NEP Expands UK Presence With Barcud Derwen Acquisition
NEP UK has expanded its operations in Britain after buying the assets of Welsh facilities group Barcud Derwen and taking delivery of two new 3G HD OB trucks. Barcud Derwen, whose HD1 vehicle is used to cover Magner’s League Rugby for the BBC and S4C in Wales, went into administration during June and has been re-branded NEP Cymru OB. The new acquisition is now a sister company to NEP Visions, which is currently systems integrating the 3G units for the forthcoming Premier League football season.
NEP Cymru OB is headed by managing director Tony Cahalane, who was manager of Barcud Derwen subsidiary Omni TV, and operates the HD1 truck and a 7,500 square feet HD/SD studio in Cardiff.
HD1 went on the road in 2008 and is fully HD, with a 3G infrastructure, 24 Sony HDC1500 fibre cameras, MVS 8000 vision mixer and Calrec Audio Alpha console with Bluefin processing for 5.1 mixing.
Reports of Barcud Derwen’s difficulties had been circulating in the broadcast business for some time and the group was finally put in administration on 16th June. NEP UK Investments, a British arm of US facilities operation NEP Broadcasting, bought the assets of the company from administrators Grant Thornton.
“After the regrettable demise of the Barcud Derwen group NEP pursued the opportunity to put back into Wales a well supported OB and studio facilities provider,” comments Steve Jenkins, managing director of NEP Visions and executive director of NEP UK. Tony Cahalane added, “It is vitally important to us to remain as a facilities company that can continue to provide our key clients with the boutique service they are accustomed to.”
NEP Visions’ two 3G trucks will replace three older vehicles and were scheduled to go on the road this month. They will be used for Sky Sports’ Premier League coverage when the 2010-11 season starts on August 14. The units are being kitted out at Visions’ headquarters in Staines.
One truck is being called the “super truck” and will have two audio control rooms, each with a 56-channel Calrec Apollo console. This will allow pre-match presentation and coverage of games to be produced from one vehicle.
Visions’ head of sound, Paul Fournier, hopes to use both MADI and the Calrec Hydra network for connecting consoles and other equipment. Steve Jenkins comments that the company is looking for more technical consistency across its facilities in terms of sound desks, routers, wiring and handling of embedded audio.