Super Bowl Fiber Infrastructure Stays Solid Courtesy of CP Communications

CP Communications, with the help of more than 60,000 feet of tactical fiber, successfully provided the Super Bowl signal transport backbone that allowed clients like Fox Sports, the NFL Network, ESPN, and Touchdown Entertainment to get clear video and audio signals throughout Dallas Cowboys Stadium and beyond. And the sheer size of the venue required an approach that was more akin to a golf remote than a football stadium.

“We are so fiber dependent that we had to look at less traditional ways to tie the compound together over the entire property,” says Mike Davies, Fox Sports, VP of Technical Operations.

For example, instead of running fiber connections from end to end, CP Communications’ RF5 and RF7 trucks were used as intermediary points of transport. Video and audio signals from outdoor sets like the pre-game set and the red carpet show were passed via fiber to RF5 that was located outside the stadium. Signals from there were passed spliced down to the production trucks as organized pairs.

“What you end up with is a whole lot of redundancy and flexibility,” says Davies. “It was a centralized nerve center for the whole infrastructure.”

A Steadicam rig on the set of the Super Bowl Red Carpet show

CP Communications also provided some new wireless technologies as well, including the use of Sony P1 cameras on Steadicam rigs The cameras are smaller and lighter than traditional ENG cameras, something that Steadicam operators appreciate during the long hours of the game.

Michael Mason, CP Communications, president and general manager, says that Steadicam units were on hand at the pre-game show set, the red carpet show set, halftime, and then two for the game. CP also provided wireless audio transmission for the game (not the halftime show).