GlobeCast To Deliver World Cup Around the World

GlobeCast will provide transmission of the 2010 FIFA World Cup out of South Africa to a host of international broadcast-rights holders from around the world. The global satellite and fiber-network provider will deliver the event to more than 15 rights-holding broadcasters spanning five continents.

“To be honest, we’re doing a hell of a lot [at the World Cup],” says Simon Farnsworth, head of global contribution for Globecast. “Compared to what we did at [the 2006 World Cup in Germany], we’re going to basically double that. In terms of sports, we’ve never done anything on this scale.”

Farnsworth and company will provide fiber solutions as well as a horde of SNG trucks to broadcasters covering the World Cup in South Africa, which runs June 11-July 11.

Globecast has partnered with an undisclosed German company to purchase two STM-16 (2.4 GB apiece), one into Paris and one into Frankfurt. Globecast will cross-connect Frankfurt and Paris to provide a complete, redundant loop, thereby providing a fail-safe should one STM-16 go down (as a result of a cut undersea cable or an earthquake, for example). Various signals will then be passed through this loop to reach the rights-holding broadcasters. On those circuits, Globecast will provide HD feeds, SD feeds, file transfers, communications, commentaries, and IP phone networks.

“Some signals will be left in Paris, some are going across to Los Angeles, some are coming back into Europe, a lot will be going back to Frankfurt — pretty much over the world,” says Farnsworth.

The company is also providing HD and SD SNG trucks out of its office in South Africa for various rights-holding broadcasters. HD and SD SNG trucks will also be shipped from Europe down to Africa. Exactly when these trucks will arrive in South Africa, however, remains up in the air.

“It’s a bit of a conundrum because we’re still waiting for an announcement of when the UK elections are going to be, which we’re anticipating to be May 6,” says Simon. “So as soon as the elections are finished, those [UK-based] trucks will go [to South Africa]. Some trucks from Italy will go earlier, and some will go a bit later. We’re flying some, we’re shipping some; we’re doing it every which way we can.”

As for non–rights-holding broadcasters, Globecast currently has a facility in Cape Town that has a view of Green Point Stadium as well as the iconic Table Mountain for broadcasters to produce live updates. In addition, reporters can produce live stand-ups at a facility that Globecast has set up near Johannesburg’s Soccer City (site of the World Cup final) or at Globecast’s primary facility in downtown Johannesburg. Globecast will also supply a number of roving trucks to follow various teams of journalists around South Africa.

“All and all, it’s an extremely big project for us, to say the least,” says Farnsworth. “In terms of our responsibilities, this is essentially twice as big as the last World Cup, so it’s going to be a very big undertaking.”