Case Study: The European Broadcasting Union

The European Broadcasting Union is a professional association of national television and radio broadcasters headquartered in Geneva. With 65 active members in 49 countries from western and eastern Europe, North Africa and the Middle East, it is a crucial hub for the dissemination of audio-visual information throughout the region.

This year, millions of viewers in Europe, Northern Africa and the Middle East will see the Atlanta Olympics courtesy of signals produced and relayed across the region by the EBU. The massive task of getting the sound and pictures from the world's favourite sporting event to this huge audience has traditionally been the EBU's single biggest undertaking, and the Atlanta Games will be no exception.

The EBU has secured the rights to broadcast the Atlanta Olympic Games for a cost of $US240 million. Within its coverage area, 54 television organizations will broadcast the event throughout 44 countries, making use of 20 satellite channels.

Twelve EBU organizations will send production crews to Atlanta to work with the Host Broadcaster, Atlantic Olympic Broadcasting to cover a range of sports including cycling, fencing, equestrian events, table tennis, rowing and football. The 83 EBU television and radio stations will send around 3,400 people to work on the coverage of the Games, and EBU itself will employ a staff of around 140 to make up the EBU Operations Group. Four of the 20 satellite channels in use will carry the EBU Multilateral Programme, and will make use material from over 800 commentary positions around the event.