Putting on our best shirt
(CBC Still Photo Collection/CBC Image Research Library)
This ad was included CBC's final report on its coverage of the 1978 Commonwealth Games, which were held in Edmonton.
"If you were broadcasting to 500 million people in 11 languages for 6 to 8 hours a day ... you'd put on your best shirt too!" the ad proclaims.
The fluorescent orange and blue shirt, known as the "pizza shirt", was also worn by CBC employees during the Montreal Olympics in 1976.
"We are proud of it because of the tradition it represents," the ad says. "We wore them for the first time at the Montreal Olympic Games where we set new world standards for sports broadcasting."
At the Edmonton Commonwealth Games, CBC had 700 technical and production people in the city - working at 10 different sports locations and in a $2 million broadcast centre that had been built in the downtown.Watch a clip about lacrosse at the Games:
CBC called its work on the Games "a mind-boggling exercise". It was the largest team of broadcasters ever present at the Games up to that point in history.
Close to 400 technicians were required to present the sophisticated coverage. Another 138 venue commentators were working on the Games.
A helicopter and cameracar were used to provide continuous coverage of events such as the walk, marathon and cycling road-race. A scuba diver was also equipped with an underwater camera to give "that seldom-seen look from the bottom of the diving tank", the final report says.
Almost 55 km of tape was collected during the Games.
"Pictures and descriptions of all the events will flood Canada on CBC's radio and television networks both French and English," the ad says. "Satellites, or 'birds' as we call them, will then take our words and pictures to the rest of the world."
The Commonwealth Games were held from Aug. 3-12, 1978.
Twenty-eight broadcasting nations were in attendance, with CBC playing host broadcaster - responsible for co-ordinating all the radio and television requests from the participating countries.
Forty-nine nations participated in the Games, including 2,000 competitors and officials taking part in 10 official sports. It was the largest Commonwealth Games ever held up to that point in time.Broadcasting across bordersThis title card was used during the opening ceremonies of the Commonwealth Games. (CBC Still Photo Collection)
Domestic and international satellites made it possible to transmit live or taped programming, for both radio and television, to millions of viewers in Commonwealth countries around the world.
Coverage reached Australia, Britain, New Zealand, Gambia, Ghana, Guyana, India, Jamaica, Kenya, Malaysia and Tanzania.
Programs destined beyond the borders of Canada were fed via the Telesat Transportable Earth Station, with twin transmitters located at CBC Edmonton and in conjunction with the existing Earth Station in Huggett, Alta., afforded three avenues of transmission access to Anik, Canada's domestic satellite. Anik was then able to deliver signals to Teleglobe Canada for distribution to Atlantic and Pacific satellites.
About 140 hours of taped television programming also left Edmonton during the Games, destined for Commonwealth broadcasters around the world. The programming took the form of one hour daily highlight packages, which were physically dubbed and shipped daily by air to the countries. They'd reach their destinations within two days of the events taking place.
Posted on Aug 11, 2011 6:00:00 AM