Pitt Athletics and the University of Pittsburgh, in conjunction with NEP Group, will unveil Pitt Studios Thursday, Oct. 4 with a ribbon cutting ceremony, tour and media roundtable at the Petersen Events Center.
“We are thrilled to unveil Pitt Studios,” said Director of Athletics Heather Lyke. “This has been a terrific collaboration between the athletic department, the university and NEP Group. With the expertise and help from NEP, Pitt is well prepared for the launch of the ACC Network with a state-of-the-art broadcast facility that is among the best in the country.”
Pitt Athletics has forged a unique partnership with Pittsburgh-based NEP, the world’s largest outsourced production partner supporting premier content producers of live sports, entertainment, music and corporate events. The partnership features an apprentice-training program that allows future NEP broadcast engineers to gain valuable hands-on experience during live ACC Network broadcasts. NEP, in turn, lent its technical expertise to Pitt during the build-out of the Pitt Studios facility on overall system design, including equipment suggestions and final installation of the technical operations center and control rooms. In addition, this partnership includes naming of the ‘NEP Production Hub’ at the location of the control rooms and editing suites.
“NEP is proud to partner with Pitt Athletics in providing technical expertise for its new state-of-the-art broadcast facility,” said Kevin Rabbitt, CEO of NEP. “We’re excited to continue our partnership, in collaboration with the University of Pittsburgh, an outstanding higher education institution, by participating in their broadcast curriculum so we can fully engage, educate and train the next generation of talent coming into our industry.”
The 6,000 square foot broadcast facility will house three redundant broadcast control rooms, multiple editing suites, and a showpiece broadcast studio in the lobby of the Petersen Events Center. The broadcast hub is connected via fiber to the Petersen Sports Complex, Fitzgerald Field House and Trees Pool, and will be responsible for over 100 sports broadcasts per year to support the launch of the ACC Network.
There is also a significant educational component to the project as Pitt Athletics has collaborated with the University of Pittsburgh Film and Media Studies Department to partially fund a faculty position and to aid in the creation of a broadcast curriculum, giving Pitt students a chance to observe and interact with broadcast professionals during live network broadcasts for ESPN.
“Up to this point our students have had to go elsewhere to gain this kind of experience,” said Director of Film and Media Studies Randall Halle. “I know our Film and Media Studies students will have meaningful placement opportunities and will be directly responsible for live content via Pitt Studios and the ACC Network.”
In addition, NEP Group has been a primary partner in this endeavor developing a co-op program, which alternates classroom instruction with full-time fieldwork in broadcast engineering, through the Swanson School of Engineering.
In the hope of providing more students with hands-on experiences with our media partners, Pitt Athletics applied for and received a personalized education grant from the Office of the Provost to support three students with internship and externship experiences.
Outside of the University of Pittsburgh, Pitt Studios will form an academic partnership with Point Park University – a leading educational provider for broadcast journalism and production. Point Park students will be interns working on the live ACC Network broadcasts. In addition, via the Pittsburgh Council on Higher Education’s cross registration program, Point Park instructors will be able to bring their students to an on-site classroom to monitor live broadcasts.