For CBS, NFL Playoffs Are a Stepping Stone to the Super Bowl

The Super Bowl is still several weeks away, which is great news for CBS Sports. The network, which will broadcast Super Bowl XLIV from Miami, will deploy 50 cameras on Feb. 7 and is using the playoff weeks until then to begin Super Bowl-sizing its production. For this weekend’s AFC Divisional Playoff games, CBS will use Skycam in both Indianapolis and San Diego and plans additional cameras and EVS playback at both sites.

“The next two weeks absolutely serve as a stepping stone for the Super Bowl,” says Harold Bryant, VP, production, for CBS Sports. “We have added an additional super-slow-motion camera and super-slow-mo EVS playback to each game as well.”

Each of this weekend’s CBS games will have a total of 22 cameras, 14 playback devices, and two Vizrt graphics machines. The San Diego crew will also have a handheld high-speed camera at its disposal.

“The handheld cameras give us more flexibility in getting to isolated parts of the field,” Bryant says. “They also give us different angles on the play. We typically use 480 frames per second on the high-speed cameras, but we sometimes adjust and can go up to 540 frames per second.”

For next week’s AFC Championship game, CBS will bring in more cameras and an additional tape truck to simulate the Super Bowl setup in Miami.

“By the time we get to the Super Bowl, we will have 50 cameras, with six of those being high-speed, and close to 30 tape machines,” Bryant says. “And that is just for the game. We will also have our full studio on-site.”

All together, the HD equipment for game coverage at Super Bowl XLIV includes 21 hard cameras, four hard super-slow-motion cameras, three cabled handheld cameras, two handheld super-slow-motion cameras, two RF handheld cameras, one RF Steadicam, six ultra-high-frame-rate cameras, a SkyCam, and robotic cameras on the goal posts and focused on the coaches. Booth cameras, clock cameras, and beauty-shot cameras round out the live-coverage arsenal. Twenty-two EVS devices with 61 output replay channels and three Vizrt graphics engines will also be on hand.

The Super Bowl Today studio show on-site will deploy an additional six hard cameras, five cabled handheld cameras, two cabled cameras on jibs, two RF handheld cameras, a Steadicam, seven ENG cameras, a fixed-wing–aircraft camera, and four robotic cameras. Nine EVS replay devices will be used for the studio show, along with five Vizrt graphics devices and five Avid non-linear edit suites.

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