In technical terms, "international signal" refers to the video and audio signals that TV stations around the world use as the basis for their live broadcasts. Not only SRF, RTS and RSI but all international TV channels that are broadcasting the race use the images and sound produced by SRG and broadcast them within their own country – accompanied by commentaries in their local language(s). About 100 countries broadcast the TV pictures produced by SRG for the Tour de Suisse. The international signal also forms the basis for broadcasts on the Internet.
Live production since 1991
SRG has been a host broadcaster for sports events for many years and has outstanding expertise in producing them. The Tour de Suisse is the biggest annually recurring live production for SRG – and has been since 1991: SRG broadcast the Tour de Suisse live on television for the first time in the year Switzerland celebrated its 700th anniversary.
The Tour de Suisse covers more than 1,200 kilometres, and the infrastructure in each starting and finishing area is erected and dismantled daily. SRG has two broadcasting vans ready at each finishing area to produce the international signal.
To follow the action, it has between four and seven cameras installed in the finishing area plus two helicopters with stabilized cameras and four motorbike-mounted cameras.
The images captured on the motorbike cameras and the helicopters are relayed via a plane - a Beechcraft King Air 200C flying at around 8,000 metres above sea level - to the broadcasting vehicle at the stage finish line and then to TV channels around the world.