Super Bowl wrap up: New tech, old challenges at the big game in the Big Easy

SVG’s Ken Kerschbaumer was at Super Bowl XLVII and spent time with both the BBC and plenty of time with CBS Sports and the NFL Network. The week of coverage from New Orleans offers up plenty of insight into the new technologies used during the game, how different networks covered the pre-game buildup, and, of course, how CBS and others managed to get through the blackout and other challenges. Here is the complete list of stories:

CBS Sports Set to Innovate
Months of preparation by CBS Sports, and a wide variety of partners, comes together for tonight’s broadcast of Super Bowl XLVII from the Mercedes Benz Superdome. Among the technical highlights? A new look for CBS Sports graphic animations and inserts, the expanded use of Heyeperzoom, a 4K system that allows for 1080i images to be extracted for ultra-clear zooms into an image, and the use of Evertz Mosaic, a system that allows up to six camera angles to be synced and played back on a split screen to viewers at the push of a single button. But the biggest accomplishment is simply the collective effort by hundreds of CBS Sports staffers, freelancers, and technology partners.

Power Outage Doesn’t Dim Super Bowl XLVII Ratings
Super Bowl XLVII is in the books, complete with ratings that make it the highest-rated Super Bowl in metered markets in history (48.1 household rating/71 share, edging Super Bowl XLV between Green Bay and Pittsburgh, which clocked in at 47.9/71), plenty of drama, and, of course, a power outage at New Orleans’ Mercedes-Benz Superdome that is still a bit of a mystery. The outage caused CBS Sports to lose audio to the broadcast booth and to a number of cameras although generator power on the studio set and in the broadcast compound prevented the network’s coverage from going off-air.

Super Bowl XLVII Becomes Super Week for CBS
It doesn’t take long while walking around the French Quarter here in New Orleans to see that, for CBS, the Super Bowl has become Super Week. CBS Sports, News, and Entertainment have called Jackson Square, the iconic and historic center of the French Quarter, home for the past week.

Bexel Broadcast Delivers for CBS, ESPN, Turner, and NFL Films at Super Bowl
Bexel Broadcast Services has spent Super Bowl week servicing four top clients as CBS Sports, ESPN, Turner Sports, and NFL Films all made use of the company’s rental and fiber services. “The trend is that everyone is squeezing a lot of different shows out of one big show, and that is a trend we see continuing as more channels are launched and they leverage events like this as much as they can,” says Johnny Pastor, director, Bexel Broadcast Services.

NFL Network Puts New Orleans Front and Center
The NFL Network is wrapping up a week of wall-to-wall Super Bowl programming with shows Total Access, Super Bowl Live, NFL AM, and First on the Field and various live news hits from across New Orleans, giving hardcore football fans more than their fill of Super Bowl coverage. And, although this is the seventh time a Super Bowl has been played in the Crescent City, it marks the first time NFL Network has had a presence at one.

NFL Network Shows Flexibility via Game Creek Video, NEP Superbee
It’s been a busy week for Rod Conti, NFL Network, director of remote studio operations, and the rest of the staff at the network. And for good reason as the network has broadcast more than 190 broadcast hours across multiple platforms during the past week and operated from multiple stages throughout the city. And tonight it shifts gears again as it moves the Game Creek Video Clipper production unit from the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center to the Art Galleria for the broadcast of the NFL Honors ceremony.

Finding a hotel room for a Super Bowl three weeks before the game can be challenging enough, but Turner Sports and CNN upped the ante when they needed a suitable location for the launch of Bleacher Report, CNN’s latest sports-news venture. Bexel provided its LPU (lightweight production unit) system to handle the video and audio needs.
Super Bowl XLVII is underway, albeit with a bit of darkness thrown in courtesy of a power outage that knocked out half the power in the stadium for 36 minutes. The broadcast compound has been spared thanks to back up generators supplied by Aggreko. No word yet on what caused the power outage however it is worth noting that power outages have been an issue in New Orleans (and at the Superdome) for the past couple of weeks. In fact, earlier this week concerns over power to the halftime stage trusses resulted in backup generators being brought in for halftime alone.

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