Roberto Scarpini, by most interisti known as the voice of Inter Channel graciously answered a few of our questions when we got to hang out behind the scenes with Inter Channel during the Napoli game.
The preparations for the game were intense to say the least and considering the way the last two games went (Cagliari and Fiorentina) there was a lot of stress in and around the San Siro. And on top of that president Erick Thohir was present and would be interviewed.
Obviously there were easier days to have someone from Sweden following you around and asking questions, but throughout the day I was met by nothing but smiles and professionalism.
What are the biggest changes at Inter Channel since the start? How has your job changed?
“The biggest changes are the ones related to technology. In the last 15 years the world of television and the language in TV have changed and hence so has our way of work and what we do. I’ll give you an example; 15 years ago we had an idea to do a show (now called Drive Inter, but then we called it “on a ride with”..) which would be an interview in the car with one of our players driving home with him after practice. At the time we would have had to use regular TV cameras because the small micro cameras were way too expensive. Now we shoot the show with a small camera that allows us to do a high quality broadcast but costs around 200€”, explains Scarpini.
Besides the famous faces we see in the broadcasts there are many who do the work behind the scenes (journalists, technicians and producers), at the moment there are about 25 people working at Inter Channel
Social media has changed how fans watch games and interact online (instant comments on your programs etc.), is this also influencing you on air (tv) and what is shown on the channel? Has it changed on what you prioritize on Inter Channel?
“It is part of the technological renewal I mentioned before. Social media outlets have entered on TV, in football and in our lives and they will become more and more important. Since we are always keen on experimenting with the technological advancements we are ahead is this area,” says Scarpini.
Although there are some negative effects to the fans getting closer to players and the journalists through social media (abuse online after losses etc.), there are positive things as well such as international fans getting closer to the team in their hearts.
Does it ever surprise you how well known you are among the international fans even though we can’t watch Inter Channel?
“Many years ago when I was doing the Inter radio commentary on a private radio based in Milan my voice was just heard in a 100km radius. Then the Internet came along and my voice from one day to the other went to the other side of the world. This is the technology that makes you feel close even to those who are far away and you haven’t even seen. Nowadays social media has made the world even smaller.”
He smiles and continues;
“Personally I am always surprised when people stop me and recognize me. But I think that is more due to the match commentating that goes worldwide than Inter Channel that is only visible in Italy (for now).”
Are there any plans to make Inter Channel available internationally? Through streaming perhaps?
“We are working on it, especially because president Thohir is keen on it. Shortly Inter Channel and the contents of Inter will be more easily available for our fans all over the world.”
In a world where the main goal seems to be first on things no matter the source or credibility. Which are the biggest obstacles that you face?
“Today journalism has changed. Everyone are writing even if they don’t know the basic rules of this job. And if this from one point of view makes everything come out faster and you can keep the interest up but from the other it also generates a lot of cases with bad information which can be damaging and there is no respect for the (journalistic) rules.
18 years with Massimo Moratti as president and now 1 with Erick Thohir, what are the biggest differences between the two? Has much changed for you in the day to day work or are things proceeding like before?
“They are different presidents with different strategies off the pitch with the aim to arrive at the same goal; they both want to win. After only a year with Thohir it is too early to highlight any differences.”
When hanging out with the Inter Channel crew, it really felt like a team that gets along well. Even though the hours were long and people were tired when getting close to midnight the jokes were flying left and right. Why do you think that is?
“Passion and vocation. Passion for Inter joined with the capability of the Inter Channel staff to after all the years of experience to handle a live broadcast in any circumstance. 22nd of May 2010 after 20 hours of consecutive live broadcasts we would have been ready to start it all over again.”
Do you think fans can be hopeful about this season? Napoli seemed to be a step in the right direction considering the last games, can this be the game that turns it around in your opinion?
“I hope that the game against Napoli serves as a watershed to get our season off the ground.”
Of the players who have been at the Pinetina in the last 4 years, who is the one that fans haven’t been able to spot the potential in. Someone who was really impressive during practice?
A few quick questions:
The funniest Inter player ever? Ronaldo
Who was the scariest when angry? Simeone
Drunkest on the flight back from Madrid 2010? Secret…
Were you able to speak after Inter-Samp in 2006? Sure!
We thank Roberto Scarpini for taking his time to answer our questions.
Readers, are you excited by the possibility of seeing Inter Channel in your countries as well in the future?