2011 Winter Asian Games Names Host Broadcaster

International Games Broadcast Services (IGBS) has been appointed host broadcaster for the 7th Winter Asian Games, which are being hosted by Kazakhstan from Jan. 30 to Feb. 6, 2011. IGBS is a joint venture between HBS, provider of host broadcast services for the recent World Cup in South Africa as well as other major events, and media group IMG. The consortium previously worked on the 2006 Asian Games in Qatar.

IGBS will operate in conjunction with a number of partners, including Korean IT and timing specialist Ssang Yong. Coverage is to be in high definition but not 3D or with 5.1 surround sound. Potential service providers are being short-listed right now.

The Games will be split between the Kazak capital, Astana, and the country’s largest city, Almaty. The designated main stadium is the Astana Arena, with work on other stadia and sports centres in the city, as well as the international airport, currently under way.

Located in the south of the country, Almaty was the national capital until 1997 and is still the country’s commercial centre. It will be the focus for Alpine skiing, the biathlon, and short-track events. The Medeo skating rink, high in the mountains, is being rebuilt and will play a major part in the Games. Not far from this venue is the Simbulak ski resort, and a new ski-biathlon stadium is under construction in the foothills of Zailiyskiy Alatau, the most northerly range in the Northern Tien Shan Mountains.

In all, 12 venues in the two cities will play host to 2000 competitors from 26 Asian countries.

Graham Fry, a member of the steering committee of IGBS, comments, “The combined experience of IMG and HBS has again married together perfectly to form a strong host-broadcaster alliance, and, although the timeframe is quite short, we are confident of putting on a great show in Kazakhstan.”

Francis Tellier, chief executive of IGBS, adds, “The greatest challenge is going to be the short lead time for us to get prepared as the event takes place early in the New Year. But our team has already etched out its master plan, and resources are being contracted as I speak.”

Among those working on the project are IMG’s Mike Wilmot, Dave Shield, Tony Gavin, and HBS head of projects, Peter Angell.