20 April 2024 The Irish Film & Television Network
TVM Reflect on Coverage of the Papal Visit & Busy Weekend for Irish Sport
31 Aug 2018 : Nathan Griffin
Following an extremely busy weekend of live broadcasting that included Pope Francis’ Visit to Ireland and a number of key GAA fixtures, TVM share some insight with IFTN about their involvement in the biggest live broadcast weekend since the 2016 Easter Centenary.

As part of the RTÉ Special Events team, TVM covered many of the key moments from the Papal Visit in August 2018. These included:

  • Live aerial footage of Pope Francis landing at Dublin Airport
  • The City Tour on Saturday afternoon from the Pro Cathedral through Dublin centre city all the way to the Capuchin Centre
  • The concert in Croke Park Saturday evening
  • Sunday morning coverage from wet and windy Knock Airport and Knock Shrine
  • Sunday afternoon Mass from Phoenix Park
  • Live aerial footage of Pope Francis taking off from Dublin Airport

Along with these events TVM covered a Triple Header of Ladies Football Semi-finals in Dr Hyde Park, Roscommon on Saturday, and the U21 Hurling Final in Limerick on Sunday evening, both live TG4.

Last weekend between the Papal Visit and GAA TVM utilised 55 Cable Camera channels, 15 Radio Cameras, 27 Radio Talkback Channels and 258 channels of Audio. Over 21km of cable was pulled out over the various locations in Dublin, Knock, Roscommon & Limerick. All done with over 180 TVM crew and nearly as many hotel rooms.

TVM continued their working relationship with the Irish Air Corps, with Pilot Commandant Jarlath Heneghan and Captain Oisín McGrath providing the live aerial pictures from Dublin.

TVM were also responsible for designing the be-spoke tracking camera system that was used at Knock Shrine for the Pope’s tour through the people. The production team utilised an Isuzu DMax that was adapted by their in-house fabrication team and SteadiCam Op at TVM.

Managing Director Bart Arnold told IFTN:

“It was a privilege to be involved in such a high profile event. Our team have worked tirelessly for weeks and months in the lead up to last weekend but all the efforts paid off. I am very proud of all of my team. It was a pleasure to work closely again with the team in RTÉ Special Events”     

RTÉ's television pictures of the visit was accessed by over 76 broadcasters worldwide and transmitted globally.  Viewers in 159 different countries including Iran, Papua New Guinea and Swaziland accessed the coverage on RTE Player, RTE News Now App and RTE.ie.  

TV viewing data released by Nielsen TAM show that over 1.8 million viewers tuned in to RTÉ's special live television coverage of Pope Francis in Ireland across the weekend.

IFTA Q&A Series: Joanne O’Brien on Costume Design
IFTA Q&A Series: Eleanor Bowman on Cinematography
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