BMS System Scores Big in NHL Coverage

Arnie Wilson

GLENDALE, ARIZ.—As senior production engineer, it’s my responsibility to maintain all of the electronic equipment used in Arena, the home of the Phoenix Coyotes NHL team. The venue is managed by Global Spectrum, a division of Comcast Spectacor, which is a subsidiary of Comcast, which owns NBCUniversal.

My responsibilities extend throughout the arena and into a separate audiovisual production operation that provides video feeds from the arena.

This is the last season that the team will use the Phoenix Coyotes name, as beginning next fall, the team will be known as the Arizona Coyotes in a move designed to create statewide hockey pride. Thanks to our new owner, the Ice Arizona group, and the city of Glendale, I was able to fast-track some items that needed to be replaced to continue televising the matches, including an update to the arena’s wireless video transmission system. While our original BMS RF system had been very reliable, it was beginning to show its age. Also, a lot of improvements and enhancements have been added over the past decade, chief among them, dual-diversity transmission. As good as the original single-antenna system was, having a diversity system can make all the difference sometimes.

Based on our prior experience with BMS, we didn’t even bother to shop around when it came to replacing the system. We knew what BMS could deliver and that was good enough for us. To be honest, I’m not that familiar with other brands as it seems that everywhere I go the wireless system is always a BMS.

Our new system has been nothing less than perfection. It’s very robust, reliable, and easy to set up. We installed the antennas just below our catwalk grid, which is 100 feet above the playing surface, and we’re now able to get consistently reliable signals from areas the original system couldn’t reach. This enhanced coverage helps us provide a much better fan experience, and whether it’s a hockey match or concert, our mission is to provide the best possible fan experience. We feel that in this regard the cost of the new BMS system was money well spent.

Our main RF camera operator, D.J. Brown, is always running around the arena for his shots. This includes the main bowl, the player’s tunnel, and both upper and lower concourses. He starts shooting before the national anthem is played, captures all of the action on the ice, covers the intermission program and continues through to the final play. With the new BMS system he’s able to do all that usually with just a single battery.

When we purchase new equipment, we want it to last a long time and know that the manufacturer will be there if and when we need help. BMS stood behind our original wireless system for 10 years and we have no reason to believe that we won’t have that same kind of support during the next decade and beyond.

Arnie Wilson is the senior production engineer for the Phoenix Coyotes hockey organization. He may be contacted

For additional information, contact Broadcast Microwave Services (BMS) at 800-669-9667 or