The Tour de France is probably the best known and most prestigious stage cycle race in the World. In three weeks over a 3,430km course, the 98th Tour de France in July 2011 was a gruelling test of the cyclists – and their teams' media connections.
The QuickStep Cycling Team planned to produce a daily TV report of their progress in the Tour but internet connectivity along the route to transfer footage to the broadcasting centre was too unreliable, especially in the nine mountain stages.
So, SES Broadband Services and terminal manufacturer Newtec sponsored the QuickStep Team, providing our satellite broadband to make the connection, independent of terrestrial access problems. Our system was quickly set up at the end of each stage providing a dependable broadband link for the team's daily data transfers.
“Setting up the dish took only 25 minutes,” said Jan Smekens, in charge of QuickStep team communications. “The Point&Play technology was really helpful in pointing the antenna correctly, and makes establishing a connection simple. We would definitely recommend it.”
“The system creates opportunities we could only dream of before. The budget required to achieve this cannot be compared to any ‘old school’ methods. It’s a whole new ball game - to use a sports expression”.