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Volume 20 No. 46


New York Mets fans can expect to see better graphics, higher picture and sound quality, and more super slo-mo replays, thanks to a new production truck the team’s regional sports network commissioned during the offseason.

SportsNet New York is leasing the truck, called “Amazin’,” from Game Creek Video. It has used the truck for a women’s college basketball game in November and spring training games in Florida. It makes its regular-season debut at Citi Field on Opening Day, March 31.

The production truck, dubbed “Amazin’,” is leased from Game Creek Video.
“We outgrew the technology of the truck that we were in,” said Curt Gowdy Jr., SNY senior vice president of production and executive producer.

In addition to games at Citi Field, SNY plans to take the bus to away games “along the eastern seaboard and as far west as maybe Chicago,” Gowdy said.

Gowdy said viewers will notice a difference in picture quality, which he said would be “warmer and richer.” Slow-motion replays will be twice as slow as the ones the RSN had been using.

“One of our goals is to bring the viewer closer to the game,” Gowdy said. “With this new, improved technology that we will have, our viewers will notice a difference.”

The process of commissioning the truck started about six months ago, when Game Creek executives drove a lookalike truck to Citi Field. SNY producers, directors, engineers and technicians went through the truck and developed a wish list down to the smallest details.

“If a producer wanted a pull-out drawer, we had it built,” Gowdy said. “If they needed a little bit more storage space in back of them, all those details were thought through and built specifically for us.”

Game Creek leases the truck out to other channels when SNY isn’t using it, Gowdy said. Executives would not reveal how much the truck cost or its lease price.

NBC Sports and Red Bull Media House have extended their marketing and broadcast partnership for the Red Bull Signature Series.

Under terms of a new revenue-sharing agreement, Red Bull will continue to run and produce the events. NBC Sports will show 20 hours of the events on NBC, and NBC’s action sports division, Alli Sports, will manage sponsorship sales and marketing of the events.

“Red Bull is such a powerful global brand and they produce some of the best events in the world,” said B.J. Carretta, Alli Sports vice president of marketing and communications. “It’s a good fit for what we’ve been doing in the action and youth sports space for years because they’re always pushing the envelope of what events there are.”

Red Bull’s events for this year include “Red Bull Double Pipe,” a halfpipe competition across side-by-side pipes, and “Red Bull Straight Rhythm,” a freestyle motocross competition.

The new deal will see NBC Sports air 15 fewer hours than it did under the initial deal signed in 2011. Under that agreement, NBC aired 20 hours of Red Bull programming and NBC Sports Network showed 15 hours. But Red Bull found another cable outlet to work with last year when it signed a three-year deal with Fox to deliver 180 hours of live and highlight footage to Fox Sports 1 and Fox Sports 2.

Between 2011 and 2013, Alli Sports signed several sponsors to support the Red Bull Signature Series, including Casio, Nike, Dodge and GoPro. Sponsors for this year include Dodge, Polaris, BF Goodrich, GoPro and Specialized.

Alli Sports is leading sponsorship sales for the Signature Series with support from NBC’s sales staff. They are looking to fill the apparel, mobile and snack-food categories.

“The beauty of what Red Bull does is we can work with other brands based on events, whether it’s a snowboard event or a mountain bike event,” Carretta said. “Our goal is not to clutter the shows but authentically integrate brands into them.”