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Maglia Rosa: EMG Italy on Managing the Logistics and Technicalities of the 2024 Giro d'Italia

20/05/2024

Maglia rosa: EMG Italy on managing the logistics and technicalities of the 2024 Giro d'Italia By Heather McLean

Friday, May 17, 2024 - 09:00

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Tadej Pogacar from UAE Team Emirates at the finish line of Prati di Tivo stage 8 at the 2024 Giro d'Italia [Photographer Marco Alpozzi]

At this very minute, over 150 men in lycra are pedalling furiously through the stunning Italian countryside in an attempt to win the 2024 Giro d'Italia. Known as the maglia rosa - or pink jersey - this race is taking competitors through olive groves and up mountain ranges, with only the strongest and most tactical riders making it to the final stages.

The Giro, which started on 3 May and will finish on 26 May in Rome, is a complex production for organiser RCS and its host broadcaster, EMG Italy.

Three years ago RCS began to self-produce the Giro, with EMG Italy bringing its knowhow into the pink race'. Comments Davide Furlan, EMG Italy's director of outdoor productions, and Giro d'Italia production director: Since then every year there has been continuous improvement, even in the technical choices to provide more and more content. This year the most obvious innovative implementation is the graphics with tracking; it is a system that uses pixel tracking technology that we have used on many other occasions and in other sports with excellent results.

Notes Furlan: The entire technical infrastructure of people and means for the production of the international signal is from EMG/Gravity Media. This production is really a great work of the group, with five different languages spoken at the TV compound.

The experience gained over the years producing all the major cycling races allows us to design more and more reliable and quality systems, and I believe that by seeing the product on air you can understand what I'm talking about

In the TV compound there are 15 trucks for the host broadcast, and the same number again, says Furlan, for right holders and broadcasters who are integrating the international feed with their own cameras, with a strong presence from RAI . RAI is additionally the only rights holder with a mobile stage set up on site, which it uses as a TV studio with five cameras.

EMG Italy is working across Europe with other parts of the group to bring the broadcast of Giro d'Italia 2024 to life

The EMG/Gravity team is made up of 123 people who prepare the entire set up at the various locations planned for the day's stage every morning. Furlan explains: At the start are the riders and camera operators, at the intermediate reception are the technicians, at the GPM [Gran Premio della Montagn, or Mountain Grand Prix] location are the technicians and camera operators of the Intergiro, and finally the other technicians and camera operators at the finish.

Behind each stage, which the spectator can enjoy at home from the comfort of his or her seat, there is an enormous amount of preparation and logistics work, a huge circus' that moves every day; more than 100 people who have to travel, sleep, eat and of course work safely.

On how the group is contributing to this production, there is:

EMG Italy responsible for the entire production plus OB vans

EMG Connectivity RF and motorcyclists

EMG Belgium motorcycle coordination

EMG Netherlands satellite broadcasting

Boost graphics and timing

High standards

EMG Italy works on two production standards for its major cycling races: Standard B with a live time of around two hours; and Standard A, of which the Giro d'Italia, with its high profile and all-day racing, is obviously a part.

Furlan notes: Live time varies depending on the length of the stage and how long it takes the athletes if the weather conditions get tricky, so let's say it varies between six and seven hours a day on average.

A constant technical challenge is to make everything that is not connected by cable or fibre with the OB van to appear as if it were. To be able to manage all the parameters of the cameras as if we were in a studio or in a stadium is really stimulating

The Giro d'Italia is a production of 21 days plus set up days, continues Furlan. The Giro d'Italia is a world event and cycling has many fans all over the world. The live media coverage is really impressive. We who produce the host broadcast signal start producing half an hour before the start and finish about 45 minutes after the arrival of the daily stage, after all the award ceremonies that see the five classification jerseys awarded every day.

Highlights are also an integral part of the production that takes place within EMG Italy's technical media. It uses two Avid editing stations connected to the EVS network to produce a 23 minute daily highlight show for Eurosport and a 26 minute weekly show for RCS and IMG.

The 2024 Giro d'Italia route through Italy

Complex event

Comments Furlan on the challenges this year: The television production of such complex events poses many challenges. First of all the technology with which we manage all the RF signals is proprietary to EMG. The experience gained over the years producing all the major cycling races allows us to design more and more reliable and quality systems, and I believe that by seeing the product on air you can understand what I'm talking about.

With the race stretching with speed across the countryside, EMG Italy is challenged by the transmission requirements of this race. Says Furlan: The technical infrastructure for the RF signals is very complex. All the signals of the 10 motorbikes and the two helicopters pass through a two-repeaters plane which, following the ride at an altitude of about 6,500 metres, receives and retransmits each video and audio signal to an intermediate point. All ASI RF signals are encapsulated and transmitted with an encr
LINK: https://www.svgeurope.org/blog/headlines/maglia-rosa-emg-italy-on-mana...
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