PMTV Database Offers One-Stop Sports-Production Shop
By Carolyn Braff
For 20 years, PMTV has been perfecting its massive database. Today, the company, essentially a general contracting service for television, offers access to nearly 600 production trucks, 500 transmission sources, and 13,000 crewing professionals around the world, through a proprietary database constantly updated in-house. That database also includes details on suppliers of RF equipment, rental gear, lighting and grip suppliers, generator units, crane and boom services, audio companies, and affiliated TV production services.
“Our database is unlike anything that exists anywhere, to our knowledge,” says PMTV President Brian Powers, whose brother, with a PhD in engineering and computer sciences, helped build the PMTV database in 1989. “The database has tracked 20 years of our bookings. It’s been updated numerous times with newer technology, but essentially, every person or company that we’ve done business with, whether they’re customers or vendors, if we transact business with them they go into the database.”
The relationship-based system allows PMTV to create a customer profile linking a client to a particular job, so that all of the service providers booked in conjunction with that job are electronically linked.
“It creates a composite total picture of a customer event,” Powers points out.
After 20 years and more than 8,000 remotes, the links run deep. Through the database, finding providers to support a boxing show at the Bellagio in Las Vegas on the fly, for example, is as easy as typing in a few parameters.
“We have all the information we need to react quickly to customer requests for bids based on facts, not just guessing,” Powers says. “My motto is, ‘I may not know, but I know who does, so let’s make it happen.’”
To do that, clients identify all of the elements that they need to put on a show, and PMTV fulfills those needs. Most of the company’s work is done in North America, but much of it is for foreign broadcasters. Who are PMTV’s competitors? No one, directly.
“Our competitors are, if the client has the ability and personnel to do this work in-house,” Powers explains. “Our clients are typically the broadcast rightsholder or the production company of record, and they really haven’t mastered the whole of the supply chain worldwide or nationwide.”
In addition to avoiding the headache of linking all the elements of a production, clients who use PMTV are assured that each of those links will fit together, since PMTV takes care of booking a satellite uplink truck that meshes with the television truck engineer.
“We put the puzzle together and make sure that everything is interacting properly,” Powers says. “Our clients just want to show up on-site and have everything organized properly so they can produce their show. They don’t want to get involved in shipping equipment, booking trucks, and hiring crews.”
With a staff of 14, PMTV does not own any of the equipment it supplies, which gives the company plenty of flexibility in terms of the services it can provide.
“You might call a truck company, and they’re all booked,” Powers says, “but we have access to every mobile unit in North America.”