Lagardère Sports and Entertainment has 50 years of experience in providing privileged access to high end sport and entertainment events. Among its extensive portfolio, Lagardère Sports and Entertainment is the current distribution and production rights holder of the Confederation of African Football’s (CAF) international football matches which include qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup and African Nations Championship.
To provide match coverage across Africa, Lagardère Sports and Entertainment, divided the continent into regions and called in four specialist partners to manage the live HD production of games in different countries. Deciding which fixtures to televise can depend on results, standings and storylines, meaning the rights are sometimes purchased close to kick off. This means the production partners need to be flexible to fit in with an unpredictable schedule.
Gravity Media – then branded Gearhouse Broadcast – France is responsible for providing everything needed to cover each match that takes place within its designated region of Africa including Senegal, Mauritius Djibouti, Madagascar and Sudan. This includes supplying all of the production crew, equipment, power, satellite links and logistics, such as shipping, travel and visas.
Due to some of the unique challenges that the region presents, it’s important to be able to get the equipment and crew to the venues in a timely and cost-effective manner. Gravity Media France has extensive experience of operating within Africa, and has an account team that knows how to get things done on the ground. It has also invested time and resources in training up local crews to run the productions where possible.
For each match it covers, Gravity Media ships one of its HD multi-camera all-in-one Flyaway production units to the stadium. These are quick and easy to set up on site and provide up to ten workstation positions for operational and technical crew within a small footprint.
Broadcasters around the world can then buy rights to individual matches, knowing that they will receive a quality and consistent eight camera HD production.
Gravity Media France’s lightweight technical solution, access to highly trained local crews and ability to efficiently move equipment and people within Africa – and around the world – means Lagardère Sports and Entertainment can be more flexible and ambitious in the service it offers to rights holders. The rights owner can now provide consistent quality live match coverage from venues where it could be difficult to get an OB truck and international production crew to.
Lagardère Sports and Entertainment can leave all of the host broadcast requirements to Gravity Media France and focus on maximising the return on the investment it’s made in purchasing CAF’s TV rights.