Live From MLB All-Star: Two Boroughs, Multiple Networks, No Problem for CP Communications


CP Communications’ Michael Mason, standing outside HDRF5

When it comes to RF frequency coordination, particularly in the crowded New York City spectrum, CP Communications has everyone covered.  Once again, CP is out in full-force for All-Star Week, providing RF support for Fox Sports, ESPN, MLB Network, and MLB International.

At Citi Field in Queens, CP Communications has deployed approximately a dozen staffers; eight RF cameras; and full audio distribution for the effects microphones, talent microphones, and wireless microphones.  While the on-site networks share resources, including HDRF5, CP Communications – now in its fifth All-Star appearance – tailors services to each client’s individual needs.

“The challenge here is getting everything coordinated for several different events,” explains Michael Mason, president, CP Communications. “Whereas on a golf course, the coverage is going to be the same no matter what – regardless of what holes they want covered. It’s different here because ESPN has Futures Game, Celebrity Softball Game, and Home Run Derby – none of which are your traditional baseball game coverage. The challenge, aside from getting everything operational, is the many different setups that are required.”

Across the East River in Manhattan, the company is powering a completely separate show: the All-Star Red Carpet Show, broadcast by MLB Network. MLB Network’s show includes a roving reporter and back up, who will travel the parade route between Bryant Park and Second Avenue, and an RF motorcycle, which will travel up and down the parade route.

An 80,000-square-foot red carpet stretches from Manhattan's Sixth Avenue to Second, along 42nd Street.

An 80,000-square-foot red carpet stretches from Manhattan’s Sixth Avenue to Second, along 42nd Street.

CP Communications is stationed atop the HBO building, which is located across 42nd Street from Bryant Park.  HBO receives the RF camera signals – five RF cameras total, including a fixed location at Grand Central Station and another at the Westin Hotel – through a 1.4-gig uplink, which are then muxed down to Bryant Park via a 7-gig downlink.

While CP Communications moved into place yesterday, they had to be out by 7 p.m. in order to accommodate a movie showing in Bryant Park. The company returned this morning at 5 a.m., putting the final touches on the show, which is set to begin at 1 p.m.

“It’s a pretty intense set up for us,” said Kurt Heitmann, SVP, sales and marketing, CP Communications, speaking during yesterday’s set-up. “It’s tough when you can’t set up until early morning… but the timing has worked out really well. It’s by far the biggest hype and the most coverage we’ve done [for the parade].

”A lot of work for a little parade,” continued Heitmann, “but it is New York.”

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