A view from inside the International Broadcast Centre (IBC) in Sochi
As I have mentioned before, my office is located in the International Broadcast Centre (IBC). The IBC is the beating heart of broadcast operations at big sports events.
The feeds from all 450+ cameras from the various venues are sent to the IBC to be accessed by broadcasters, a lot of whom have their main base of operations in the IBC. Many will have set up editing suites to edit their programming on-site before it goes on air. Some even have their main broadcast studio in the IBC. With all this activity, the IBC drinks vast amounts of power. It is arguably the most important building to keep powered. If there were a power cut at a venue, no-one would miss the action as it is likely to stop completely. If the IBC has a power cut, the sport would continue but the world's screens would go blank. Consequently, the IBC will have its own generators at least for its back-up power supply, and possibly even for its primary power source.
The building itself has 40,000 m2 of working space, allocated to over 80 broadcasters with around 3,200 personnel based there. Thousands of broadcast personnel are based at the IBC, and it is open 24 hours-a-day as some people will be working there day and night, almost living there. Accordingly, it provides extensive facilities for us including a laundry, gym, grocery store, newspaper kiosk, merchandise store, beauty salon, Internet cafe, bank, a room of massage chairs (which are very good and always in use), medical station, pharmacy, post office, two food courts, two restaurants, a McDonalds and a very decent bar. The food courts are not the best, it has to be said, while the restaurants are good but the service is so slow you usually need to set aside two hours for lunch if there is a big group of you. Consequently McDonalds has been frequented more than we would prefer - last week one colleague sheepishly admitted to having been four times in the preceding 24 hours. Needless to say, there have been many declarations of intent about the gym.
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Raj Koria is an experienced and charismatic international sports business lawyer and adviser. Raj's experience includes media and television rights, sponsorship sales and servicing, product merchandising and retail distribution and on-site marketing operations. He is London based but services an international client base at Halebury, the alternative law firm.