NEP’s upgraded fleet is at the centre of Super Bowl XLIX coverage in Glendale, Arizona
NEP has a team of 80 staffers and 13 truck systems (totaling 24 production trailers) onsite at this weekend’s Super Bowl XLIX at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, AZ. For Glen Levine, co-president, U.S. mobile units, NEP, the weekend will end a long run-up that began long ago with the design and construction of ND1, the production trailer that NBC Sports calls home for Sunday Night Football during the regular season and for the Super Bowl this weekend, as well as upgrades to much of the rest of the fleet.
“The biggest thing for us is, over the past year, we have been upgrading a lot of our technology in all of the systems here,” says Levine. “So it’s great to have all the technology tied together and working. In the next year,” he adds, “we will work on upgrading the last 10% of our fleet to keep up with technology.”
NBC’s coverage of the Super Bowl will involve not only ND1 but Double Eagle, NBC’s golf truck. NEP’s SS24 unit is on hand for the studio show and tape release, and the ESU unit is handling transmission and tying all the trucks together.
“ND1 is a new build, and we have been growing into it since it rolled out in September. Now everyone is dialed in,” says Levine. “It’s a new level of technology for our engineers and operators, and now it is a tightly knit team.” NEP Supershooters Technical Manager John Roche oversaw tying the production units together alongside NBC’s team.
According to Levine, there were also plenty of planning meetings with Dave Mazza, SVP/CTO, NBC Sports Group and NBC Olympics, and George Hoover, CTO, NEP, covering what-if scenarios and redundancy planning. “We were doing everything possible to avoid any kind of problems,” says Levine.
NBC Sports is also making use of NEP’s SS16 and ND6 units, both located in downtown Phoenix.
The international compound features NEP units as well. EN1, which was used for the Pro Bowl last Sunday, is on hand for the NFL Network’s production of the world feed; the Super B unit, for international control operations. Other NEP clients include ESPN (using NCP14) and the halftime show (produced out of California). Denali Summit is covering the NFL Honours ceremony, and NCP7 and Iridium are on hand for DirecTV’s Beach Bowl and Fox Sports, respectively.
One interesting aspect of the compound layout is that, because the field rolls out of the enclosed stadium to allow the grass access to sunlight, the NBC compound was set up like a train alongside it. With the field moved back inside the stadium, there is an oddly large amount of open space next to the trucks.
“It’s been a great week, and everything has been coming together as planned,” says Levine. “We have a huge presence here, and it is amazing to see the camaraderie of all of our clients and the work that went into this over the past year come together.”