Mediapro Canada has provided host broadcast services for the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament, which kicked off on June 29 in Victoria, Canada. The national teams from Canada, Greece, Turkey, China, Czech Republic and Uruguay have been battling for the final spot in the men’s basketball tournament at the Olympics Games in Tokyo later this month.
Mediapro Canada’s 53-foot expand mobile unit Alto is on site with a crew of 35 to produce the international signal for domestic and international rights holders, with the event set to be broadcast to millions of viewers around the world. Mediapro Canada is producing a total of nine games, starting with the opener between Greece and Canada and concluding with the final on July 4. The company has used 14 cameras, including an RF Steadicam, an Ultra Slo-Mo Polecam and two Super Slo-Mo cameras to capture the action.
The top players representing Canada, Greece, Turkey, China, Czech Republic and Uruguay — including a number of NBA, NCAA, top European league and USport players — descended upon Victoria to vie for a single qualifying spot for the men’s Olympic basketball tournament, scheduled for July 25 through August 7 in Tokyo.
Canada has been drawn into Group A with Greece and China, with the Czech Republic, Turkey and Uruguay in Group B. The top two teams in each group progress to the semi-finals, to determine which two teams will play in the final. The tournament is held at the Save-On Foods Memorial Centre arena in Victoria: live coverage in Canada is aired on public-service broadcaster CBC and streamed on DAZN. A key feature of the arena is the floor — the very same boards where the Toronto Raptors won their NBA Championship in 2019 — which was purchased both for the event and as a legacy piece for Victoria and brought to the city last month.
Chris Priess, Vice President, Broadcast Services at Mediapro Canada, said: “We’re looking forward to bringing sports fans around the world live coverage of one of the top international sports events to take place in Canada in 2021. We’re also proud of our commitment to contributing to the local production sector, with 50% of our crew sourced from Victoria and Vancouver. Furthermore, five key crew members are women, in line with our drive to promote diversity in our industry.”
Mediapro Canada’s role as host broadcaster of the event coincides with the company’s production of both the opening weekend of the Canadian Premier League (CPL), Canada’s first-division men’s professional soccer league in Winnipeg, and the first of eight Canadian Elite Basketball League (CEBL) games that will be aired live over the summer on the CBC.
Fourteen National Soccer Leagues Around the World
Alto is Mediapro’s 53′ fully equipped expando mobile, capable of 14 cameras, four EVS systems and features a Sony 104 input 4 M/E switcher and Calrec Alpha 76 fader audio console. Cameras are a mix of Sony HDC-2500s and HDC-4300s, with Canon and Fujinon lenses plus Sachtler and Vintent camera support.
For recording, Alto uses EVS XT LTM servers, EVS X-File transcoding stations, AJA Ki-Pro disc recorders and a Sony PDW-1500 HDCam recorder. Monitoring is via and EVS MVP multiviewer and NEC displays in production, back desks, VTR/EVS and audio areas. A variety of Sony, Tektronix, Videotek, Evertz, Wohler, Ross and TV Logic monitors and converters are also on board.
In the audio area is a Calrec Alpha console with 76 dual-input faders and Bluefin, Genelec active monitor speakers, Tascam disc recorders, Comrex DH-20 digital telephone hybrids and Dolby DP-571, DP-572, DP-653 and LM100, with support from Sennheiser and Shure microphones with Rycote wind protection and Sennheiser sportscaster headsets. Comms is via an RTS Adam matrix intercom system and Motorola VHF interfaced radios.
Mediapro’s newly-expanded fleet of seven Outside Broadcast units includes Alto and also Odyssey, the first mid-size 4K mobile in North America. Mediapro Group entered the Canadian broadcast services market in April of 2019 as part of its global expansion drive.
At that time Mediapro sealed a long-term partnership with Canadian Soccer Business for the worldwide media rights to the Canadian Premier League, the country’s new first division soccer league; the Canadian Championship, Canada Soccer’s highest domestic professional soccer competition, involving all professional soccer clubs in Canada; and the home games of Canada Soccer’s Men’s and Women’s National Teams, and launched OneSoccer, a dedicated soccer service available worldwide across all connected devices.
OneSoccer’s growing stable of rights includes those to all Concacaf national team tournaments through to 2023, the 2021 Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League and Concacaf League, French Ligue 1 matches featuring Canada Soccer Men’s National Team star Jonathan David’s Lille OSC, the top-tier men’s professional soccer league in Mexico (Liga MX), the Spanish women’s Primera División, and of course the Canadian Premier League (CPL) and the Canadian Championship, the professional club championship organized by Canada Soccer and contested by the eight CPL teams along with the three Canadian teams playing in Major League Soccer (Toronto FC, CF Montréal and the Vancouver Whitecaps) and the winners of both League1 Ontario and the Première League de Soccer du Québec.
The Mediapro Group is currently involved in the production of 14 national soccer leagues around the world, including Spain’s LaLiga, the Belgian ProLeague, the Portuguese Primeira Liga, the Turkish Süper Lig, Italy’s Serie A, the Greek Super League, the Primera División of Chile, Mexico’s LigaMX and the Kenyan Premier League; it also produces events for the UEFA Champions League, FIFA World Cup, FIFA Confederations Cup, the Africa Cup of Nations, FIBA events, the Euroleague and Formula 1.
Mediapro manages the global media rights to Spain’s LaLiga Santander and produces and manages 22 TV channels worldwide, including several specialty sports channels. Mediapro is also the official provider of VAR technology for 17 leagues and tournaments, and counts LaLiga, Formula 1, FIFA, UEFA and FIBA among its main clients.