud obtained from “edge” servers, using it during the production of the Games. Paris 2024 will be the crucial test for this new virtual mobile unit concept that, without a doubt, has a lot of future ahead.
  • Athlete’s Moment: Building on the success of Tokyo/Beijing, the athlete’s moment will be present in more sports than ever before in Paris, allowing more athletes to connect with their family and friends remotely, immediately after leaving the arena.
  • Dynamic Graphics: More live data for narrators. At the studio, more than 10 sports with new “effects” as compared to Tokyo 2020 (positioning data, performance metrics, etc.).
  • Multi-clip Channel: More sports with a dedicated multi-clip channel, offering broadcasters more content, with additional ultra-high-speed slow-motion replays, other special camera and behind-the-scenes shots (i.e. athlete arrivals, warm-ups, venue atmosphere, etc.).
  • Drones and Cable Cameras: An unprecedented number of drones for live coverage and more four-point systems than in any previous edition of the Games.
  • Widespread use of IP transport at headquarters and IBC. Delivery of direct content to broadcasters will be offered, in addition to 12G, the bandwidth required for UHD, over IP SMPTE ST 2110.
  • Implementation of private 5G networks: Used for onboard point-of-view (POV) cameras in navigation and during the opening ceremony. Other cameras equipped with 5G may be used for live coverage of other sports.
  • Content+: Cloud-based portal offering all content produced by OBS, with live sessions and a wide range of short-form content, including behind-the-scenes and social media content.
  • 8K Coverage: OBS and NHK will collaborate to produce live 8K coverage for the Opening Ceremony, 3×3 Basketball, Breaking and Skateboarding Park.
  • Provision of a Virtual Studio in the Olympic Village for remote interviews and virtual studio backgrounds.
  • Augmented Reality (AR): Content and interviews from the Athletes’ Village, designed for mobile phones, but also usable with AR and VR headsets. Live interviews from the Village directly to the studio of a broadcaster can be made, with the ability to choose among different levels of complexity for integration with the studio the relevant national production center.
  • OBS LiveCloud: Delivery of the live signals through the cloud (for the first time in the broadcasting of the Olympics will be the main distribution method. Cloud distribution facilitates and monetizes access to content; it has the capability to expand or shrink as necessary to meet demand and offers more flexibility, thus allowing to select between different standards (HD or UHD delivery).
  • The obligation that OBS has to provide audio and video signals in the format required by each of the broadcasters, requires the application of a “down conversion” of quality from the single production format -UHD- to HD format, and even SD. Audio is produced in 5.4.1, but stereo mixing is also generated.

 

Technologies based on Artificial Intelligence (AI)

OBS has already been using AI in its internal content workflows, on issues such as automatic cropping and English-language mixed-zone interview transcription.

More AI-based applications to our workflows are planned for Paris 2024, including subtitle files for live sessions and automation of highlights for vertical formats.

In order to meet the needs of broadcasters who want to have particular content related to their national athletes, OBS works on automatic generation processes for clips, trained by machine learning, according to the specific requests received. These processes are always supervised by OBS producers.

 

TRAINING THE NEXT GENERATION OF BROADCASTING PROFESSIONALS

As an important part of the OBS legacy for each edition of the Games, the Broadcasting Training Program offers undergraduate and graduate students from local universities an unparalleled broadcasting experience.

Under the guidance of OBS broadcasting experts, students receive numerous training opportunities in addition to practical knowledge and valuable work experience during the Olympic Games. In this way, graduates acquire a diverse knowledge needed to venture into the broadcasting industry.

For Paris 2024, OBS plans to hire more than 1,300 BTP students for a number of paid positions.

 

GENDER EQUALITY, IMPROVING OPPORTUNITIES

For Paris 2024, OBS will hire more women for key operational positions in broadcasting and plans to include some 30 female commentators (up 50% as compared to Tokyo 2020 and up 200% as compared to Rio 2016).

OBS will increase the number of women in the production teams located at the headquarters, especially in roles that generate the images, which we believe will lead to a more balanced representation.

Two-thirds of management positions at the OBS headquarters will be held by women (compared to 50/50 in Tokyo).

 

THE COVERAGE OF THE OLYMPIC GAMES PARIS 2024 IN FIGURES

  • More than 11,000 hours of content produced by OBS.
  • Of these, 3,800-4,000 hours will be devoted to sports competitions and ceremonies.
  • Over 2,350 hours of multi-clip sources.
  • 72 sources of multilateral contribution in UHD.
  • 28 multi-clip sources.
  • 82 HD distribution sources.
  • About 3,300 UHD and HD sources processed and distributed within the IBC.
  • 48 stereo audio sources for radio.
  • 47 production units.
  • 70 production galleries.
  • More than 1,000 camera systems.
  • More than 20 multi-camera replay systems.
  • 12 beauty cameras throughout Paris.
  • More than 3,600 microphones.
  • 40,000 m2 usable in the IBC.
  • 36 enclosures for broadcasters in the venues.
  • 100 Gbps internet capacity.
  • More than 4.2 Tbps reserved for the international telecommunications network.
  • 29 broadcasters holding broadcasting rights.
  • More than 80 broadcasting organizations.
  • 165 permanent employees in OBS from 28 different countries.
  • More than 8,300 temporary employees at the Games, from more than 110 countries.
  • More than 1,800 training positions for local students within the OBS training program.
  • More than 1,300 paid positions for trained students.
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