The type of media facilities required will depend on the size, nature and intended audience of the event. The different types of media facilities that may be required are detailed below:
The media centre is a dedicated work space for the media and should include:
- tables and chairs
- power supply
- high speed internet access
- photocopying facilities
- areas for results and athlete information
- television monitors
- telephone lines.
Tea/coffee/water and food or snack vending machines should also be available. When selecting a location, a quiet work space away from general traffic areas is preferable.
If the event is being broadcast on television, event organisers will need to make sufficient space available to accommodate the host broadcaster. The host broadcaster is likely to require space for an OB (outside-broadcast) truck, a tender truck, satellite van and a generator.
Depending on the level of television coverage of the event, space may also need to be made available to accommodate other rights holding broadcasters.
Commentary / Studio positions
If the event is being broadcast on television, radio or live on a PA system, event organisers will need to make available sufficient space to accommodate commentary teams.
Commentary positions should be:
- sound-proof rooms overlooking the sporting action
- in the most appropriate position for the relevant sport
- with a similar orientation as the main camera positions
- equipped with seated desk space, power supply, internet access and a television monitor.
Temporary facilities such as portacoms can be used for this purpose, although it may also be possible to re-purpose spaces within an existing venue.
In addition, broadcasters may also require space for presentation studios.
Press conference room
Event organisers should consider providing a press conference area with space for written media, television media and photographers.
The press conference room should be dressed with event look and feel including a professional media backdrop (usually featuring event branding and key event partner logos).
Facilities usually required include:
- television monitors
- power supply
- appropriate lighting
- audio system and
- risers/staging (a raised platform is often required both for the athletes being interviewed and for the television cameras recording the press conference).
Additional space and power/IT considerations may also be needed for simultaneous translation services such as interpreter booths.
The mixed zone is an area where different media conduct interviews with different athletes at the same time (as opposed to a press conference setting where all media are interviewing the same 2-3 athletes). Interviews are typically brief and conducted while standing.
Most mixed zones comprise some type of temporary 'chute', often constructed with crowd control barriers, along which athletes and media can spread out and talk. It is usually on the way from the finish line or field of play to athletes changing rooms or from the changing rooms to the drop off/pick up point for transport out of the venue.
Photographers’ work area and secure storage
Depending on the type of event and number of media covering the event, a separate photographers’ work area may be necessary. However, if a separate space is not readily available, then photographers can be housed in the media centre.
Ideally a photographers' work area should be as close as possible to the field of play and equipped with tables and chairs, power supply, television monitors and access to phone lines or wireless internet connections.
Event organisers should also provide secure lockable storage space such as lockers so photographers can lock away equipment.
Tribunes or other working area overlooking sporting action
In addition to the media centre, consideration should be given to providing a seated area for the written press overlooking the sporting action in the most appropriate position for the relevant sport.
In the case of sports held within stadiums, tribunes for written media may be required. This generally has seated desk space with power supply and possibly phone/data lines. The tribune positions should have a clear view of the field of play and big screen (or an additional television monitor).