Cairo, June 5, 2009 – Dozens of TV channels from around the world turned to Video Cairo Sat for assistance in covering US President Barack Obama’s “New Beginning” speech to the Muslim world from Cairo.
VCS operated as many as nine concurrent satellite paths over two days, as media from across the globe and across the political spectrum focused on Obama’s speech and its relevance to America’s relations with the Middle East and beyond.
Working with the US Pool, VCS was responsible for transmitting the live signal of the speech and the immediate reaction from Administration officials. All of the major US news networks relied upon VCS satellite dishes, engineers, producers and coordinators at both the White House filing centre and the speech site at the Main Hall at Cairo University.
VCS also worked closely with the Egyptian Radio and Television Union (ERTU) at Cairo University to make sure the US Pool and White House Communications received the pool, as well as downlinking the feeds for the many broadcasters working at VCS headquarters.
Live positions at the International Media Centre at Cairo University and at the panoramic Nile Studios at VCS headquarters were in use nearly constantly over a 36-hour period. ABC and CBS had extensive live inserts into their morning programmes from these positions, while Fox Business News broadcast interviews about the Egyptian economy throughout the day before the speech. Al Hurra also produced extensive programming the entire day from a unilateral dish at the filing centre and from the VCS Nile Studio. Channels from Asia (CCTV, NHK, NTV, TBS), across the Middle East (Al Hayat, Al Hurra, Al Quds, Orbit, Sawatel), Israel (IBA and Channel 10), the US (ABC, CBS, Fox, MSNBC) and Europe (Atenna 3, BBC, DWTV, ITN, La7, ORF, SIC, Sky TG 24, ZDF) reported live from VCS facilities. In total, some 75 hours of material was transmitted by VCS over the two days.
VCS camera crews covered many of the events during Obama’s stay, as well as serving unilateral needs of CBS, ORF, SKY Italia, VOA, and other channels. Production staff covered every angle of the visit, from the arrival to the mosques, the speech and the Pyramids.
The Obama visit highlighted all of Video Cairo’s strengths – editorial independence, experienced staff, high-quality equipment and engineering – tapping into its 36-year tradition of service to broadcasters.