The Cable Department is planning on replacing the standard HD lenses for the large High Definition (HD) truck this year. The budgeted lenses would match the ones in the smaller HD truck. The lenses being replaced are not only in need of repairs but also the manufacturer no longer makes broadcast lenses. The standard lenses are sufficient for some community projects but ideally some longer lenses would be much better for concerts and sports to get much better shots. CTN has grown its paid production projects despite not having these longer lenses. However, some projects were not obtained or not bid on because many require lenses with a much greater zoom capability. The production service projects are becoming a much more relied upon revenue stream as cable revenues are expected to decline over the next ten years.
Staff was planning to request an additional “box style” super zoom lens in the 2019 budget. However, CTN has two projects coming up related to the Superbowl. The first involves a snowmobile performance in Minneapolis on Saturday February 3rd. CTN was able to rent a smaller “box lens” from another local community station for this event. The second Superbowl project is the four day concert project at Mystic Lake’s new Club Nomadic February 1-4. This project requires a much larger “box style zoom lens”. While there is enough money currently budgeted for lens replacement ($100,000), staff would like to replace the standard lenses and also purchase the larger requested lens. New “box style” lenses are typically well over $100,000. Staff is looking at used box lens in good condition for approximately $50,000. Additionally, the box style lens weigh much more than standard lens so a much heavier duty tripod is needed. The tripod cost would be an additional $15,000. The lens would need to be purchased soon in order to arrive by January 25th for commissioning.
There is a third unrelated large project that staff is waiting for confirmation of. If confirmed, the project would require two additional “used” super long lenses with a total cost under $68,000. These additional lenses would only be purchased if the project is awarded to CTN. The cost would easily be paid for by the project which would begin in mid-February.
Therefore, staff is requesting a budget amendment of $65,000 for one additional “box style lens”, accessories and tripod for the upcoming Superbowl project, future paid projects and rental opportunities as well as an additional $68,000 for two additional long zoom lenses contingent on CTN project confirmation.