As Regional-Sports-Net Market Grows, Mobile TV Group Continues Annual Expansion

Mobile TV Group may boast one of the largest fleets in the remote-production industry, but the company has no plans to halt the annual expansion of its fleet. Even at 25 trucks strong, MTVG plans to follow up the fall debut of HDX31 by rolling out an additional pair of dual-feed HD 53-ft. expando mobile units in December and April. And, the recent flurry of lucrative rights deals involving regional sports networks — MTVG’s primary market — suggest that expansion is unlikely to halt anytime soon.

“We are aiming for two new trucks a year, and sometimes we hit three,” says Phil Garvin, President/Co-Founder, Mobile TV Group. “Maybe it ends up being two a year plus another refurbished truck, but it will always be at least two a year.”

HDX31 Hits the Hot Pavement in Phoenix
HDX31, the latest addition to the MTVG fleet, hit the pavement this month in Phoenix, working Suns, Coyotes, and Diamondbacks games for Fox Sports Arizona. The unit will also make its way to Los Angeles and Salt Lake City when needed.

HDX31 bears a striking resemblance to predecessors 28, 29, and 30 in both layout and gear.

The dual-feed truck, which strongly resembles recent MTVG additions HDX28, 29, and 30, rides on a brand-new chassis built by Frontline Communications and features a Grass Valley Kayenne switcher (4.5M/E), Calrec Artemis audio console, and Chyron HyperX2 (primary feed) and HyperX3 (secondary feed) graphics.

However, MTVG has kicked up its replay and routing capabilities compared with other recent HDX units. HDX31 includes two six-channel EVS XT3s, one six-channel XT2, and two four-channel XT2s, as well as a more robust Grass Valley router.

“It is very similar to our recent trucks, except that there are more channels of EVS and all of all channels now have EVS SpotBox, which was a major upgrade to all of our mobile units nationwide,” says Garvin. “The router is also larger, which opens up a lot of new options. ”

In addition, HDX31 — like all of MTVG’s latest trucks — is equipped with 10 Grass Valley LDK8000 cameras, which run on digital triax, outfitted with Canon lenses.

“These Grass cameras really are spectacular,” says Garvin. “We have always used Grass Valley triax cameras, but they have moved from analog triax to digital triax, and it’s made a tremendous difference. The digital triax gives you a little longer cable length, makes it more reliable, and gives you a much better image.”

Make Way for 32, 33
In December, HDX32 will replace HDX11 in St. Louis (Fox Sports Midwest), covering Cardinals baseball and Blues hockey. The unit will also sneak down to Nashville and Memphis to assist MTVG in those markets. The gear complement will be largely the same as HDX31 with the exception of the audio console, which will be a Euphonix unit rather than Calrec Artemis.

Also on the horizon is 33HDX, which will likely replace HDX12 in Minneapolis (Fox Sports North), covering Twins, Timberwolves, Wild, and college games.

Both HDX11 and 12 will stay active, covering a variety of events throughout the country for MTVG and subbing for other mobile-truck vendors when they are overbooked.