Advanced Television

ITN readies WCH production

August 15, 2023

World Athletics Productions, the joint venture between World Athletics and ITN, is in the final week of rigging for production ahead of the World Athletics Championships (WCH) in Budapest, which begins on August 19th.

ITN’s expertise in live broadcast production will be reflected in the technical set up in Budapest and new innovations this year that aim toITV bring audiences even closer to the sport, including:  

  • Behind the scenes in the q room: For all sprints, hurdles and 800m events, a room will be set up where non-automatic qualifiers can wait to see if they have advanced. It will be the first-time athletes will be filmed in that space and will give audiences even greater access to all the action as it unfolds. The room will have comfortable chairs on which to relax, TV screens to watch subsequent races, foam rollers and stretch bands, refreshments, as well as access to their coaches and kit. Athletes can stay in the room for up to 20 minutes and will then be taken through the mixed zone.  
  • New Wirecam for the horizontal jumps: Giving audiences a much better idea of the speed at which the athletes are travelling.  
  • The longest distance of Wirecam used in athletics or in a major city before: A 1k Wirecam will run along Andrássy Avenue for the last kilometre of the marathon race walks finishing in Budapest’s iconic Heroes’ Square.   
  • The marathon will also be the first major road race event to be broadcast without a helicopter, instead the race will be captured via a drone, jimmy jibs and clever camera planning to minimise the environmental impact of the production.

ITN has been the host broadcaster for the Championships since 2019, through a joint venture with the World Athletics governing body, as World Athletics Productions.  

The WCH is largest sporting event Hungary has ever hosted and the biggest single venue sporting event in the world this year. With 2,000 athletes from 200 countries competing over nine consecutive days to an estimated audience of one billion in 200 territories and over 100 rights holders. The broadcast compound in Budapest is twice the size of last year’s in Oregon, and the vast compound being built will comprise:  

  • 10 broadcast galleries  
  • Over 250 cabins  
  • More than 20 rights holder OB trucks  
  • Six studios  
  • 10km of power cable  
  • 52km of sempte cable   
  • 22km of fibre installed  
  • Additionally, there are 130+ cameras to rig and there will be a full team of 400 on the ground
  • In keeping with ITN Sport’s ongoing commitment to reflecting athletics off-camera 80% of producers and 60% of directors are women.

Alastair Waddington, ITN Director of Sport and Managing Director of World Athletics Productions, said: “The World Athletics Championships demand a fitting production plan and support services for the biggest international sports event of the summer. Broadcast and streamed live in more than 200 countries, there’ll be a combined audience of more than one billion. The National Athletics Centre is a stunning purpose-built stadium, and after the intimacy of Oregon, this will be a grand celebration on the banks of the Danube. Our approach as ever, will be service orientated as we capitalise on our collaboration with rights holding broadcasters over the past few years to attract new audiences to athletics. Audiences can expect ITN’s signature up-close-and-personal storytelling to celebrate heroes, rivalries, and performances, as we put the athletes front and center once more. Whether they are on the track, in the Call Room, or behind the scenes – viewers at home are guaranteed the best seat in the house.”

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