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Area company's mobile TV studios dot Tampa

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Friday, Jan. 30, 2009

A Harmar-based company has a record 22 of its TV studios-on-wheels this week in Tampa for NBC Sports, ESPN and other broadcasters to use to cover the Super Bowl.

NEP Broadcasting Inc. has rented production trucks equipped with cameras, microphones and cables for each of the past 18 Super Bowls. But this year's fleet is the biggest ever, a sign of the growing complexity of filming major sports and entertainment events.

NBC Sports has seven trucks parked outside Raymond James Stadium for its feed alone, including two for the game itself, one for the pregame and postgame shows and an entertainment truck geared to transmit Bruce Springsteen's halftime show, said Mike Werteen, NEP's senior vice president of sales.

"Every year, more importance is put on the quality we provide, and the quantity of equipment goes up," said Werteen, who's been in Tampa for three days.

ESPN and NFL Films also rented multiple trucks, he said, and the BBC and other major broadcasters outside the country use NEP's equipment. A distribution hub with 11 trucks will transmit the game and related shows to more than 200 countries.

The 53- or 60-foot-long trucks began to arrive last Thursday in Tampa. The trucks rent for up to $500,000 for an event.

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