The reality TV format The Mole has proved extremely popular in Bulgaria. The concept, not unlike that of Big Brother, involves the participants including in some cases celebrities, such as the former basketball star Dennis Rodman living together for an extended period, in this case twelve weeks, during which time their every movement is captured by over 60 cameras that spy on them tirelessly round the clock. The recently broadcast Bulgarian final was watched by over 500,000 viewers, winning the channel in question, TV7, a 78 per cent share of the market among the target group of greatest interest to advertisers.
The role of consultant as well as the technical implementation of the Bulgarian edition of The Mole was assumed by Mel Broadcast Solutions (MBS), which is based in Kessel (Belgium). The task in question was no small one in view of the sheer size of the set, with the studio and outdoor areas extending over 5,000 square meters.
Despite the scale of the undertaking, flawless communication between members of the TV crew was absolutely essential above all, during the daytime episodes, which were broadcast live and involved not only discussions between the directors and camera operators but also the coordination of the multiple cameras. The most important tool here was a Zeus III intercom matrix from RTS a device that offers not only a wealth of technical options, such as 32 input and 32 output channels and a dual-channel party-line interface, but also functions that make it extremely easy to use: the 1U matrix can, for example, be configured from any point in the network using AZedit software. Twenty-two RTS KP-12 keypanels, all of them programmable and connected to the matrix, secured the communications between the control rooms, editing workstations and other locations on the set.
We had precious little time to prepare for this production, says Melchior Busschers, the managing director of MBS, so it was all the more important to have RTS systems, which proved once again their reliability and user-friendliness, at our disposal. The flawless performances turned in by the MBS team and its equipment won the company not only positive feedback from the client but also the commission to produce TV7s next new show.
About The Mole
The reality TV format The Mole, first developed in Belgium, has proved a huge export hit and been licensed already to 40 different countries around the world, including Austria, the United Kingdom and the USA. The themes of the show are group dynamics, betrayal and intrigue. The recent winner of the Bulgarian edition took home a prize of around 70,000 Euros.