Transmitting live from Greece

For the past two years Athens has been in the spotlight of the Eurozone crisis. As each new drama develops, foreign correspondents fly into the city to seek the help of local companies that can supply the crews, edit gear and uplinks in order to get their live reports and packages on air. These are some of the service providers:


INA: Yannis Koligliatis knows all about the TV news business having worked as a cameraman for Reuters and the Greek networks. In doing so, he won awards and had some hairy moments such as being detained by Serb forces during the Bosnia conflict.

His knowledge of the industry has served him well as during the past few years he’s built up the largest independent uplink supplier in Greece, INA, which possesses 12 SNG vehicles.

But as FTP technology takes over some of the playout work that he used to do, his main focus is now on sports. “Probably 80% of our work is sports,” he said. “Compared to five years ago we are a lot more busy both with sports and news. We’ve been very busy with news since 2010 because of the crisis.”

In fact, partly due to the constant news surrounding the Euro and Eurozone members, INA has decided to expand by basing a satellite truck in Brussels.

Yannis said, “Everyone is interested in the Euro and the economy. Brussels will also be there for sports coverage. I think it is a good thing to be in the centre of Europe and Brussels is the best place for this.”


FADE: Former Visnews cameraman Fanis Despotidis remembers the days of having to race to Athens airport to send news cassettes back to London. Beating the opposition [in those days, WTN] was critical.

“Because of my background, I know the needs of our clients,” said Fanis, who now operates a broadcast services company in Athens, FADE. “They need to deliver their reports quickly and in excellent video quality.”

“Here at FADE we all have to work closely as a team in order to provide that best service.”

Fanis is constantly looking at new equipment coming onto the market. Currently FADE has two flyaways and a Ku-band SNG truck. He’s now interested to invest in Ka-band and recently took delivery of some gear to test its performance.

“In the next two or three years, Ka-band will become widely used as an additional way of transmitting video, alongside Ku-band,” said Fanis.

“I think it may be a bit like LiveU where initially in Athens people didn’t know how they would use it. But now several companies are using it - including Mega and Skai - treating it as an additional option for newsgathering. This will be the same for Ka.”


Journal Street Productions
is a new company formed in April 2012.

It’s a collaboration between experienced journalists and the broadcast services company, ITTV.

Gina Kalovyrna said they supply crews, editing and live shots of Parliament and the Acropolis.

“We can do 4 to 6 live transmissions simultaneously,” she said.


Atlas Sat:
Located half-way between Athens and Greece’s northern border, Atlas Sat believes it’s based in an ideal position for servicing broadcast clients.

Director Vasilis Stamos said, “Larissa is only about three hours away from Athens. At the same time we have good access to the Balkan countries. For example I could be in Skopje, or I could be in Bulgaria or Turkey in three to four hours. So if any major event breaks out I could be there more easily than if I was based in Athens.”

The company has three SNG vehicles, one of which is a 4x4 designed to cater for any rough terrain. In addition, Atlas Sat has OB facilities. Currently 60% of their work is news and 40% sport.

Vasilis said, “We mainly supply SNG trucks and ENG crews on a daily basis to major Greek TV networks though we do have quite a lot of international clients who we supply either exclusive services or occasional services.”

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