NEP Commits to Brazilian Market With BR1, BR2
With the 2013 Confederations Cup over and the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympic Games on the horizon, Brazil is enjoying a moment in the international sports spotlight. NEP, looking to tap into this burgeoning market, recently deployed two mobile units, BR1 and BR2, in partnership with Casablanca Online, tasked with covering sports events throughout the country.
“We built these two units and put these two units down in Brazil because we’re excited about not only the large events going to Brazil but the broader market opportunities in Brazil as that market grows,” says Mike Fernander, president/GM, NEP. “We built the trucks and put the trucks down there specifically to address that market need and dynamic.”
Rather than wait to be approached by a service provider or network, NEP actively sought out an industry partner to manage its Brazilian operations. Casablanca Online (CBO), a provider of digital satellite newsgathering vehicles and services in Brazil, will operate both trucks, hiring staff, managing local clients, and handling the day-to-day business. NEP provides maintenance, engineering training, and account-management support for both trucks.
“A challenge that we had when we went down there was trying to find the right partner to work with,” explains Fernander. “Putting two trucks down there and trying to run it as an American outpost in Brazil didn’t make sense for us, so we spent a lot of time trying to find the right Brazilian partner that had the same values that NEP has around customer service and quality of delivery. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to find somebody in the mobile-unit space, but we found somebody who had the same values in the uplink business, which is Casablanca Online.”
BR1 is a 12-meter (39.37-ft.), single-expansion trailer built specifically to meet the live-production requirements of Brazilian broadcasters. It features a Grass Valley Karrera production switcher, three EVS HD video servers for tapeless digital recording, and a 48-fader Calrec Artemis Beam 5.1 digital audio console. The unit supports up to 12 Grass Valley HD cameras.
“It was really designed to put a fair amount of infrastructure and resources in a relatively small footprint,” says Fernander, “because the first thing that the team found when they went down there to figure out what the clients wanted is [that] streets are tight, parking is small; you don’t have big compounds like we’re accustomed to here.”
Slightly larger than BR1 and originally a part of NEP’s UK fleet, BR2 measures 14 meters (45.93 ft.) and was completely repurposed for HD production in Brazil. It features a Sony MVS-8000A switcher, Calrec Sigma digital audio console, four EVS HD video servers, and tape options for both SD and HD. Like BR1, BR2 also supports up to 12 Grass Valley HD cameras.
In addition to the Confederations Cup in June, NEP’s BR1 and BR2 covered the X Games in Foz do Iguaçu in April (where the trucks debuted), the São Paulo Indy 300 in May, and several UFC fights.
“We’re very excited about the big events that are coming down [to Brazil],” says Fernander. “We’ve built a plan to be in Brazil for the long haul, and we feel like that country will continue to evolve.”