Abu Dhabi TV broadcast boon for racing fans -
Abu Dhabi TV broadcast boon for racing fans
Posted on » Saturday, February 20, 2010
FORMULA One fans unable to make it to the race can watch this year's Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix on free-to-air channel Abu Dhabi TV (ADTV).
Last year, Bahrain TV aired all 17 rounds of the 2009 World Championship.
However, ADTV has landed the rights for this year's competition and TV executives have been in close contact with the Bahrain International Circuit (BIC) to make sure the coverage goes smoothly.
"I believe they have only covered last year's inaugural Abu Dhabi race in person, so we have been in close contact with them to ensure this year's opening race goes without a hitch," said BIC TV, radio and entertainment senior manager Ghada Al Ansari.
"ADTV is one of several new broadcasters this year and we are working incredibly hard to ensure the season gets off to a great start."
Last year, the Bahrain Grand Prix pulled in an average viewing figure of 54 million, making it the third most watched international live sporting broadcast of 2009.
With the BIC now opening the World Championship on F1's 60th anniversary, viewing figures could be even higher.
It is down to Ms Al Ansari and her five-man team to ensure that each and every international broadcast team is supplied with the correct equipment to make sure the BIC retains its reputation as one of the racing world's best-run circuits.
"We should start receiving equipment from the broadcasters as early as next week," she said.
"We look after these groups in a TV compound which is effectively a hotel - they give us their logistics requirements such as furniture and Internet access and we get them what they need.
"The process began around four months ago, but most of us have been doing this since the BIC opened so we can anticipate what is needed."
One of the more unusual requests Ms Al Ansari and her team have received was for extra mattresses - but only to soundproof rooms during live recordings.
She explained that all supplies are now kept on-site so that broadcasters can be accommodated at short notice.
In fact, the only equipment broadcast teams bring is the technical kit used in actual transmissions.
"Sometimes we can even provide this," she added.
"There have been cases in the past where we've worked with the Bahrain Radio and Television Corporation (BRTC) to supply broadcasters with cameras or other supplies in emergencies.
"We have to accommodate as many broadcasters as the Federation Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) require us to, so the key thing for us to do is adapt."