How do radio broadcasters prepare for big sporting events like the World Cup? What happens when your national team fails to qualify and what is the worst thing that can happen to a presenter that is scared of flying and dogs?
The 3rd EBU Radio Sport Podcast answers all these questions and more!
The podcast was launched in February 2018 and this edition was recorded at the Maison de la Radio in Paris, where the EBU Radio Sport group held its first meeting of 2018.
It features four top major event producers: Laetitia Bernard from Radio France, Ilaria Di Luzio from RAI Radio, Cadena SER's Maria Bretones and BBC Radio 5 Live's Pam Melbourne, who join the Chairman of the EBU Radio Sport Group, and host, VRT's David Naert to share their learnings and insights.
"You should always plan for the unexpected", says Pam Melbourne, who has planned many major event productions. "My job is to make sure that broadcasters get on site and they have no problems, they just concentrate on doing as good a broadcast as they can."
She highlights the vastness of Russia with its multiple time zones as a challenge for this summer's World Cup.
"You have to plan that somebody may miss a flight, something may happen and you've got to think how are you going to get them there."
"Thinking back to Rio 2016, I remember one of our summarisers is actually scared of flying and he had this trip up to the north to Natal where he had to change flights. He doesn't particularly like dogs, there was a dog on the seat next to him!" Pam has seen many things though including having a reporter stung by a bee at Wimbledon, emergency dentists and of course, lost luggage.
RAI's Ilaria Di Luzio talks about the ultimate unexpected, when your team does not qualify for a major event like the World Cup.
"We were not prepared at all so the first thing we had to do was overcome the shock. We never really believed it was going to happen." she explains.
"From the point of view of our coverage we had to downsize the whole operation because, when we have the team on site of course a big part of the operation is at our team base camp."
Of the planned coverage she says: "We hope it will be different but equally as entertaining for our audience," and explains that, whilst there is a fear that it will impact on audiences "Football is a very popular sport in Italy. People are also interested in the Championships from other countries and lots of players in teams are members of national teams of other countries, there will be lots of interest for sure."
The ultimate lesson to learn from this podcast is that radio people are incredibly resilient and that the programme will always get on air somehow:
"At the very end it all becomes a funny story and you make a programme out of it!"
You can hear the full podcast via the links below, plus all the previous editions.