CP Targets West Coast Entertainment Market in Partnership With Stagetec

CP Communications has gone Hollywood with the launch of the CP Entertainment department. Having served primarily as a facilitator for CP’s West Coast operations, the Burbank, CA, outfit will now operate as an independent department, specializing in equipment and engineering services for the West Coast entertainment sector.

“In the past, Burbank has basically just been a complement to our office in New York. As our West Coast sports operation, Burbank facilitated jobs for the New York-based companies like CBS, NBC, ESPN, etc., when they had jobs out west,” says Kurt Heitman, SVP of sales and marketing for CP. “Los Angeles obviously is considered the entertainment capital of the world. We’re there, so why not take advantage of our location? And that’s just what we’re doing.”

The Burbank location is already equipped for the new department, with a fully stocked warehouse and services that range from wireless microphone systems to HD mobile trailers. The trick for CP Entertainment and its new director, Steve Cormier, will be shifting the focus from sports to entertainment.

“We are basically a company that is 90% sports and event-based,” Heitman says. “Entertainment is totally different than sports. It’s very high end; they have specific requirements as far as technologies and specialized needs. Steve comes from an entertainment background, and he understands all that, so we’re going to put the focus on that end.”

CP Entertainment’s transition will also be made much easier by CP’s recent partnership with Salzbrenner Stagetec. The alliance dramatically increases the Burbank team’s digital-audio capabilities with Stagetec’s Nexus Routers (used extensively at ESPN headquarters in Bristol, CT) and audio consoles.

“They’re looking for inroads into the sports industry from us, and we’re looking for their audio consoles and routers and fiber distribution,” says Heitman. “It’s a perfect partnership.”

Currently, CP is building two 5.1 surround-sound digital sub-mix trailers featuring Stagetec’s digital networking and Aurus audio consoles. Ironically, CP Entertainment’s first project to use this new truck will be not an entertainment venture but one of the biggest sporting events of the year, the NBA All-Star Game in Dallas next month.

This year’s All-Star Weekend will be a bit different from years past; the events won’t all take place at the same location.  The All-Star Saturday Night competitions will take place at American Airlines Arena; the actual All-Star Game will take place at Cowboys Stadium. CP’s sub-mix trailer will work in conjunction with the NCP 10 truck to produce the All-Star Saturday Night broadcast as well as TNT’s studio show, which will be shot live at American Airlines Arena.

CP Entertainment will run a fiber distributed data interface (FDDI) from the court up to the sub-mix trailer and then a multichannel audio digital interface (MADI) distribution from the sub-mix trailer to NCP 10. The MADI will be provided by Stagetec and allows CP to combine the mass of cables usually necessary into a single fiber hookup.

“What’s great now is that we can have MADI distribution right to the NCP truck, whatever audio console they’re using,” Heitman says. “In years past, we have had to do analog; we’ve had to run something like a dozen DT12 cables between a trailer and a truck; there were cables everywhere. Not this year — just one piece of fiber this year.”

Although CP Entertainment will spend 2010 attempting to rev up its position in the West Coast-based entertainment market, plenty of sports projects remain on the horizon, including ESPN’s Winter X Games 14 later this month.

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