Vera Bichler, one of the graduates of the Sports Direction course organised by the Broadcast Academy at the UK’s National Film and Television School (NFTS) in 2018, became the first female sports director at the Austrian national broadcaster ORF. Bichler took the lead on directing ten matches of the Women’s Football Bundesliga broadcast live by ORF Sport + in 2018 and since then has directed matches of the Austrian Women football league and a qualifier game for the U21 Austrian national team against Russia, in which Austria qualified for the U21 European Championship.
The Austrian sports director praises ORF Sport + for giving her the opportunity to showcase her skill.
Bichler also credits Broadcast Academy for helping steer her on the right path to reaching her ambitious goals.
“The course gave me practical help to learn how to direct major sports events and to take this next step in my career. It is important for women to not shy away from opportunities and to acquire skills, confidence and experience to rise in this field,” said Bichler.
Course leader and experienced sports director John Watts added: “We are really thrilled with Vera’s achievements and it is excellent that we could play a small part in her success.”
The Covid-19 pandemic has made the sports and directing waters difficult to navigate, but Bichler has forged ahead in her career during these challenging times. Working for the Host Broadcasting Partner for the 36th America’s Cup yacht race in New Zealand 2021 – one of the oldest sporting events on the planet – she is looking after the management of three parallel live streams, the organisation of the live TV graphics package and management of the media cloud for international rights holders.
“I am grateful for this next step, as I love to grow in my professional career as well as as an individual and this project combines these two aspects perfectly: working abroad in such challenging times for such an extraordinary sporting event,” she said.