Live From the Ryder Cup: NEP Presence Grows to 21 Units Strong
Mobile-unit giant supports NBC Golf, Sky Sports, the BBC, European Tour Productions, Turner Sports
NEP’s presence at the Ryder Cup is almost equal to the number of players on the U.S. and European teams: 21 total trailers in use by NBC Golf, Sky Sports, the BBC, European Tour Productions, and Turner Sports.
“This and the Masters are about the same,” says Mike Werteen, co-president, NEP Mobile Units USA division, “and both are the most trailers we would have in one compound for all of the disparate broadcasters.”
NBC Golf is using ND4 for coverage of the back nine, SS25 for coverage of the front nine, ST25 for additional replay support, XL2, and the ESU, which serves as the central hub for audio and video signals. Golf Channel, meanwhile, is using ND5 for Live From programming; Sky Sports, SS23; European Tour Productions, ND7, and Turner Sports, TS2.
“We’re proud of every one of our trucks, but here the newest one is the B unit for the TS2 unit,” says Werteen. “The design was a collaboration with Tom Sahara and Chris Brown at Turner, and I’m proud of the design of that. It will most likely be the standard for our B units.”
The B unit can operate in either expanded or non-expanded mode; the advantage of expanded mode is that the long bench on one side of the truck is complemented by workstation pods.
“They can be used for different capabilities like edit suites or dotcom workstations,” adds Werteen. Another feature is that the equipment that traditionally would be found in belly bays is located in the backend of the unit and can accessed from inside the truck.
“Also, this is the last show for the SS10B unit,” says Werteen. “A lot of the gear inside that truck will be redeployed globally.”
He adds that the Ryder Cup means a lot to NEP, one of the premier events.
“Every show is important to us, and every show is somebody’s Ryder Cup,” Werteen adds. “But this is the Ryder Cup, so we need to make sure that everybody is clicking on all cylinders to deliver.”
The last time the Ryder Cup was held in the U.S. was 2012, at Medinah Country Club outside Chicago. At that time, CTV, the technical-facility provider for ETP, rented trucks from Corplex. A month later, Corplex was purchased by NEP, but the work laid the groundwork for CTV to select NEP.
“We believe in continuity,” says Barry Johnstone, managing director, CTV OB. “The thinking was also that, by working with the same technical provider that is being used by the host, we could get a lot of support by being part of that team.”
Adds Werteen, “That’s the nature of our business as we’re working on their behalf. And there is a friendly relationship between NEP UK and CTV. There is always competition in this business, but, at other times, when needs overlap, we work together. When they need us to find RF pole pointers or other people they don’t want to travel, we find those as well.”
NEP CEO Kevin Rabbit elaborates on that ability to help each other out: “CTV, Barry, and the team there are a class act, and they were outstanding in helping us out when we had our fire last year in the UK.”
NEP, like NBC Golf, had a busy summer with the sport, including having more than 400 production-team members (80 from the U.S. alone) in Brazil.
“I’m so proud of the team,” says Werteen. “Everyone delivered on their productions.”