The America’s Cup: Ross Mobile Productions Plays Big Role for NBC, Red Bull Media House

RMP is providing its FIN5 sprinter van, auxiliary trailer, and eight-person crew for the America's Cup (NBC) and Youth America's Cup (Red Bull)

Ross Mobile Productions has been on hand in Bermuda for the past month supporting NBC Sports Group’s production of the America’s Cup U.S. domestic coverage and Red Bull Media House Youth America’s Cup coverage. RMP has sent over its Future is Now 5 (FIN5) 24-foot production van to serve as the hub of both productions, a climate-controlled auxiliary trailer for edit, and an eight-person crew to produce and manage the NBC and Red Bull Media House live coverage.

RMP’s FIN5 mobile unit and climate-controlled auxiliary trailer in Bermuda.

“We have a great partnership with NBC that extends to a lot of their properties,” says Mitch Rubenstein, President and Executive Producer, Ross Mobile Productions. “So, it made a lot of sense that they reached out to us about our capabilities of bringing one of our mobile units over here to Bermuda. It was a perfect fit for us based on NBC’s needs for this type of coverage.

Inside RMP’s Presence in Bermuda
FIN5 is fibered directly to the America’s Cup Event Authority’s (ACEA) ACTV host-feed truck at the broadcast center in Bermuda and bringing in a total of 12 feeds (plus 12 back-up feeds) for NBC and Red Bull Media House’s coverage. RMP’s eight-person crew is supporting both productions, which are both able to utilize FIN5 since the America’s Cup and Youth America’s Cup events are staggered throughout May and June.

Inside RMP’s FIN5 sprinter van at the America’s Cup in Bermuda

NBC is also utilizing FIN5 to integrate its race coverage with programming from its three-camera on-site studio set. A total of 24 fiber strands are connecting the truck to the studio in the AC Village, which is roughly 5,000 feet away. In addition, RMP has laid down 12 primary and 12 back-up fiber paths to connect FIN5 to the ACTV host truck in the broadcast compound. 

FIN5, like all RMP sprinter vans, features a host of Ross Video gear, including a Carbonite Black switcher and Xpression graphics, as well as Ikegami cameras with Canon lenses.

In addition to FIN5, RMP has created an edit inside its climate-controlled auxiliary trailer, which is fully networked with the ACTV host trucks to allow IP browsing of the full footage archive. As part of its commitment, RMP is also handling all ENG needs.

FIN5 is serving as the production hub for NBC Sports Group’s set at the America’s Cup overlooking the Bermuda Great Sound.

For NBC’s transmission needs, RMP has also deployed ASI encoders with dedicated fiber loop to NBC Sports Group headquarters in Stamford, CT.

“We’re able to work within our efficiency to meet the budget constraints of putting a show like this together,” says Rubenstein. “Not to say this doesn’t still look like an A-level show, which it does, but we have perfected the model to be able to maximize our resources and our crew fills multiple roles because they are so versatile. Our entire team knows our system and knows how to work well with NBC. It’s a well-oiled machine. And it’s a high-level understanding that’s come from experience.”

Building on the Big Blue Bahamas Tour
NBC first came to RMP roughly six months before the America’s Cup began to enlist its help. In order to navigate challenges and logistics related to Bermuda’s remote location and lack of infrastructure, RMP utilized its experience in producing the Kentucky Wildcats’ Big Blue Bahamas Tour telecasts in 2014.

“The fact that we had done the Big Blue Tour in the Bahamas was a huge help and, I think, a big reason why NBC had faith that we could do this,” says Rubenstein. “It was just a case of following the footprint that was in place and working off of that but with a larger scope. The NBC ops team helped as well with a lot of the planning and then we plugged it in from there.”

Rubenstein adds that “this has been one of the most challenging events that we have ever worked on, but it’s gone extremely well.”