Live From NBA All-Star: Bexel Presence Expands To Meet Client Needs

Increase in activities over the weekend boosts demand for broadcast support

Bexel is on hand at the 2017 NBA All-Star Weekend in New Orleans with its biggest onsite team ever for the event. Its clients Turner Sports, NBA TV, and NBA Entertainment are all doing more content creation than ever over the weekend of activities.

“Productions for things like the D-League and other events are growing,” notes Lee Estroff, VP, account development, Bexel. “As they grow, we grow with them.”

A Bexel flypack will be in use today at the Ritz Hotel for coverage of player media availability by NBA TV.

A Bexel flypack will be in use today at the Ritz Hotel for coverage of player media availability by NBA TV.

Bexel’s projects range from providing 650 strands of fiber between the compound and Smoothie King Center to providing gear and support for editing systems alongside Thumbwar. Also under Bexel’s purview are six Sony HDC-4300 super-slo-mo camera systems, for coverage of the All-Star Game on Sunday, and 28 Quantum5x player mics, which will be used at the All-Star Game, D-League All-Star game, and Dew NBA 3X three-on-three final.

Bexel also has a presence at the Ritz Hotel, where it is providing the technical and operational backbone for NBA TV’s coverage of player press conferences and interviews later today. According to Johnny Pastor, director, technical services, Bexel, one of Bexel’s Light Production Units (LPUs) is on hand to pull together coverage from Sony cameras located in the media availability area and two small sets.

“We have three cameras on the main set, one on the second set, and two upstairs in the media availability area,” says Pastor. “The second set is for side interviews, as we don’t want to keep the players waiting.”

The equipment complement includes Sony HDC-2500 cameras and Canon lenses, a Grass Valley Kayenne production switcher, a Calrec audio console, an Evertz Xenon 64×64 router, Evertz multiviewers, and three EVS XT3 servers operating in six-channel mode.

There is also an EVS SpotBox and two graphics systems brought in by Turner Sports. “One will be used for on-air needs,” adds Pastor. “The second will be used to prebuild elements.”

The LPU philosophy is to offer flexible configurations that can meet the specific need of the client. It can also scale up and down in size to be a proper fit for the physical space. Parking limitations in New Orleans make flypacks an attractive option for production teams.

The team will break down the flypack on Friday night, and move-out promises to be an interesting logistical challenge: a Mardi Gras parade will be passing by the Ritz Hotel at the same time as move-out. But Pastor says the Ritz staff has been very helpful and is working hard to meet the needs of the production team.

“On Saturday, we fly out to Los Angeles for the Oscars,” Pastor says, referring to an annual highlight for the Bexel team.

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