Winter X Games Live: NEP Primed for ESPN’s Global Expansion

As ESPN launches its global expansion of the X Games, NEP Broadcasting finds itself in an enviable situation. Already the sole provider of mobile-production units for X Games in the U.S., the company is expanding internationally — both in Europe and in Brazil — at the same time ESPN has moved from three annual X Games events to six.

“NEP will be supplying the facilities and engineering internationally for us,” ESPN VP of Remote Operations Chris Calcinari confirmed in Aspen, CO, this week. “We have a great partnership with NEP and are excited to expand it internationally. We currently have an agreement in principle at five out of six sites.”

NEP Accompanies X Games Beyond Borders
NEP Supershooters will continue to serve the U.S.-based X Games in Aspen (Jan. 25-27) and Los Angeles (Aug. 1-4), and NEP Visions will handle the newly added events in Barcelona (May 16-19) and Munich (June 27-30). Meanwhile, NEP’s recently announced mobile-production business in Brazil (a partnership with Casablanca Online) will handle the new Foz do Iguacu event (April 18-21).

The only X Games site not to rely on NEP mobile-production facilities will be the Tignes, France, event, which is co-produced with Canal Plus Events. Canal uses AMP OB trucks for it.

“It is going to a bit different this year because there are going to be more events between now and Summer X,” says Michael Pean, account manager, NEP Supershooters. “With more events, there is more staff. But the expansion doesn’t change NEP’s aspect of what we provide to the client. We put our best foot forward and make sure we have the facilities in any location no matter what we’re asked for.”

First Things First: Aspen
But first and foremost for NEP is this week’s Winter X Games in Aspen. Just as it did in 2012, NEP has rolled SS21 (ESPN’s NASCAR truck) and SS32 (ESPN 3D’s dedicated truck, which works in tandem with a CAMERON PACE Group ShadowCaster mobile unit). There is one change in the company’s footprint in Aspen this year, however: unlike in years past, SS21 does not have a C unit for submixing and other secondary applications.

“It’s still similar for us on-site,” says NEP Engineer in Charge Nick Romano. “In order to make global X Games unified, there have been some changes. As a result, they cut down on the quantity of gear this year, and not having X Course [a competition that was eliminated for the first time in X Games history] also cuts down on a tremendous amount of effects mics and things like that. But, besides that, it is about the same for us this year.”