Satellite services provider GlobeCast will once again provide transmission support for the Tour de France cycling race, including delivering the first high-definition feeds of the annual cycling classic.
For the 2007 edition of the event, which runs from July 7-29 and will be carried in the U.S. by Versus, GlobeCast will supply French broadcaster France Televisions and the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) with satellite and microwave transmissions to provide complete HD coverage of the race. GlobeCast will be deploying up to eight SNG (satellite news gathering) and mobile microwave units at each stage of the race, supported by 30 technical professionals. That includes coverage of the race's start in London, England--a first for the Tour--where GlobeCast recently launched a full-service broadcast and playout center.
GlobeCast mobile units stationed at various points along the course will transmit footage shot via motorcycle and helicopter by SFP (Société Française de Production) back to France Televisions’ production trucks at the finish line. GlobeCast will provide unilateral satellite contribution feeds to the channel’s master control room in Paris, and its mobile units will distribute the official world feed of the Tour de France to rights holders throughout the world on behalf of the EBU.
The overall communications solution provided to the Tour by France Telecom, which now markets all its services under the Orange brand, includes 1,500 temporary telephone lines to be deployed every day in the technical and press areas; high-speed Internet access in those areas; an upgraded mobile network over the entire course to ensure optimum coverage, mostly in 3G or 3G+; and a team of 50 technicians. The team will be mobilized around the clock, with support from 330 regional colleagues at each stage, and will handle the transport, assembly, operation and supervision of the necessary infrastructures and systems for five specific areas: stage finish line, organization headquarters, intermediate points, press room and stage departure village.