Project Solutions & Equipment For Seven Multinational Broadcasters At Fifa World Cup South Africa

ESPN, HBS, Univision, ITV, ESPN (Brazil), TyC Sports &Telefe Argentina

What we do

In 2010, South Africa became the first African nation to host football’s most prestigious event – the quadrennial FIFA World Cup. Ten stadiums in nine host cities across the nation were utilised for the 64 matches, with the opening and final played at Johannesburg’s Soccer City stadium.

A total of seven multinational broadcasters requiring solutions, services, equipment, and/or crew for the 2010 event selected Gearhouse Broadcast to meet their individual World Cup broadcasting needs.

The bulk of the project was managed by Gearhouse Broadcast’s Project Solutions team, commissioned to build and install Technical Operation Centres (TOCs) on behalf of Host Broadcast Services (HBS) at all ten stadia, whilst also designing and installing a large facility for ESPN.

What we used


Vital to a project as large as the FIFA World Cup 2010 was the combined experience and expertise of the Gearhouse Broadcast team.

Access to the latest in broadcast tech available at the time was also crucial to the approach taken, which relied heavily upon cost-effectiveness, flexibility and reliability, with a heavy emphasis on planning & logistics.

 – Host Broadcast Services

A Technical Operation Centre (TOC) refers to the main signal-distribution and monitoring facility used at an event by both the host broadcaster, and individual broadcasters. For the World Cup 2010, producers HBS required the building and installation of ten separate TOCs, one for each South African stadium hosting World Cup matches.

Gearhouse Broadcast’s Project Solutions team built and installed the required TOCs, also supplying engineering staff for each facility. In addition, on-site services, including systems integration and construction of studios and facilities at the International Broadcast Centre (IBC) were provided by the Gearhouse Broadcast team. This meant individual rights-holding broadcasters were able to personalize their productions, before transmitting the content to their home countries.


During the lead up to the tournament in South Africa, Gearhouse Broadcast was responsible for the design and installation of a virtually tapeless and very large, (1,200-sq/m) facility for leading US sports broadcaster ESPN.

The facility contained three production galleries. Each gallery featured its own audio mixer, central logging and ingest area, on-air EVS area, Avid edit suites, transmission area, and a large remote studio overlooking Johannesburg’s Soccer City. A large central production office housing audio, video, and communications facilities was also built.

A central EVS server for ingest and logging was connected to an Avid Unity server to allow transfer of files among Avid edit systems, ingest, and on-air EVS machines. Three Lawo MC56 audio desks (connected via four cores) enabled all three control rooms to transfer audio signals for the various 5.1 surround-sound mixes. A large Telex Adam system with 270 ports (including 64 RVON ports) maintained all communications between ESPN’s Bristol, CT, headquarters and the remote sites in South Africa.

– Univision

In 2010, Univision held the Spanish language World Cup broadcast rights for the US. Specialists at Gearhouse Broadcast were contracted to supply Univision with broadcast equipment, communication facilities, two control rooms, a studio and crew at the International Broadcast Centre (IBC) in Johannesburg. The facility had a large EVS and FCP server system, which made it almost tapeless. Gearhouse Broadcast also constructed a remote, three-camera studio connected to the IBC via third-party–supplied fibre and data connections.

 – Beyond North America

Gearhouse Broadcast supplied an HD Outside Broadcast (OB) facility for British network, ITV, as well as an IBC facility for ESPN Brazil and production galleries and studio facilities for two Argentinian broadcasters, TyC Sports and Telefe Argentina.

ITV’s OB facility allowed for pitch-side reporting and pre- and post-match interviews. The small, four-camera unit was built out of Gearhouse Broadcast’s flyaway rigs and was installed in a small vehicle that travelled around the country from match to match. Camera, sound and engineer crews were also provided.

The IBC facility designed and built for ESPN Brazil housed a production-control room, studio facility, 12 ENG kits, EVS servers, and integrated Avid editing and storage servers. On-air approximately 14 hours per day during the tournament, this facility showed matches and background stories edited in the four edit suites on-site.

Gearhouse Broadcast facilities for Argentinean broadcasters TyC Sports and Telefe Argentina included monitoring, distribution, production galleries, and studio facilities.


Gearhouse Broadcast played a large behind-the-scenes role facilitating successful live production and transmission of World Cup 2010 footage.

Extensive & detailed planning, careful logistics work, investment in new technology and prior experience handling large-scale sporting events were key factors contributing to the success of this major project.

Gearhouse Broadcast COO Kevin Moorhouse, speaking at the conclusion of the tournament in 2010 said work had begun on the project 12 months prior. The size of the country had presented unique challenges – overcome thanks to impeccable planning and extremely well-organised logistics. “This has been one of the largest and most challenging projects we have undertaken, due to its scale and the complexity of the logistics involved,” he said.

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