When NBC Sports returned to NASCAR in 2015, the national TV network turned to CSM Production to design and construct an easily-deployed, high-tech stage which served as an at-track broadcast booth. Up for the challenge, the CSM team factored in multiple location sites throughout a race weekend including fan-focused areas, pit road, Victory Lane and more based on each venue.
In addition, CSM Production’s experts custom built four carts in 2015 to meet NBC’s needs over the course of its 20-race week season. Each cart varies in functionality from a mini studio on wheels complete with fiber, audio and video equipment, and Wi-Fi; a booth prepared specifically to meet the statisticians’ needs; a robo cam cart to showcase different camera perspectives with specially-designed rails; as well as a fixed camera cart.
As the 2017 NASCAR season wrapped up, here’s a look at NBC Sports by the numbers.
- In two hours, the team was show ready including unloading from the custom hauler, stage placement and stage build.
- Two CSM Production employees – John Autrey and William Navey – spearheaded the NASCAR on NBC efforts.
- Over the span of our partnership with NBC, CSM Production’s stage played host to three weekly commentators for the “Countdown to Green” and “NASCAR America” shows - Krista Voda, Kyle Petty and Dale Jarrett along with several guest appearances by drivers.
- Three 7000-watt Honda generators and two 2000-watt Honda generators were required to power the stage from build to broadcast.
- The NBC custom-designed and built stage weighs seven tons.
- The high-tech, self-contained stage equipped with hydraulics, a generator, CAT-5 and Wi-Fi could be setup and operational in approximately 12 minutes.
- NBC was armed and ready with support staff. It required 14 to 18 people, including three talent, one stage manager, one audio tech, one lighting tech, one hard camera operator, two for the jib camera, one makeup artist, two robo camera operators, two utility players that work with CSM Production and up to four people that assisted with stage strike.
- Depending on the track, the amount of fiber needed to reach the NBC Sports stage and feed back to the TV trucks ranged from 600 feet to 4,500 feet.
- At times, CSM Production was required to dismantle the stage and depart pit road within six to seven minutes of the race getting underway. It took a team effort to orchestrate a timely departure, and according to Autrey, “I wouldn't want to do it with anybody other than the ones we have!”
CSM Production’s work with NBC Sports does not end here. The duo will be working together in 2018 on Rugby World Cup Sevens as well as NASCAR.