FEVER PITCH

I must confess – I’m not a sports fan. Before the 2010 FIFA WorldCup, much of what I knew about football I learned from a NickHornby book. This summer however, the World Cup was impossibleto ignore. Cross-promotion TVCs such as Coca-Cola’s History of Celebrationand Nike’s World Cup Robinho Ripple Spot underscore the dramaticchanges in production values over the years, while video-ondemand,live streaming, HD and 3D broadcasts show how thedelivery of sporting events has changed in the last four years. Entertainment value is what makes broadcasting thrive, andnothing is more entertaining, more lucrative and more captivatingthan live sports. The World Cup finals between Spain and theNetherlands attracted an estimated 700 million viewers worldwide– a hefty payback for investors. At IBC this year, Sports Day sessions will look at how newtechnologies could change the face of sports on television. Onthe sidelines of a football field, in the pit of a motor race orin a chopper following a regatta, broadcast technologies haveenhanced the viewing experience, capturing the drama, grace andskill from multiple angles and in crystal clarity. In the autobiographical Fever Pitch, Hornby measures his life infootball seasons. Aptly, it is during major sporting events such asthe World Cup and the Olympics when the latest technologies areput through their paces. Some make it to the next season, somefade into obscurity despite the pre-game hype. So will 3D bethe next standard for live sports broadcasts? Perhaps we should consult Paul the octopus.



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