BroadcastPro ME brings you an exclusive report on how Abu Dhabi-based twofour54 intaj successfully undertook its first production management assignment outside the UAE When the 20th edition of the Gulf Cup of Nations was held in Yemen in November and December 2010, host broadcaster Abu Dhabi Sports was also tasked with providing coverage of the […]
for the country.
For one, it was the first time the event was held in Yemen in the tournaments history; secondly, this years coverage of the event by host broadcaster Abu Dhabi TV demonstrated twofour54 intajs ability to undertake complete production management in a country outside the UAE.
Owing to the security issues in Yemen, most people were sceptical about the country hosting the tournament but it went as per schedule, and Kuwait won the match against two-time consecutive second place finishers, Saudi Arabia
in a 10 score.
“We were approached by Abu Dhabi TV to manage the production and broadcasting of the event,” explains Hasan Sayed Hasan, head of twofour54 intaj.
“We have provided similar services for events in the UAE but the Gulf Cup in Yemen was our largest production outside of the UAE. We have the experience, know-how and man power to cover such productions in conjunction with local and international service providers and successfully managed this event despite the logistical nightmares and the very tight deadline for delivery.”
Three venues were earmarked for TV production. Two were the pitches in Aden and Abyan, where the matches were being played while a third venue was an onsite studio where Abu Dhabi Sports held talk shows and other tournament-related programming.
Besides its own staff, twofour54 intaj worked with a team of local and international players to manage the event.
Singapore-based OB solutions provider Broadcast Solutions Asia, which has managed several events in South Africa, was the main equipment supplier while Abu Dhabi-based production house Media Mania provided most of the glue.
Broadcast Solutions also provided the crew for both of the main venues.
Media Mania, which established an office in Abu Dhabi recently, provided the crew for the studio, where Abu Dhabi TV held talk shows and other programmes related to the event.
“We also roped in several smaller suppliers to provide equipment and services, and we put everything together in a very short time,” explains Hasan.
“400 flight cases of equipment including 50 HD cameras were flown to the venue,” says Hasan.
He admits that one of the biggest challenges for this event was the logistics, whether it was mobilising the crew and equipment to and out of Yemen or accommodating people in hotels close to the tournament venues.
“Many airlines had stopped shipping anything to and out of Yemen owing to security threats so we used the chartered flights of some shipping companies to get the equipment in and out of Yemen. It was a very tough job. In addition, Yemen lacks the infrastructure that most of the developed nations have in terms of hospitality, production services and so on. This meant that we had to bring about 80 crew members as well as equipment into the country. The logistics was a nightmare. Booking accommodation for the crew was very tough as there were no hotels close to the second venue. This meant that the crew had to take a one-hour journey from their hotel to the venue and back everyday. We also undertook the catering for the whole crew although the Yemeni government provided security and support to all of us,” he adds.
Despite the complete lack of any production or hospitality infrastructure in the country, Hasan proudly claims that the Abu Dhabi content generation zone along with its suppliers and partners was able to “manage such a large-scale production at such short notice”.
“It was very important to have a very high level of production and show it in HD and the host broadcaster was able to do this successfully,” he concludes.
The event itself was a huge milestone for several entities.