Sony Cameras Tackle Super Bowl for NEP, NBC

When the Pittsburgh Steelers take on the Arizona Cardinals in the Super Bowl on Sunday in Tampa, FL, more than 50 Sony high-definition cameras will be capturing every angle for NBC’s broadcast.

NEP Broadcasting will provide 10 trailers — its ND3, ND4, SS24, and Silver units — for pre- and post-game, main game, and the halftime show featuring Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band. The Sony cameras will be a combination of models HDC-1000, HDC-1500, HDC-950, and HDC-900, as well as an HDC-3300 super-slow-motion camera in each end zone.

“A production of this scale — with both a domestic broadcaster covering the game, pregame, and halftime show, in addition to the various international broadcasters and world feed — requires many, many more cameras and camera positions than a regular nationally televised game,” says George Hoover, chief technology officer at NEP. “That includes a significant number of handheld and jib cameras that you’d never see at any other game. We’ll also have more field-level and opposite-side-of-the field camera coverage.”

Hoover says the Sony cameras are a perfect fit for the unique production requirements, in terms of image quality and flexibility.

“The cameras work extremely well; they have fast response and very good sensitivity,” Hoover says. “One challenge this year is, the game is outdoors. Kickoff will be right at sundown, so you need a wide latitude and ability to handle significant changes in light levels and color temperatures, especially as the sun goes down. So we’ll be starting in midday sun for pregame, and we’ll wrap in total evening darkness — the full range of lighting conditions.”

Rob Willox, director of content creation for Sony Electronics’ Broadcast and Production Systems Division, says, “This game is one of the biggest stages for television broadcast production. Our multiformat live-production technology is ideal for this type of event and will help to add an extra layer of excitement and reality for TV viewers.”

In addition, Hoover says, the cameras’ ability to handle both the game broadcast and the halftime show will help for setting up what essentially is a full rock concert only five minutes after the first half ends. NEP will share many of the high camera positions used for the main game for wide shots at halftime.

“It’s the big game,” he says. “These cameras wouldn’t be there if they didn’t perform.”

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