NEP Acquires Trio Video
NEP has acquired Trio Video’s four HD mobile-production units and engineering and support staff, giving NEP a deeper hook into the concert-touring and music-festival business as well as additional resources for regional and national sports coverage. Trio co-founders Gary Meagher and Jack Walsh will remain to help run the Trio brand, and the company’s Chicago facility will remain in place, with operations coordinated out of NEP in Pittsburgh.
“This acquisition was a great fit for both companies,” says NEP CEO Kevin Rabbitt. “Both NEP and Trio have similar cultures, rooted in supporting our talented people as they deliver superior service to our clients. Trio’s reputation for excellence in regional and national sports, as well as concert tours and music festivals, complements NEP’s existing business.”
Mike Fernander, NEP president and general manager, says that Trio’s contracts with Comcast SportsNet Chicago fit in well with the company’s other Comcast relationships and that the entertainment fit is a good marriage as well, bringing Trio’s entertainment trucks alongside NEP’s generator and NEP Screenworks video display services for concerts and festivals.
“The Trio fleet fits in very well with our NCP regional and some of our Supershooter units,” adds Fernander. “They’re very versatile and capable.”
Fernander says that NEP continues to grow its cost base cautiously and is not looking to add infrastructure costs. Maintenance for Trio’s units, for example, will now be done at NEP’s facility in Pittsburgh but operations will still be based in Chicago.
“We don’t add a tremendous level of cost but we do maintain what Trio does so well which is manage client relationships,” he says. And festivals like Bonnaroo, Coachella, and Lollapalooza are just a few of those clients that may find working with both NEP and Trio easier now that the deal is complete.
“Screenworks is at most of the festivals we do,” says Trio’s Meagher. “We have been feeding them video for a number of years, but I have yet to learn a lot about them because they have always been a competitor up until now. But we know that we are both going to be able to work together on festivals. I’m not sure how we can work together [in a better way], but I’m sure that we will be able to do that.”
Peter Kimball, head of program development and production for Trio Video, has been at the center of the company’s concert/festival productions.
“I think this will help a lot with planning an event,” he says. “We can all start at the same time, on the same page, with the same schedule. It can also help us save time and labor and, potentially, equipment. And I anticipate that festival promoters will have to make only one phone call in the future instead of two.”
Kimball adds that reaction from festival clients has been positive.
“They don’t care if it’s a Trio truck or an NEP truck; they care about the people,” he says. “It’s our engineering and production people that they want.”
“This is an exciting time,” adds Fernander.
Additional reporting by Jason Dachman