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NMT and ESPN Team On 10th Summer X-GamesNational Mobile Television provides remote units for live coverage (September 09, 2004)
As the exclusive mobile unit and infrastructure provider to the 10th Annual Summer X Games, National Mobile Television (NMT), teamed with ESPN, recently completed one of its most massive, complex and daunting projects surpassed only by the recent Olympic games in Athens, Greece.
?This is probably the largest event we do each year, said Dave Cooper, vice president of sales and special projects for NMT. ?In fact, I know its the largest, including the Super Bowl. Theres just no comparison on the equipment and what we have to do as a team to put this together. Were pretty darn close to putting an Olympics together without all of the international flavor.
Paul DiPietro, project manager of broadcast operations for ESPNs X-Games, adds, ??and we do this [X games] twice a year.
Broadcast in SDI and archived in HD, NMT and ESPN partner twice per year to televise both the summer and Winter X games in addition to the biennial Global X games and the yearly Great Outdoors Games.
In terms of coordinating personnel and equipment, the numbers for the Summer X Games were staggering. A total of eight mobile units, 120cameras servicing 158 positions, 120 video tape machines, eight super mo cameras and nearly 2,500 pieces of equipment had to be tracked and shifted among the mobile units.
Further, about 400 crewmembers of varied engineering/technical, production and event teams were utilized during the X games four days of live competition from more than seven separate venues.
Among the sports and venues covered included Surfing in Huntington Beach, Wake Boarding in Long Beach, Vert, Moto X and Park at Staples Center and then Moto and Bike at Home Depot.
Both DiPietro and Cooper repeatedly emphasized the importance of communication and teamwork in order for such an immense operation to run both smoothly and seamlessly.
DiPietro said that communications between mobile units has vastly improved now that all of the intercom systems have been networked together. ?From Huntington Beach to Long Beach to Home Depot and the Staples Center, all eight trucks sound as if theyre parked side-by-side, he said.
?Everything we do is from a team approach, DiPietro said. ?Our team members communicate with each other throughout the year and through partnerships are able to develop innovative technological approaches.
Moreover, Cooper said that since the X games are now live, it has changed the way the event is covered. He said that in past years every truck would record its competition and would then have a 24- or 48-hour turnaround to deliver their segments and then all the segments would be pieced together into a show.
?That doesnt happen anymore because now we are live, Cooper said. ?And everything is inter-related, so its more important than ever that we all work as one cohesive unit.
Asked about the most challenging games to broadcast, DiPietro said that size and weather conditions were major factors. ?This year, the SuperMoto events at Home Depot were the most difficult to cover just based on the sheer size of the course, he explained.
DiPietro added, ?The Winter adds a whole other element. Take this event and put it at 9000 feet and below 30 degrees. Thats tough, but its also fun to tackle those types of challenges.
Today, ESPN, Inc, is the leading multinational, multimedia sports entertainment company in the world featuring the broadest portfolio of multimedia sports assets with over 40 business entities. The company is comprised of seven domestic television networks (ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN Classic, ESPNEWS, ESPN Deportes, ESPN Now, ESPN Today), ESPN HD (a high-definition simulcast service of ESPN), ESPN Regional Television, ESPN International (25 international networks and syndication), ESPN Radio, ESPN.com, ESPN The Magazine, SportsTicker, ESPN Enterprises, ESPN Zones (sports-themed restaurants), and other growing new businesses including ESPN Broadband, ESPN Wireless, ESPN Video-on-Demand, ESPN Interactive and ESPN PPV. Based in Bristol, Ct., ESPN is 80 percent owned by ABC, Inc., which is an indirect subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company. The Hearst Corporation holds a 20 percent interest in ESPN.
National Mobile Television is the leading provider of mobile analog, digital, and high definition television facilities for the production of television and Internet broadcasts from remote locations, such as stadiums, arenas, and conference halls. NMT currently provides facilities and services for more than 6,000 events annually, including major sporting, entertainment, distance learning, and corporate events for major broadcast networks, cable networks and independent producers including ABC Sports, CBS Sports, ESPN, Fox News, Fox Sports, New England Sports Network, WinnerCom, Automatic Productions, and The Madison Square Garden Network.
For more information visit www.nmtv.com.
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