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How iHeartMedia’s Denver Tech Team Prepped for Super Bowl

Mike Irby writes from on the scene, giving us a gear list and a sense of how hectic this whole process can be

Radio Row equipment
The author is VP of engineering at iHeartMedia Denver.

As the 2015 NFL season comes to an end, we find ourselves with the Denver Broncos making their eighth trip to the Big Game. KOA has been the flagship station for the Broncos for over four decades. Along with KOA we are also going live with our FM affiliate KRFX as well as Denver Sports 760.

Technical planning — in the event that the Broncos were to make it this far — actually began before the AFC Championship game. Even during that game, as it looked as if the Broncos could be victorious, plans were being solidified on several fronts. Not just technical, but with sales, promotions and our digital products as well. On the Monday after the AFC Championship victory, we began gathering equipment required for us to broadcast three of our stations live from Radio Row for a full week, as well as the actual game-day broadcast from Levi’s Stadium for KOA.

The Broncos played in the Big Game two years ago and the experiences we took away from that event helped guide us though to what we hope to be nine successful days of technical craziness in San Francisco.

The equipment we gathered was divided into two shipments. One sent directly to the Radio Row facility for our week of broadcasting; the second shipment, containing game-day equipment, traveled to San Francisco on the Broncos equipment truck.

Are you ready for some football?
Since we are originating over 80 hours of programming from Radio Row this week, we also needed to bring other essentials such production equipment, wireless gear for roving reporters and even office supplies.

While a large portion of our broadcast gear is in San Francisco, we still had to plan for our business to continue back at the mother ship. If the Broncos are victorious Sunday, there will be parades and such a day or two later, which our cluster will cover live. Not to mention the day-to-day activities that still happen at all of our eight stations, including our 24/7 news, traffic and weather departments.

WBL Services is coordinating all telco needs both for the week of events at Radio Row as well as game-day services at the stadium. WBL has provided this service to the NFL for many years and has an extremely smooth process for ordering all telco needs. We ordered two ISDN circuits, two POTS lines and two Internet connections. For the stadium we ordered an ISDN circuit, POTS line, Internet connection as well as three dry pair between the Broncos locker room and our broadcast booth.

A total of 1,600 pounds of equipment was sent. Our biggest concern was the Radio Row shipment, as it was being sent to the Moscone Center dock; what could happen to it once it was dropped off there was unknown. At bottom of this story you will find a list of equipment sent to Radio Row in San Francisco, as well as our game-day equipment list.

WBL telco circuits
We arrived in San Francisco Saturday afternoon, with our first stop being the Moscone Center and Radio Row. After a couple of hours of trying to find the right equipment handlers, we finally located our two pallets. It was a tremendous relief to get our hands on the equipment and to see that there was absolutely no damage. We unpacked all the cases, located our three broadcast tables and made our plan for setup on Sunday.

Sunday morning arrived and we made our way back to Radio Row by 8 a.m. We began the arduous task of setting up what would be full production and broadcast locations for three stations. All went as planned, though we had to work with Century Link and Verizon on an issue with ISDN connectivity. We went live at 4 a.m. Monday morning.

I’ll be back with more about how the week went. Watch this space!

Radio Row Equipment List
Yamaha O1V96 mixer
Mackie CFX12 mixer
Presonus StudioLive RM16AI mixer engine
Telos Zephyr
Telos Zephyr Xtreme
2 Sound Devices MM-1
3 HP laptops
2 Comrex Access
2 Studio Technologies Model 210’s

Incoming pallets were a welcome sight. Studio Technologies Model 233
2 Whirlwind THS talent boxes
2 USB external sound cards
12 Sennheiser HMD25 headsets
4 Sony MDR7506 headphones
2 Sennheiser HD202 headphones
2 Sennheiser MD46 ENG microphones
2 Shure SM58’s
2 Audio-Technica ST95 handheld microphones
DBX 266XL compressor
Rane 6 channel headphone amplifier
Furman power conditioner
2 ProCo Short Stop – mic mute
Lectrosonics T4 IFB transmitter
2 Lectrosonics IFB R1a receivers
Lectrosonics UCR411a receiver
Lectrosonics HM plug-on transmitter
Henry Engineering PatchboxII
Whirlwind 1×3 splitter
Adapter Kit
Tool Kit
Digital Clock
2 Manfrotto Super Clamps
2 Manfrotto Magic Arms

Ready to go!
Power Case
9 power strips
6 25’ extension cables
1 50’ extension cables
10 IEC cables
2 sand bags

Cable Case

Assorted XLR cables
200’ Ethernet cable
100’ coax cable
¼” cables
Medusa Cables
2 Stage Snakes
6 rolls gaff tape
Board Tape
2 table top mic stands with counter weights

Office Supply Case

Brother Printer
Extra Toner
2 reams printer paper
5 port Netgear switch
8 port Netgear switch
Linksys Router
Zip Ties
Zip Tie Gun
Scotch Tape
Note Pads

Game Day Equipment List
Presonus StudioLive RM16AI
Telos Zephyr
Comrex Access
Dell Laptop running Luci Lite
Apple Airport Express
Apple Airport Extreme
2 Studio Technologies Model 210’s
1 Monitor/TV
Atomic Digital Clock
7 Manfrotto Super Clamps
5 Manfrotto Magic Arms
Lenovo Touchscreen All-In-One PC
Wireless Keyboard/Mouse
Adapter Kit
Tool Kit
3 Sennheiser HMD25 Headsets
Audio-Technica 8035 Shotgun Mic
Studio Hub SH-MIC mic preamp
Studio Hub SH-HPB headphone amp
Yamaha Pocketrak PR7 recorder
8 Spring Loaded Clamps
AJA HI5, SDI to HDMI converter
AJA HD5DA, HD/SDI distro amp

Booth Wireless Kit
3 Lectrosonics UCR411a receivers
2 Lectrosonics UT transmitters
1 Lectrosonics UH400a plug-on transmitter
Lectrosonics T4 IFB transmitter
Lectrosonics ALP620 Sharkfin Antenna
6’ Belden Low Loss RG-8 w/ BNC connectors
13 Lectrosonics IFBR1a beltpacks
5 Sennheiser HD202 Headphones
48 9V batteries

Locker Room Wireless Kit
2 Lectrosonics UCR411a receivers
Lectrosonics T4 IFB transmitters
25’ Extension Power Cable
3 Port 120V power plug adapter
4 Channel Gepco 25’ Snake
5 1” Spring Loaded Clamps

Cable Case
2 10’ Talent Box Cables
7 20’ XLR’s
2 10’ XLR’s
2 1/8” to XLR’s
25’ coax w/ BNC’s
HDMI cable
3 6’ Ethernet Cables
30’ power cable
25’ Media Panel Snake
12 Channel Whirlwind Stage Snake
4 Channel Gepco 25’ Snake

Stations Start Packin for the Big Game