Live From 2022 NFL Draft: NEP Is Out in Force With U.S. Mobile Units, AVS, Bexel, BSI, Fletcher
A bevy of production trucks are onsite to handle three days of programming
As NFL Draft production operations return to pre-pandemic levels, the NEP army is out in full force in Las Vegas this week. A caravan of NEP mobile units is onsite, led by EN-1 for the main ESPN broadcast, and NEP divisions AVS, Bexel, BSI, and Fletcher are providing plenty of cameras, fiber connectivity, and other services for the broadcasters onsite.
“If you want to do a big show, Las Vegas knows how to do big,” says NEP EIC, EN1, Bruce Hogenboom. “It is exciting to be stretching our limbs here and going all out with such a huge production after the past couple years. After the decade or so I’ve been involved, [the Draft] continues to grow, and it’s bigger than ever this year.”
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NEP EN1 A, B, C, D, and E units are at the core of ESPN’s NFL Draft production from Vegas, and SS5 and ST5 are serving the College GameDay–themed production on ABC. The broadcaster is using three control rooms: two inside EN1, one in Supershooter5 infrastructure.
In addition, NEP M12 and C3 are handling the NFL Draft Fan Fest Experience, Denali Summit and ST35 are on hand for the NFL Draft Screens Feeds & Stream, and Denali California serves as home to the NFL Draft Preshow at the Bellagio this evening.
“It’s quite a unique event,” says Hogenboom. “It’s the kind of thing that EN1 one was designed for. We have around 70 cameras onsite, and we’re all sharing the feeds back and forth between the trucks. Plus, we have 25 feeds coming back from ESPN in Bristol and those are all being integrated into our shows.”
NEP’s AVS (Aerial Video Systems) division is providing Van Wagner Sports & Entertainment (VWSE) with five wireless RF cameras at Caesars Palace and another at the Bellagio Hotel for videoboard shows on the Strip.
Bexel also has a significant presence, providing its ESU distribution flypack, fiber transport and prompters, main fiber transport and fiber cable, and graphics systems. NFL Media is relying on Bexel for fiber connectivity and support, monitors, and lenses for its studio sets on the Strip. VWSE turned to Bexel for video DA racks, fiber transport, monitors, and cable for the main stage production. NEP Denali and Supershooter trucks are outfitted with lenses, EVS replay systems, keypanels, frame syncs, color correctors, and fiber from Bexel.
“We’re doing a lot of distributing and integrating on our side,” says Hogenboom, “but we are also very fortunate to have Bexel here doing a lot of the inbound processing. They are taking in all of the inbound feeds and distributing them to both EN1 and Supershooter 5.”
In terms of RF cameras and support, BSI (Broadcast Sports International) is providing ESPN with 15 RF cameras, two return video paths, three Blue Steel wireless microphones, six UHF PLs, and 36 UHF radios. For NFL Media, BSI is supplying eight RF cameras, two video return paths, two Blue Steel wireless mics, six UHF PLs, and 36 UHF radios.
NEP’s Fletcher team is also busy in Vegas, rolling out four Sony P50 robotic cameras (two with 40X lenses and two with wide-angle lenses) on the main stage for ESPN, as well as three Sony P50 robos with WA Lens in the green room. Van Wagner has four Sony P50 robos with WA lens and six Panasonic 150 robotic systems on the main stage and two Panasonic 150 robotic systems at its Bellagio set. NFL Media is deploying a Sony P50 robo with 95X lens at its Treasure Island rooftop set and on the main stage for the podium. NFL Media has three Sony P50 robos with WA Lens on the main stage, Sony P50’s with 40X lenses on the balcony of Cosmopolitan, at Bellagio Lake, and on Las Vegas Blvd.