NEWS

ERT’s marathon 1,100-hour coverage of next summer’s Olympic Games

The state broadcasting authority ERT is promising 1,100 hours of radio and television coverage over 17 days around the clock during next year’s Olympic Games. Working methodically, it has planned its broadcast schedule 13 months in advance of the Games. A navigation system will help viewers choose which events and athletes they want to see and not miss out on special moments. It is estimated that the revenue from advertising sales will cover much of the cost of the broadcasts. ERT is already on track for the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, and with 800 of its 1,100 hours of broadcasts to go out live, is even set to make a record of its own. By making the Games their priority, the management of ERT, under Angelos Stangos, has managed to present a detailed broadcasting schedule six months ahead of the deadline. The key to their success was proper planning. The ERT team Costas Kekis, Giorgos Houliaras, general director for TV Johnny Kalimeris and general manager for radio Andonis Andrikakis, meet daily to plot progress step by step. As a domestic broadcaster, ERT has undertaken to broadcast the Olympic logo to Greek viewers, to provide coverage of events in the stadiums and complete coverage of activities outside the stadiums during the Games. This means the production team of 1,100-1,200 people (such as journalists, technicians and directors) have to be as tightly coordinated as an orchestra, and their duties will all be highly specialized. Working teams of technicians and journalists will be set up in late August to complete the planning. And as another 200 technicians are employed, intensive staff-training seminars will begin. Meanwhile, the reorganization of ERT’s sport program department is under way, so it can support the marathon broadcast, and 50-60 staff will be employed on 8-9 month contracts. Preparations have also begun for the Paralympics (September 17-28, 2004), for which ERT will provide a considerable number of staff for international coverage. ERT staff will also participate in the international broadcasts of the Games, a task undertaken by Manolo Romero’s Athens Olympic Broadcasting (AOB). In a special agreement with AOB, ERT has assumed responsibility for television coverage of basketball, weightlifting and the football matches to take place in Thessaloniki. Stangos presented the program on July 9. The three state channels (NET, ET-1 and ET3) will broadcast events and programs around the clock for 17 consecutive days. Using the slogan – «Olympic Games 2004: We’ll see them together on ERT» – the three channels and Greek state radio will broadcast programs that complement each other. ET-1 will show mainly swimming and track and field, and its programs will be strictly to do with sport. NET will broadcast weightlifting, basketball and beach volleyball events. Its programs will include reports on events outside stadiums in Athens and other Olympic cities, as well as useful information. ET3 will show team sports (except for basketball), and gymnastics and rhythmic gymnastics in programs with a familiar approach which will include moments from the athletes’ everyday lives. When schedules clash and some events have to be shown by different channels, the public will be advised well in advance. Constantly updated information will be supplied about what is happening on other channels and the radio. Broadcasting will start each day at 7 a.m., with an all-channel program which includes the day’s agenda, a summary of the previous day’s events, what’s happening at the Olympic Village, who won the heats and who’s competing that day, as well as weather reports and tips about how to get to the different events by public transport. The daily broadcasts will end with an all-channel playback. The opening ceremony on August 13, 2004 will be shown on all channels, and preceded at 7 p.m. by scenes from earlier Olympics. The detailed broadcasting schedule can be found on ERT’s website (www.ert.gr/2004).