NEP Broadcasting’s International Events Group Goes the Distance for World Golf Cup Championships

NEP Broadcasting’s International Events Group (IEG) is assisting IMG Media, a global sports, entertainment and media company, in providing coverage of the 52nd Annual World Golf Championships—Barbados World Cup live from Barbados, taking place December 5 through December 10, on ABC and ESPN.

In order to capture the 28 nation, two-man team global golf tournament for an estimated 200 million viewers, NEP’s IEG used a modern, flexible and fast assembly fly pack infrastructure, and has shipped nearly 45 tons of equipment to St. James from NEP Broadcasting’s Pittsburgh headquarters. In addition, NEP has sent eight of its core engineers on location to manage and maintain all onsite equipment throughout the event.

Challenged with using a definitive amount of equipment to deliver 12 hours of U.S. coverage on ABC and ESPN Networks while simultaneously covering event highlights for broadcasts in 140 countries, IMG/ABC is working from one main production gallery for overall tournament coverage with an additional smaller production area for the overall international broadcast. The equipment for the main site is outfitted with 62 stacked monitors and 35 isolation monitors and includes: a SONY HDS-X3600 64x64 video router accompanied by a SONY HDS-X3600 128x128 audio router; a Thompson Grass Valley DD35 digital switcher; eight Sony Digital Beta tape machines; two six channel EVS LSM hard disk video recorders; a 52 channel Soundcraft Series 5 mixing console; a 48 channel Yamaha PM 4000 effects console; and 20 cameras comprised of Thompson Grass Valley LDK 6000 HDs and SONY 900 SDs.

While the smaller production unit is sharing footage from the core production gallery, it also has its own equipment comprised of: a Trilogy Intercom Matrix, and a Networks 32x32 video and stereo audio router; a Ross Video Synergy 2.5 MD switcher; two wireless SONY 950 cameras; two SONY Digital Beta tape machines; a Crest Century VX mixing console; and a six channel EVS LSM.

NEP Vice President Errol Foremaster says preparing coverage for an event of this nature required meticulous planning. “Broadcasting in the Caribbean is a challenge in and of itself—travel distance, time and customs are always an issue when preparing our shipping schedule.” He adds, “The tropical terrain is also a major factor, subjecting our equipment to the region’s notorious unpredictable weather and humid conditions. To address this dilemma, we engaged in alternative solutions, which resulted in our decision to ship fly packs and set up tents to weatherproof the equipment.”

Providing design and technical management assistance to IEG is Toronto-based Broadcast Services International (BSI). Jim Eady, president of BSI, views the World Golf Championships—Barbados World Cup as a great opportunity to team up with another global broadcast provider. “Through the formation of International Events Group, broadcasters from all corners of the world receive major event technical proficiency and resources from NEP. This revolutionary international air pack will provide ABC, ESPN and golf fans with optimal coverage of this signature event.”

Following on the heels of the annual New York City Marathon and the Asian Games from Doha, Qatar, the World Golf Championships—Barbados World Cup is the third international event in the last two months in which IMG Media has utilized NEP’s global tech support and expertise.

“NEP Broadcasting has always been regarded as a worldwide leader in television production and mobile facilities,” states NEP Broadcasting Executive Vice President Dan Wilhelm. “Having the opportunity to provide coverage of the World Golf Championship reinforces our position as a global network solutions company.”