Fedex – Building Content + Networks

Dec 16 2014
By: dkpmg
Categories: Digital, Television
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From Scratch to Global in 3 Days…

Memphis and Beyond – Our President some time back was sent on location to assist in producing a three hour corporate meeting, while in tandem transmit the event via 12 satellites around the world. Three of the locations were two-way AV hookups across the Pacific and Atlantic ponds.

This less known client at the time turned out to be a small business called Federal Express. There were only three days to prep scripts, graphics content, rehearse and to construct a temporary network from scratch.

Normally, these temporary networks were a seven-ten day process to build at the time. Regardless, it got done with a can-do attitude, and no sleep. Joan Lunden hosted and made everything look smooth while live. Her regular GMA experience (the 4 – 8 am shift) proved invaluable, not to mention the team effort and fluidity of all this expertise coming together. It was just short of amazing, and maybe felt a little bit like Apollo 13.

Jump ahead three and half years, a space shuttle explosion carrying new satellites for DirecTV and other cable networks made the Fedex special-program almost impossible to duplicate. Worldwide communications got set back months, years in some cases, because of the Challenger incident.

Long story short, our President was back at it this kind of endeavor { even bigger } four years later.

The task was helping to produce the 17 Venue Olympics for NBC on the other side of the globe seemed almost easier by then. Up until the last 8 years, the Fedex event first and then the Olympics after that, were the largest remote broadcast in the history of television.

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Today, the challenge is getting multi-platform networks to work with computer servers, satellites and HD signals on difference size device screens. The same obstacles and deadlines as before, but with faster and more established digital-technology.

As for the Fedex event, it all happened on schedule and Fedex became profitable a couple of years later having beaten its competition in the air instead of on the ground. We were blessed to be part of this history.

We’ve helped plug into and build other networks since then. It is still an exciting adventure every time.

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