At the end of June 2020, Euro Media Group acquired ICP, Infront Centro di Produzione TV in the heart of Milan in via Deruta and, in fact, took over all the productions, with an important agreement until 2025.
The strategic location, which occupies an area of over 6000 square meters,
allowed the launch of a new Italian subsidiary, 3Zero2 Studios, which joins the three existing ones: 3Zero2, Global Production and Netco Sports.
3Zero2 Studios immediately modernized the facilities in order to rationalize and enhance the headquarter also at an international level, with new remotely controllable galleries, a new global technical control room MCR, modular and reconfigurable production areas, and crucial connection infrastructures based on fiber.
Claudio Cavallotti, Netco Sports Sales General Manager has the details.
Is this acquisition part of a more European expansion scenario?
Our “coordinated media factory” is completed by this acquisition and this will allow us to give customers an even more “turnkey” product, with a series of integrated services, along the entire AV supply chain”.
Did the modernization operations start immediately?
“After about a month of design and pre-engineering, we started and, in about 30 days, we created an integrated, but distributed and reconfigurable, remote hybrid production system that works … and is now fully operational.
Furthermore, a new MCR and an important link node with EI Towers connect us to the “mother” MCR of 3Zero2 in Cologno; so also from 3Zero2 Studios we can now carry out international productions on behalf of customers operating from remote offices in Italy and Europe”.
What makes EMG in Italy different from its competitors?
“For sure an offer of integrated digital & REMI TV services at 360 degrees.
From a pre-existing “rigid” main gallery we created to 3 new “smart galleries” to better manage productions of all sizes covering the 3 main shooting studios, one of 1,150sqm, another of 1100sqm, a third of 500sqm and also smaller studios of 140 and 160sqm.
We have by far increased the efficiency of the existing connection pipelines towards 3Zero2 in Cologno and Netco Sports already in the same area.
The latter which envisaging new development guidelines in data management, graphics, artificial intelligence, 5G, quantum computing and virtual – extended – mixed – enhanced – reality sectors”.
What directions will EMG take in Italy and how will it face 2021?
“The basic idea is to go far beyond the consolidated localized broadcast techniques; the new tech structure allows us, in fact, to route and manage a large number of services integrated with the new intelligent central control systems.
In addition to the normal workflows, i.e. Recorded and live TV productions, we now feel very proactive in remote TV production services, originated on venues virtually scattered all over the world.
Another area in which we expect a strong growth is “digital”, that is the ability to develop apps, services and websites, OTT platforms, virtual reality and artificial intelligence services”.
What is the strategic plan towards the market?
“It is to propose EMG here as a single entity based on 4 complementary subsidiaries and strengthen as a unique brand for a company that truly works at 360 degrees.
We feel we are a true and unique reality on the Italian market.
In fact, we wanted to create a production center that could guarantee maximum operational flexibility to be allocated on existing and future television productions, in Italy and abroad, interconnected with other EMG remote production centers in Europe”.
With which sports clients do you work with?
“In this area we are currently working with international clients such as SKY, Dazn, Eurosport and others.
We have just revamped the playout for 5 years with Discovery and will be managing basketball for the next 2 years.
Beside we work for Lega Serie A, B and C, and Eleven Sports.
We are capable of providing services for both high quality and large productions: from Champions League to minor leagues and federations.
But also production services for a low or very low budget in football, basketball, volleyball, skiing, and something new, yet to be confirmed”.
What are the main technologies involved?
“We have created a new technical nerve center, a master control room, and given shape to a different structure, based on new “smart control systems” connected on the most advanced optical fiber systems possible, extending the traditional concept of localized broadcast technique.
The new control rooms are made up of scalable and modular sections that can be moved, disassembled and re-composed, as required, in any environment within the production center.
We have also implemented new ingesting systems with shared integrated servers to reinforce the existing, as well as storage.
The brands involved are Riedel for intercoms and all integrated communications; then video and audio routing, “glue” and video mixing are entrusted to Imagine Communication, Evertz, LAWO, GrassValleyGroup; system integration controls are entrusted to ROBIT interfaces; specific processes for audio are Stagetech, DirectOut, DigiCo, Yamaha, Lawo; the Video servers are EVS and BLT.
Most of the cameras are Grass Valley Group with Canon lenses”.
How did you manage all activities during the lockdown and lack of sport events?
“We have been investing a lot of energies and the Covid pandemic has only accelerated some processes that we had already started as a natural step, linked to the development of IP technologies.
Today we are able to combine and virtually unite all the technical areas of TV production by appropriately assigning the exact technology or “firepower” that is needed in every situation.
And, above all, the assigned personnel work as if they were in a single area, although each compartment is physically in a different location, in compliance with current workplace anti-covid safety regulations”.
Has the Covid pandemic created many problems for you?
“Not that really. We are also resisting the second wave of the pandemic in a coherent way, as for the first, managing with current health protocols, social distancing, total areas sanitation 3 times a week, and then masks, ozonizers and gels. 80% of the staff work in smart working and everything can be controlled remotely”.
Media Contact Roberto Landini PressPool.it