The Beijing Olympic host
broadcaster has been intensifying its team-building and co-operation efforts
both at home and abroad in the run-up to the 2008 Games.
The Beijing Olympic Broadcasting Co
Ltd (BOB) is expected to provide international TV and radio signals to a
combined total of 4,000 hours over 17 days, with a cumulative worldwide audience
of over 40 billion watching the Games. More than 16,000 TV employees for about
200 rights-holding broadcasters worldwide will be in Beijing to cover the Games
from August 8-24, 2008.
Chinese TV staff cover
the construction of Olympic venues. [China
"Such an intensive workload in a limited period of time needs a large amount
of skilled staff, especially those with broadcasting experience of large sports
events," says BOB's Chief Operating Officer (COO) Ma Guoli, who estimates that
around 4,000 people will be involved in the work.
BOB is a joint venture between the Beijing Organizing Committee for the Games
of the XXIX Olympiad (BOCOG) and Olympic Broadcasting Services (OBS) to organize
Olympic broadcasting for the Beijing 2008 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
As the host broadcaster, BOB is to plan, design, install, construct and
operate the International Broadcast Centre (IBC) and the necessary broadcast
facilities in other venues, and provide related services for rights-holding
broadcasters during the Beijing Games.
BOB's Chief Operating
Officer (COO) Ma Guoli.[filephoto]
"What I worry about most is the shortage of professional human resources the
assurance for high-quality service," says Ma, who with 25 years of TV experience
behind him has worked his way up from a TV sports reporter to sports director of
CCTV, China's top national TV channel, until he became BOB's COO.
Ma says that with the coming of the Beijing Games and the ever-increasing
demand for personnel, there will be a total of 250 to 260 people employed
full-time at BOB by May 2008.
Currently it has a staff of 90, including 40 foreigners with Olympic
broadcasting experience selected by OBS from its talent pool. "An international
team will emerge at venues of the 2008 Olympic Games," says Ma.
At the management level, Jiang Xiaoyu, executive vice-president of BOCOG, is
the BOB board chairman, while IOC Co-ordination Commission Chairman Hein
Verbruggen is the vice-board chairman of BOB, and Manolo Romero, head of OBS,
has been appointed CEO.
Besides recruiting aggressively, BOB is in negotiations with various
broadcasters both at home and abroad to co-operate on production. It has
organized a Chinese team of about 700 people for the production of seven sports
including table tennis, volleyball, basketball, tennis, football, badminton and
some modern pentathlon events.
Internationally, Ma says, different TV stations have different competitive
edges in terms of production. For example, Finnish TV is good at covering track
and field events and has been invited to work for the Beijing 2008 Games.
Chinese TV broadcasters should grasp the opportunity offered by the 2008
Olympic Games to develop skills and gain a foothold in the international market,
Manolo Romero, BOB's CEO, said earlier that in BOB, "the best talents in
sports broadcasting are working alongside enthusiastic Chinese professionals,"
and they are "working together to ensure the best sporting talents in the world
are served by the best sports broadcaster, to ensure the best coverage."
According to the IOC official website, the Beijing 2008 Games will generate
an estimated US$1.7 billion in Olympic broadcast revenue, or 14.26 per cent more
than the Athens 2004 Games. The IOC has signed a broadcasting rights-holding
agreements with 12 broadcasting institutions, including broadcasting unions in
Asia, Europe, Africa, South America and the Middle East, as well as broadcasters
in South Korea, Australia, Japan, Canada and the US.
(China Daily 07/21/2006 page5)