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750 matches over the next three years in India alone, each featuring as many as 30 cameras: Alfacam's coverage of one of the world’s most popular sports for some of its most passionate fans will shoot exclusively with Grass Valley cameras.
, the Belgium-based operators of broadcast fleets around the world, just signed a contract with Nimbus Sport
to cover almost 750 cricket matches in India over the next three years. Each game requires between 22 and 30 cameras, all of which will be exclusively from Grass Valley
, including the LDK 8000 Elite and the LDK 8300 Live Super Slo-Mo HD.
The LDK 8000 Elite
"It's quite a substantial contract," says Alfacam CEO Gabriël Fehervari, who says the company will be providing gear but only a minimum of engineering crew. "In India, this is indeed the biggest job we've done."
That's saying a lot for Alfacam, which sends Flypacks around the globe with 40 percent of the jobs in Europe and 60 percent outside of Europe. Alfacam has robust divisions in such far-flung locales as Brazil, South Africa and Saudi Arabia. In addition to sporting events, Alfacam handles a wide range of productions. "We do lots of cricket, rugby and football," says Fehervari. "But in South Africa, we're producing the music show Idols
; and in Brazil we also do car races and Carnaval." Alfacam is also on track to outfit numerous events at the London Olympics, including bicycle races in London. "We are probably one of the key providers of big events in the world," he says.
The relationship with Nimbus Sport in India began eight months ago when Alacam provided HD gear for several cricket events, including the Australia and New Zealand cricket tours of India in 2010, over 60 days of Indian domestic cricket and numerous matches of the India Premier League (IPL) in 2011.
Grass Valley's LDK 6200 - The world's first HD Super SloMo camera
This latest contract calls for Alfacam to provide cameras and gear for the International cricket tours, the IPL and the Champions League T20, totaling over 700 match days. Each event will require between three to eight complete HDTV Flight case structures. In addition to cameras, Alfacam will also provide a range of other Grass Valley products including mixers and servers. Nimbus Sport will now also exclusively market all Alfacam Equipment products throughout the Middle East, Southeast Asia and the Indian subcontinent, expanding Alfacam's footprint in the region's sports broadcast market.
Alfacam has more than 300 HD cameras in use and all of them are Grass Valley cameras. "Grass Valley cameras are the best in the industry," says Fehervari. "The cameras are manufactured in The Netherlands, near us and, for the last 15 years, we've had some impact on the development of the product line. The Super Slo-Mo HD camera, for example, was developed specially for us and we were the first to use it. The viewfinder has also been adapted to our needs."
According to Fehervari, Alfacam was the first European country that invested in the 16:9 image format, in 1993, and was the first, in 1998, to switch to the newest super-slow-motion technology. In 1999, he says, the company was the first owner of a very large OB (outside broadcast) vehicle, equipped with 27 cameras, and, in 2000, was the first TV facilities provider to move to HD digital technology. Since then, Alfacam began using the newest HD super-SloMo cameras in 2004 and recorded a concert in 3D HD in 2007.
Alfacam co-founder and CEO, Gabriël Fehervari
Founded in August 1987 by Fehervari and Karin Stoop, Alfacam was originally a company that used multicamera systems for recording local events. But during the first Gulf War, the corporate movie market collapsed and Alfacam switched to focus on broadcasting companies, mainly for Flemish public broadcaster BRTN. Since then, Alfacam has evolved with market pressures to become a company serving the global marketplace.