There was something new and exciting and this weekend across the BBC. No – not just the second series of Killing Eve but the start of the 2019 Women’s World Cup – a ground-breaking production from Input Media which commenced on Friday on BBC1.
Ground-breaking because the Women’s World Cup is presented daily from pitch-side in France, but produced remotely out of our new Manchester facilities while fully supported by the technical wizards at the Production Centre in Askew Road.
It’s the second time we have produced the Women’s World Cup for the BBC. In 2015 the tournament was staged in Canada and we presented all games from our studio here in the Production Centre. But things are very different this time.
This edition of the tournament has been months in the planning – a complex, mind-blowing production involving scores of people moving around France. And an intricate remote production reliant on satellite and fibre feeds from pitch-side via Paris and London to our shiny new gallery in Manchester, a gallery built specifically for this project over the past three months and now home to the production team for the next few weeks. So Input Media’s team is now up and running - producing 27 live games from Manchester over the next month, most of which will be broadcast on either BBC1 or BBC2, with all other games in the tournament carried on BBC4 or delivered by us to Red Button.
Out in France there are three separate and dedicated teams made up of BBC presenters, pundits and commentators along with our producers, camera operators and sound and satellite engineers, criss-crossing the country to present from some of the 9 different stadiums in cities such as Paris, Nice, Le Havre, Grenoble and Montpelier. Our teams in France are chalking up thousands of miles using trains, planes and automobiles to get from one venue to another ready for the next show.
And while pitch-side presentation with remote production from Manchester will steal the headlines, behind the scenes our Production Centre and technical staff are absolutely integral and vital to it all – downlinking and on-passing feeds and providing the technical infrastructure, support and expertise to make it all possible.
Following a thrilling opening match in Paris where France faced South Korea delivering a colourful 4-0 defeat and a clear demonstration as to why they are one of the favourites to win the tournament, 48 hours later we turned to England v Scotland in Nice on Sunday afternoon - a fierce World Cup rivalry to match anything on offer in Killing Eve. A solid start for England with a 2-1 victory but Scotland’s hopes will be raised after a sound second half performance. Both teams are next in action on Friday 14th June so keep watching as the story unfolds…!