BBC showcases innovative XR studios while sustainable thinking is at the heart of ITV’s remote operations from Germany.

More than 10 million viewers watched ITV’s live and exclusive Euro 2024 kick-off match between Germany and Scotland - the highest peak for a UK audience of any opening to a major football tournament since the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.


BBC Studio in Berlin for EURO2024, in collaboration with Roe Visual

Source: Roe Visual

ITV will be hoping for more of the same from the tournament’s knockout rounds, where it has the first three picks, plus the fifth and seventh picks from the ‘round of 16’ ties, the second and fourth quarter-final picks, and first pick of the semis.

The broadcaster splits the rights to this and the next UEFA Euros in 2028 (hosted in the UK and Ireland) equally with the BBC, until a shared final from Berlin’s Olympiastadion.

However, unlike the shared facilities arrangement with the BBC for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, each broadcaster has separate resources while maintaining an extensive remote production operation.

Reduced footprint

Two-thirds of the ITV Sport crew can operate from the UK, reducing travel. It speaks to the albert-certified environmental policies that the broadcaster has pledged to undertake with its programming as much as to the financial advantages to be had in sending fewer personnel out to Germany for a month.


EURO2024: BBC Remote production in collaboration with Roe Visual

Source: Roe Visual

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EMG is ITV’s main facilities provider in Germany, providing its unilateral coverage including matchday commentary and presentation studio adjacent to the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin. ITV feeds are routed out of EMG’s Nova 50 series trucks (designed to be more sustainable) from each stadium with production remoted back to EMG’s operations centre at the WestWorks office in White City, London, where there are also greenrooms, six edit bays and office space for ITV editorial. All presentation signals are backhauled to the remote centre, incorporating video, audio and data.

Sustainability was a key reason ITV selected EMG as its partner. The remote surface model enables much of the kit normally housed in a traditional articulated OB to be maintained at WestWorks. While much smaller than conventional trucks, the Nova 50 still features four bays of equipment including gallery space and can accommodate up to nine people. Solar panels on the roof help generate internal battery power.

UEFA host operation

UEFA’s host operation employs 1,800 staff spread across the 10 venues, and over 400 based at the international broadcast centre (IBC) in Leipzig. The 20,000m2 facility is connected to the stadiums via a dedicated optical fibre network. The IBC is also home to 27 broadcasters during the tournament.]


EURO2024: BBC Remote production, a collaboration with Roe Visual

Source: Roe Visual 

The standard plan for each match involves 46 cameras, including slow-motion and high-speed cameras. Some are positioned pitchside, others set up for aerial shots or for when the teams arrive at the stadiums. An external ‘beauty shot’ camera mounted on a crane is being added to the plan for the quarter-finals onwards. All footage is accompanied by surround sound and immersive audio.

The tournament is produced in HD (1080) 50p HDR with ITV Sport broadcasting a standard dynamic range version.

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For consistency, the majority of HD cameras used for the host coverage are Sony HDC-3500s. These feature a global shutter to eliminate the ‘jello effect’ and banding noise. The 3500s are also capable of HDR as well as standard dynamic range. The HDR format used in the tournament is HLG.

New for this year is rights holder access to a pitch-side presentation position pre-match, which gets pundits and presenters outside the studio to give a flavour of the atmosphere in the stadium.

UEFA is producing more than 3,500 hours of content, including both live match coverage and supplementary programming such as match promos, highlights, team features and ‘head-to-head’ packages.

Each match venue features at least 86 commentary positions, 14 pitch presentation positions, multiple pitch-view studios and up to ten pre and post-match interview positions, among other facilities.

UEFA expects rights holders to use more than 170,000 clips drawn from its pooled ‘Hive’ media server.

A World Data Feed includes among other things data on possession, passes, corners and tackles which broadcasters can convert into their own on-screen graphics.

Alongside the match feeds, rights holders can use 14 additional feeds surrounding each match covering items such as team arrivals, wide-angle beauty shots or a focus on each dugout. UEFA has crews and reporters close to all team camps, compiled into 24/7 coverage from every team, host city and match.

Anyone using the official Euro website and app will notice a new emphasis on vertical storytelling. UEFA has dedicated producers behind the goal and in the stands at each match.

EMG are providing the host facilities and the unilateral facilities for UEFA at Cologne and Dusseldorf, two of the 10 venues in Germany, in a continuation of work for the tournament organisers which began in 2008.

Its specialist cameras division ACS is supplying helicopters for match coverage at every venue. It is additionally servicing the official Fan TV production for every venue with flyaway kits as well as every Technical Operations Centre (TOC). The TOCs are essentially banks of servers, routers and waveform monitors which supervise the distribution of all UEFA’s on-site feeds, including those for Eurovision, UEFA broadcast partners and VAR technology.

EMG merged with fellow facilities provider Gravity Media in January although it won the Euro 2024 contract a year ago. It also has headquarters in Cologne.

XR for the BBC

BBC Sport also has its main presentation space in front of the iconic Brandenburg Gate where it has two studios: an outdoor terrace studio and an indoor studio, integrated with extended reality (XR) technology reflecting the style of the gate and providing a Berlin Museum feel.


EURO2024: BBC Remote production in collaboration with Roe Visual, AE Live and German XR architect Jens Weber

Source: Roe Visual 

Combining LED technology with tracking, graphics, and XR in such an environmentally challenging setup is considered a first for the BBC team.

The outside studio for instance has a ‘weather resistant’ LED floor that is vibrant enough to work in daylight. Virtual sections are framed to align with actual panel seams, enhancing the illusion of natural glass.

The indoor studio features a wider range of AR graphics for in-depth game profiles. Using both studios also allows for simultaneous productions with shared rendering machines.

It is a collaboration between BBC Sport, Roe Visual, AE Live and German XR architect Jens Weber.

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