NEP Opens Integrated Remote Production Centre at MediaCityUK
New facility offers end-to-end broadcast and connectivity solutions in safe, off-premise production environment.
NEP UK and NEP Connect, divisions of NEP Group, the leading worldwide outsourced production partner for premier content producers of live sports and entertainment, announced the launch of a new, integrated remote production centre in Manchester’s MediaCityUK complex. NEP’s teams built out the facility in under three weeks to open in time to support Sky Sports’ return to live football coverage on 17 June for the English Premier League opening game, Aston Villa v Sheffield United. For the EPL’s return to air, Sky Sports moved part of their replay operation, normally on-site in the OB truck at the stadium, to NEP’s MediaCityUK facility. This updated workflow reduced the number of Sky Sports personnel on-site, which allowed for optimal social distancing, while enabling the Sky Sports team to retain production and operational control.
The launch of the integrated facility follows a successful test of NEP’s centralised production platform to the UK Market earlier this year: the filming of an EPL match at Aston Villa, through one of NEP’s Data Centre’s in Hilversum, with production using NEP’s iOB (intelligent outside broadcast) control room in Manchester.
“I couldn’t be more excited about the opening of our MediaCityUK facility in time for Sky Sports’ broadcast of the EPL re-start,” said Simon Moorhead, Managing Director, NEP UK Broadcast Services. “It was fantastic to be a part of this return to live sport and to be working alongside the Sky team again, who have always been early adopters of NEP’s production innovations and our remote capabilities.”
Built to each client’s and event’s needs, and able to scale rapidly, NEP’s facility can be used as part of an end-to-end remote workflow solution to extend any onsite operation either as a remote broadcast extending one of NEP’s OB trucks, or as a centralised production space using one of NEP’s Data Centres.
Connectivity is provided through NEP Connect, NEP UK’s sister company, and the robust AnyLive® fibre network, which moves data, communications and video from the Manchester facility to over 240 venues in the UK, across Europe and beyond with very low latency.
“The connectivity we can provide our clients has grown tremendously in the last few years,” said David Meynell, Managing Director of NEP Connect. “We’re now able to give our clients a direct link to national and international audiences through our MediaCityUK facility powered by NEP’s technology and the fastest growing media network in the UK. We’re very proud to have been a part of this project.”
Importantly, NEP’s Manchester production centre has been built with numerous safety measures to protect personnel and visitors from COVID-19 and other viruses, designed to enable them to work safely and efficiently. Workstations are positioned with ample distance between them, separated by Perspex screens, and are staggered in their floor layout throughout the facility. NEP has also implemented stringent health and safety training for its staff and clients, with a “safety captain”on site for every production. Finally, the teams follow a heightened cleaning protocol at MediaCityUK and in all of NEP’s facilities, including cleaning of all shared surfaces and shared equipment before and after each use, and the labeling and sanitisation of individual equipment such as microphones and headsets.
"I’m pleased we were able to accelerate some of our plans, and I am very proud of how the teams have worked against the current challenges and in such a short time frame to put together this fabulous set up,” said Steve Jenkins, President, NEP UK &Ireland. “NEP has a pedigree in remote operations and connectivity along with a depth of experience in a number of services. We have had operations in Manchester for some time, and this is a great example of us bringing together our services and our talent to expand and support our clients. I look forward to what else we will be doing in operations like these."
NEP’s centralised production facilities, including the facility at MediaCityUK,can be used for a wide range of solutions. To learn more about NEP’s remote production and connectivity capabilities and solutions, including our newest production facility in Manchester, contact NEPUKSolutions@nepgroup.com.