The global headquarters of the Host Broadcaster delivering the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games (GC2018) television broadcast have been officially opened today by the Minister for the Commonwealth Games, the Hon Stirling Hinchliffe MP.Led by NEP Australia, with the support of production partners the Seven Network (Seven) and Sunset+Vine (S+V), the Host Broadcaster will produce High Definition multi-camera television coverage across 11 days of sporting competition plus the Opening and Closing ceremonies (with the Opening Ceremony also to be produced in 4K Ultra HD) for delivery to rights-holding broadcasters around the world.
The Host Broadcast team currently numbers 20, comprising the key management group and broadcast training manager, two venue-planning teams and administrative staff. It will expand to 30 members in early 2017, 60 over the course of next year, and reach a Games-time workforce of more than 1,200.
In addition to the Minister, guests at the launch – held at the Host Broadcaster’s Bundall Road (Bundall, QLD) HQ – included Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Corporation (GOLDOC) Chairman Peter Beattie AC, and CEO Mark Peters; NEP Australia President Soames Treffry; Seven West Media’s, Event Director – Rio Olympics, Commonwealth Games and Chief Revenue Officer, Kurt Burnette and Seven Network’s Head of Sport, Saul Shtein; sports commentator and Olympian Giaan Rooney OAM, who also acted as event MC; and a number of Queensland university students who will be gaining hands-on work experience through the Host Broadcast training program.
Commonwealth Games Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said GC2018 would be the biggest televised sporting event in Australia this decade.
“With an expected television audience of 1.5 billion people worldwide, it is vital the broadcast is provided by an organisation with exceptional expertise and experience,” Mr Hinchliffe said.
“I congratulate NEP Australia on the opening of its Host Broadcast operations on the Gold Coast and welcome the opportunities they will provide, including valuable work-experience and training for university students, and jobs for local industry professionals.
“This is a great example of a unique industry coming to Queensland because of the Games and I am delighted their team will call the Gold Coast home for the next two years.”
GOLDOC Chairman Peter Beattie AC added his congratulations to NEP Australia.
“This office opening represents a very tangible legacy for the Gold Coast and Queensland that is a direct outcome of the Games.
“There is the very obvious economic benefit of the many NEP staff relocating to the city in the lead up to and duration of the Games, but importantly the expertise they impart to students will enable them to kick start their careers with skills gained working amongst the world’s greatest multi-sport global broadcasters.
“We look forward to sharing the exciting journey towards 2018 with the NEP Australia team,” Mr Beattie said.
To ensure Gold Coast 2018 achieves the best-ever coverage across all platforms, the Host Broadcast team are drawing on their collective experience from previous Commonwealth Games, Olympic and Paralympic competitions.
NEP Australia President Soames Treffry said: “As our previous Commonwealth Games experience has shown, detailed forward planning is key to getting a project of this complexity off to a flying start. We hit the ground running, with our core team in place more than two years from the Gold Coast 2018 Opening Ceremony.”
Event Director – Rio Olympics, Commonwealth Games and Chief Revenue Officer, Seven West Media, Kurt Burnette said: “With sports production and great storytelling in our DNA, Seven is delighted to share our experience and expertise and is proud to be a key partner in delivery of an event of this significance for our country. We are excited to be a part of the team that will deliver world-class coverage, not just to every Australian, but to the world.”
Beyond its partnership with NEP and Sunset+Vine, Seven will also create the most extensive coverage of a Commonwealth Games across its broadcast television platform and on connected devices in the network’s single biggest local sports production commitment in Australia since the Olympic Games in 2000.
Seven’s Head of Sport Saul Shtein said: “Seven is delighted to be joining with NEP and Sunset+Vine in what will be the biggest event to hit our shores since the Olympic Games in Sydney. We are looking forward to being a partner in the production of the global television coverage and bringing these Commonwealth Games to all Australians.”
Jeff Foulser, Chairman of Sunset+Vine, added: “After the success of the Glasgow Games it’s great to see the team making great strides towards Gold Coast 2018. Together we’re covering all the bases to provide an innovative, high quality and reliable Host Broadcast service.”
The 121-week project schedule is well underway. Current priorities include:
- Surveys to determine camera positions across 20 venues in and around the Gold Coast (including basketball from Cairns and Townsville, and shooting and track cycling from Brisbane).
- Confirming Host Broadcaster space requirements at each of the venues.
- Determining broadcast compound layouts.
- Sourcing suppliers.
- Connecting to Queensland universities and colleges for the Host Broadcast training program.
The project’s training program includes work experience opportunities for 200 Queensland students during the Games, who will work alongside some of Australia’s leading broadcast professionals. This will provide students with invaluable broadcast industry experience for their future careers in television.
As part of the training program, eight students have been selected from six Queensland universities to be part of the Seven Network’s Rio 2016 Olympic Games coverage at NEP’s studio complex in Sydney. This integrated learning approach is a unique opportunity for these students to be part of a live multi-sport international broadcast, experience they can bring back for their work on the Gold Coast Games. Many of these students attended today’s launch.
Seven has been a great supporter of the training program, with Queensland students also attending Seven’s AFL matches to observe and learn from the telecast production teams.