NEP plans to create the first large-scale, end-to-end centralized production solution in the US and expand its facilities and capabilities around the globe.
NEP Group, the leading worldwide outsourced technical production partner for premier content producers of live sports and entertainment, announced that it has acquired VISTA Worldlink (“VISTA”), a pioneer in providing centralized broadcast solutions since 2017. The acquisition supports NEP’s strategic goal of becoming the worldwide leader in Centralized (Remote) Production.
Founded by industry veteran Roy Liemer in 1988, VISTA provides end-to-end workflows, transmission and connectivity, and packaged traditional broadcast production solutions to customers in sports, entertainment, news, corporate and a range of other industries, covering thousands of events in North America each year as well as Europe.
The broadcast industry is evolving, and NEP is evolving, too, to help content producers adapt to new production challenges and trends that have accelerated during COVID and are expected to grow in the future. As the market shifts, customers are looking for a known leader capable of delivering new types of workflows and more remote workflow solutions.
NEP is investing heavily in its people and technology to become the global leader in innovative, end-to-end solutions. Today, NEP offers market-leading Centralized Production “hubs” in Australia, The Netherlands and Norway, with additional capabilities in Switzerland and the UK. Last year, the company launched a “mini hub” in Washington DC as a first step to serve the US market. NEP’s existing expertise, combined with VISTA’s experience in end-to-end remote workflows and connectivity, positions NEP to create the first large-scale, end-to-end Centralized Production Solution in the US and to further expand across the globe.
Brian Sullivan, NEP’s CEO, said: “We’re excited for VISTA to join NEP—the company and team are an incredible fit for many reasons. Culturally our companies are very much alike—innovative, client-focused and forward-looking—and the addition of VISTA’s experience builds on our existing talent and expertise in Centralized Production and Integrated Services to build for the future. This forms a strong foundation for us to further expand our services across the US and around the globe.”
“Another reason we love working with VISTA is their track record in helping new and up-and-coming sports leagues create great brand recognition and content,” Sullivan added. “Many of these leagues were underserved before partnering with VISTA. By embracing digital, remote workflows and distribution, VISTA has offered these customers innovative, cost-effective solutions that can flex and expand as their needs grow. This is absolutely an approach we plan to continue.”
“In 2017, we strategically pivoted with the goal of becoming the worldwide leader in centralized broadcast solutions, and by joining the NEP family that vision will become a reality,” said Joshua Liemer, President of VISTA. “Our customers now have access to an even deeper pool of engineering talent and a much broader portfolio of products and solutions with all of the white glove service they’ve enjoyed through VISTA. I see this as a great opportunity to take our business to the next level and take the industry forward.”
After a brief transition period, VISTA will become a part of NEP’s US Broadcast Services business run by co-Presidents Glen Levine and Howie Rosenthal. Joshua Liemer will continue as President of VISTA and Roy Liemer will continue in an advisory role. VISTA will operate out of their existing South Florida facility.
“I’ve been in this business for 40 years and I’ve seen it go through a lot of changes,” said Roy Liemer, Founder of VISTA. “I’m proud of our employees and all they’ve accomplished at VISTA. I’m happy to know they will have even more opportunities as part of NEP to build a great career in our industry like I have.”
Jones Day served as legal advisor to NEP. Cross Keys Capital, LLC and Krieger & Prager, LLP served as financial advisor and legal advisor to VISTA, respectively.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
To learn more about NEP’s full range of broadcast services and live event solutions, visit www.nepgroup.com.