Producing and distributing event broadcast

Choosing the best options for broadcast production and distribution will depend on the nature of your event, its needs and budget.

Production options

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 production in-house depending upon the expertise available and the type of programme required.

With new technology delivering wireless digital cameras and smaller outside broadcast units, the price of quality broadcast production is reducing all the time.

Programme options

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.

Funding models

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 — often in return for title and or programme sponsorship rights
  • a combination of 2 or more of the above.

You should select the option that has the most favourable financial outcome, while fulfilling all of the requirements in your broadcast strategy.

Distribution

Broadcast distribution

The broadcast strategy will determine the distribution requirements of the broadcast. It will identify the main markets of interest that the programme should be broadcast to. As international distribution can be very expensive, it’s important to carefully determine the key markets then target them to maximise your resources.

Example of broadcast distribution

International Media Distribution report - 100% Pure New Zealand Winter Games 2011 [PDF, 450 KB]

Programming distribution

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 these. The domestic distribution is often wrapped as contra for production of the programme. However, you’ll want to retain the ability to provide event news coverage to other broadcasters and distribution streams.

If you need to have the programme broadcast internationally, it's advisable to hire a specialist distribution agent. Hiring a specialist can be expensive, however distribution experts can help to ensure the events target markets are reached.