With broadcast in more than 200 countries for an average of 130 million viewers, the Champions League final remains an event apart. And for the first time, Canal will produce this big deadline, in an agenda disrupted by the war in Ukraine: the invasion of the country by Russia forced UEFA to move the final from Saint Petersburg to Saint-Denis. “We had to organize in three months what we can usually do in a year and a half,” says Laurent Lachand at Le Point. The director of the poster between Real Madrid and Liverpool even sees it as a sign with this relocation to France. “I know the Russian television crews, which don’t have much to do with it. I feel sorry for them. However, it is a great symbol that this final is being played in France, with Karim Benzema in particular. »

Director of the round ball for Canal for many years, Laurent Lachand takes us behind the scenes for such an important match. “We will have more than 40 cameras to follow the whole evening, including 32 solely dedicated to the game. We mobilized more than 200 people for this event, assembled four OB vans to have a large structure. We have expertise for sport, with innovation, capture and production, in order to give the best possible editorial level. A football match as a director is a strict framework that looks a bit like a coaching tactic. Each camera, like the players, has a specific role. There is a strategy to stick to! »

�� Karim’s first reaction

“Football has changed,” Kylian Mbappé said recently at a press conference following his extension to PSG. The distribution of this sport and the way of filming it illustrate this well. Laurent Lachand confirms this, behind his controllers and screens: “We had a qualitative evolution of the image also accompanied by sound. We create immersion, in the middle of the players of the match. This final will be the first in an Atmos audio system, to plunge into the heart of the stadium. The broadcast will be in standard UHDR, it’s like our vision, if not a little better! The slow motions are also of better quality, we can have more dynamic sequences. Before, we did on cassettes, we had to rewind the tape with a wheel, it was quite tedious! Fortunately, today everything is digital. »

One of the major recent upheavals in football remains the introduction of video refereeing. Even if the VAR is still not unanimous, Laurent Lachand sees it as an interesting sequence from his point of view as a director. “It was a tool to be tamed. I discovered it at the Confederations Cup in 2017, then it became an element that creates verified decision. It settles situations in a factual way, we would no longer have a goal like the English in 1966. It creates appeasement. This is not dramatization, but storytelling. The long time is not a problem, it allows to have suspense. People on their couch can argue with each other. Once in a while, it’s nice to sit down and breathe. »

As for the innovations specific to Canal and the realization of the meetings, Laurent Lachand returns to certain experiments which did not convince everyone, in particular the “air cam”. “For the video game fans, it was like Fifa. We wanted to test new ways of filming. We may have been too direct, without showing enough pedagogy, because that changed old habits. Still, all the exchanges with the consultants were positive: they considered it a good thing to see and understand the game.”