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Olympics crew


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I'm watching the Olympics with some family and the topic of the crew came up. We were wondering if the crew (sound, camera, AC, utilities, etc) are provided by the host country, the Olympic committee, or some other means? We were also talking about the video and audio feeds and how those might be handled. Each country may want to follow different athletes and different sports so a common press feed isn't likely. Does NBC (for the USA) receive split feeds so their people can mix audio/video for the US audience? How do other countries handle coverage?

Production Sound Mixing for Television, Film, and Commercials.


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matthew: " provided by the host country, the Olympic committee, or some other means? "

all of the above, though not so much the Olympic committee.

The host country provides the host broadcaster (and the IBC = Internation Broadcast Center), and the rights are sold by the Olympic committee, and the rights holders are entitled to all the host broadcaster feeds (which is 100% coverage of every event), and are allowed to lease space in the IBC for their unilateral coverage, bring in crews and equipment to cover any and all events in whatever way they desire.

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Bernie: "  I'm guessing NBC hires freelance along with bringing staff crew.  I'm sure there are lots of shared feeds "

yes, and yes.

host broadcaster provides unbiased complete event coverage to all rights-holders; rights holders provide unilateral coverage as desired, ranging from an announcer with a headset, up to multiple major OB trucks at the venues.

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Senator is spot on.

I worked at 2004 Athens summer games and aslo 2006 Torino winter games for TV Tokyo.

The IBC is how Senator describes it.

One huge complex with a massive master control.

All the Networks have a space within the complex, some small, some large.

They all have ENG crews that shoot interviews and overlay of whatever they want. Some have crews dedicated just for "colour" shots or transitional shots (Very cruisey gig)

I ended up in what they call the Mixed Zone at many different events. This is where the athletes come through after their event and give an interview. It gets quite hectic in there at times, sometimes like a news gathering bun fight!! Lots of overhead booming from behind people. Sometimes a hand mic with the journo if we had one. Actually, it only seemed like the Japanese crews would end up in the scrum when the Japanese athlete came through.

All the other nations crews were quite orderly.

TV Tokyo had a small set in our space/studio where they brought in gold medalists etc for sit down interviews like on a talk show with hosts.

I have to say, both events were a high light in my career but the winter games far exceeds the summer. Absolutely awesome seeing the ski jump in person. I got to go to a camera platform half way up the jump and saw those crazy guys fly off the jump to what seems like suicide!!

Looks pretty good from the ground too.

I've got some pics I'll dig up and post when I'm on the computer next time. (On the phone ATM)

If you ever get the opportunity to work at an Olympics, don't let it go. It's a once in a lifetime.

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There is also the company Called OBS, Olympic Broadcasting Services. They do most of the pool stuff.


I worked for NBC at London 2012, just about every staff crew they have was there, it's a bit of a thank you for them, a nice trip away every four years, plus all their regular freelancers (Like me) NBC had by far the biggest part of the IBC, occupying about a quarter of the total space. Two Setups for News and Sports, plus all the features stuff too. it was an incredible setup, the 24 hour catering alone was bigger than the BBCs setup.  As well as the setup in the IBC we had various live stages around the Olympic park and central London.

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I am super interested in this and was only able to find the same link posted above. Does anyone know the specifics of how audio from eng bag mixers gets back to the primary mixing board? Do you go into camera and then the pull the video and audio all together and split it again later?

How do they maintain sync with all of the sending data over long distances? I am assuming it's sent as a married data file? Sorry if these are dumb questions but I really want to know

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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Bingo, Jack has the answer.  You have two separate entities providing the Olympic coverage we see here in the USA!  The IOC hires a company to run the broadcast operation.  It may be the IOBC or something along those lines.  They provide the coverage of the events, all the live cameras, the studios, location audio, almost everything, including many of the graphics.  NBC had to rent the studio from the IOBC for the Olympic stuff with Costas/Lauer/Viera.  Whomever is awarded the contract for the IOBC hires as many locals as they can, supplements with folks who don't have to travel very far and historically does not pay all that well.  It is a HUGE technical operation, as they are the conduit for any and all broadcasters who have paid for whatever portion of the rights to air Olympic events.  


NBC NEWS comes in and handles production of THE TODAY SHOW and NIGHTLY NEWS.  Now they emptied most of the London bureau, as well several hundred folks from the US.  Most the staff employees they could afford to have out for as much as two months, and some freelancers  They built the set for both shows, and did the daily broadcasts.  Shot the pieces out and away from the studios as well as kept crews on standby on the perimeter in case of trouble.  Directors and the like stayed back in NYC and worked from there, as well as most of the editing.  Producers aplenty, associate producers, writers, APs, as well as technicians of all kinds.  


It really is two worlds...Sports and News.  They do call on each other at times to help get stuff covered, but mostly they work and live in their separate worlds.  


You can't count out  the folks that went over for NBC NEWS other platforms...shooting for E Entertainment, providing  technical support for all the affiliates that sent staff over there, as well as their NewsChannel that provides coverage for local stations that can not afford to send their own people.  


Two years from now is Brazil...

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