Production and distribution
Two of the key components of broadcasting are the production and distribution of the broadcast. As there are many different options, each event will need to determine which best meets the goals of the event.
Production options range from using multiple high definition cameras, new technology such as motion tracking cameras and state of the art on-site production facilities, down to using a single static camera.
Production can be very expensive and the level of production is dictated by the budget available and the broadcast strategy. There are many companies, both small and large, that can produce a programme, some events even choose to do this in-house depending upon the expertise available and the type of programme required.
With the development of technology delivering wireless digital cameras and smaller OB units the price of quality broadcast production is reducing all the time.
The type of programme produced will depend upon the broadcast strategy and the funds available for production and distribution. Types of programme include:
- Full live coverage
- Full delayed coverage
- A daily highlights package
- A highlights package that covers the whole event
- Magazine style programme
- A short editorial package produced for news outlets.
Live televised events can deliver significant returns for the rights holder and the broadcaster but have many specific challenges.
The funding of production depends upon the structure of the event, the broadcast strategy and the demand from broadcasters for the event.
Broadcast production may be funded in a number of ways including:
- Paid for by the event owner
- Paid for by the event organiser
- Provided free by the broadcaster in exchange for broadcasting rights
- Paid for by the broadcaster in exchange for broadcasting rights
- Paid for by a sponsor / event partner (likely in return for title and or programme sponsorship rights)
- A combination of two or more of the above.
Event organisers should select the option that has the most favourable financial outcome, whilst fulfilling all of the requirements in the broadcast strategy.
The broadcast strategy will determine the distribution requirements of the broadcast. The strategy will identify the key markets of interest that the programme should be broadcast to. As international distribution can be very expensive, it is important to carefully determine the key markets in order to maximise available resources by specifically targeting only the event’s key markets.
Distribution of event programming is a complex area and depends largely upon the goals set out in the broadcast strategy.
Event organisers often handle the sale of domestic distribution rights (assuming they own the domestic broadcasting rights). The domestic distribution is often wrapped as contra for production of the programme. However, note that the event organiser will want to retain the ability to provide news coverage of the event to other broadcasters and distribution streams.
If the event organiser is required to have the programme broadcast internationally, it is advisable to hire a specialist distribution agent. Hiring a specialist can be expensive however distribution experts can help to ensure that the events target markets are reached.