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Mar. 7, 2024

ARRI Multicam System supports live broadcast for Karate World Championships

Using a specially developed plug-and-play workflow, ARRI AMIRA Live cameras supplied stunning broadcast images for the 2023 Karate World Championships.

Mar. 7, 2024

Every two years, the best fighters from around the world compete in the Karate World Championships in different cities. At the most recent event in Budapest, ARRI was close to the action: In collaboration with host broadcasting company ISB (International Sports Broadcasting), ARRI’s Multicam System supported the live feed transmitting the martial arts competition worldwide. Three AMIRA Live cameras were fully integrated into the live entertainment broadcast system, using a specially developed plug-and-play solution to provide simple workflows during the event. This enabled the production to deliver cinematic and luminous broadcast visuals, close to the high-quality and emotional imagery of films and TV series. 

“This is indeed a major innovation, since most cinematic style cameras used in broadcasts today only provide sideline or replay shots, or supplementary footage for highlights,” says Ursula Romero, Managing Director ISB. The host broadcaster and long-term partner of the World Karate Federation (WKF) relied on three AMIRA cameras, along with eleven standard HD live cameras, to produce the high-quality karate broadcast. One ARRI camera was handheld to provide dynamic shooting and close-ups, while the other two were used on tripods to capture a full picture of the karate competition. 

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Three AMIRA Live cameras were fully integrated into the broadcast system

“Since the show had quite low light, theatrically, as is normal with fight sports, these cameras were able to give more luminosity and most of all, we were able to use prime lenses which provide a much more shallow depth of field,” says Ursula Romero, who has a personal background in film that inspired her to bring in a cinematic look for the Karate Championships in Budapest. The ARRI Multicam System offered different points of view and angles to the broadcasting crew, capturing the full karate experience on a small field of play. Taking advantage of the full access to fighters, it was possible to shoot close-ups on their moves, expressions, and emotions throughout the tournament. 

Any sporting event that wants to deliver a storyline can benefit from this type of camera and workflow. Its depth of field, color rendition, and image quality engage viewers on a much deeper level and create a different live sports experience.

Thomas Stoschek

Sales Manager Camera ARRI

Using the AMIRA Live’s Super 35 sensor and its particular depth of field, the Karate fighters continuously stood out in the image. “The AMIRA is a cinema camera, but also a fully integrated system camera with the same interfaces that would normally be expected in a live environment,” says Thomas Stoschek, Sales Manager Camera at ARRI. “It also provides a cinematic color rendition, thanks to the color science developed for the cinema industry that AMIRA shares with other flagship camera models such as ALEXA. Additionally, its workflow can be integrated with other live system cameras.” 

On top of capturing stunning live images, the ARRI Multicam System also delivered high-quality interview footage and behind-the-scenes material for a short documentary about the Karate World Championships.

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ARRI's Multicam System delivered stunning live images, interview footage, and behind-the-scenes material

ARRI has previously delivered a similar look for other sporting events, including the 2022 FIFA World Cup, the National Football League (NFL), or international kickboxing tournaments. While AMIRA cameras have often been primarily used for sideline content and extra footage on these occasions, they were fully integrated as live cameras for the Karate World Championships. “Live broadcast audiences are getting more and more accustomed to high-quality images, for example through watching top-notch TV shows in their homes. This has generated a growing demand to engage viewers across platforms with a cinematic look for live events as well,” says Thomas Stoschek, Sales Manager Camera Systems at ARRI. 

In the future, the broadcast expert sees an increased demand for cinestyle images in live sports. “It already landed in soccer, American football, and kickboxing, but this is just the beginning,” Stoschek says. “Any sporting event that wants to deliver a storyline can benefit from this type of camera and workflow. Its depth of field, color rendition, and image quality engage viewers on a much deeper level and create a different live sports experience.”

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The Karate live broadcast was produced by ISB with an OB van from Antenna Hungary

The live output for the Karate World Championships was produced by ISB, using a HD Outcast Broadcast van provided by local broadcaster Antenna Hungaria. ISB brought in its core team from other parts of Europe, including director, producer, executive producer, EVS operator, and its own graphics system with operator, while Antenna Hungaria sent in tech crew and camera operators.

The live signal was distributed to different rights holders via SRT and via satellite which was provided by local rights holder MTV Hungary. ISB also set up the video review system, for which it supplied equipment and a two-person crew.

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The AMIRA Live cameras offered different points of view and angles to the broadcasting crew