- 9 Jun 08, 04:45 PM
I'm writing this shortly before Group C gets under way with our live coverage of France v Romania. The football so far has been pretty good but with few surprises - impressive wins for Portugal and Germany, somewhat unlucky narrow defeats for both hosts.
Technically, most aspects of a tricky operation have started reasonably well. The extra mini outside broadcasts and reporters we've had at our live games have allowed us the immediacy of pitchside access and other extras, like a post-match interview with Michael Ballack which we ran during Sunday's live show.
We're very happy with our studio in the beautiful historic centre of Vienna. There are several fine buildings in the background as opposed to the single iconic Brandenburg Gate in Berlin for the World Cup in 2006, but the effect is much the same and is a tribute to a lot of hard work and preparation by our technical team, led by Tony Bate.
If you want to know how the studio came together and also take a behind-the-scenes look at the first weekend of programming, our Match of the Day Unplugged feature is worth a watch.
The shots of the pundits getting ready and watching the matches they'll be analysing for highlights were also of interest to some of us who've been working on the programmes. As I explained in my last blog, for technical reasons the videotape operation and production gallery are actually housed in an International Broadcast Centre in the suburbs near the ferris wheel featured in the "Third Man".
We're actually in a giant conference centre which is acting as a hub for all the European and other broadcasters. All the various host camera and videotape feeds are linked into the building. Though it's a pleasant environment in which to work, it's a massive new complex which could pretty much be anywhere, so the effort involved in setting up a city centre studio should help to make the coverage distinctive.
The studio team overlook the Fan Mile, which houses tens of thousands (mostly Croatian yesterday), and they also had a ringside view of a spectacular electrical storm during our show last night. We'd all be happy if the pyrotechnics are confined to the pitch today!
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