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NAB 99, Suite N249/251, Upper Concourse, Las Vegas Convention Center

Rugby fans will be able to watch the entire 41 match Rugby World Cup ‘99 tournament in October on ITV following ITV Sport’s selection of BT Broadcast Services to manage its broadcast transmission requirements.

The BT operation will be entirely digital to enable ITV Sport to broadcast every game live in widescreen format on its digital television channels (ITV1 and ITV2).

Although the competition is hosted by Wales, games will be played at 18 venues spread across England, Ireland, Scotland and France as well. The international nature of the event means that BT will provide purpose built studios and master control rooms at its Cardiff transmission centre and BT Tower in London.

Within the UK, BT will provide primary connectivity using its extensive fibre optic network to carry REC 601 component digital video images between stadia and studios. Using MPEG-2 4:2:2 compression technology, digital satellite trucks at each venue will transmit match coverage via satellite to provide a back-up transmission path.

Games played in France will be brought back to the UK via satellite using BT’s digital bridge service linking its Paris teleport with London and the gateway to its global networks, BT Tower.

Player interviews, team news and reaction will be covered by ITV Sport using BT satellite trucks at the English, Scottish and Welsh team hotels.

ITV Sport’s Roger Philcox said: "BT’s ability to deliver a national network of high capacity fibre circuits capable of carrying REC 601 component digital transmission made BT the obvious choice for ITV’s Rugby World Cup coverage.

Philcox continued, "In addition, the comprehensive fleet of BT transportables and fixed uplinks have enabled ITV to fulfill its host broadcaster responsibilities by ‘beaming’ matches back to London from those games played in France and the Republic of Ireland."

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For further information please contact:

NAB 99:
Jayne Bassham,
BT Broadcast Services,
Suite N249/251,
Las Vegas Convention Center,
telephone 0468 861291

or

Sonya Brucciani,
Press and PR Manager,
BT Broadcast Services,
telephone: +44 171-406 6883,

or
Alex Laity/Simon Avis,
Spreckley Pittham Limited,
telephone: + 44 171-388 9988

For more information about BT Broadcast Services visit world wide web site on http://www.broadcast.bt.com

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