CBS Enters 53rd NFL Season With Super Bowl on Its Mind
As the crews at CBS Sports get ready for the 53rd season of the NFL on CBS, plans continue for the trip to New Orleans. It’s a Super Bowl year at the Eye network, and preparations have been under way since the end of last season.
“We started planning for the Super Bowl the day after the AFC Championship Game last year, in terms of production ideas, technical facilities, surveys of the Superdome, all of the dozens of hours of programming we’re going to be doing in New Orleans,” says CBS Sports Chairman Sean McManus. “Every day of the year, there’s significant Super Bowl planning being done at CBS Sports, and it just ramps up during the regular season. It’s exciting and the time goes very, very quickly. In the blink of an eye, you’re on your way to New Orleans to put on the biggest show in all of television.”
In preparing for Super Bowl XLVII, CBS has had four meetings in New Orleans so far, including during the network’s trip to the Big Easy for the NCAA’s Final Four in April.
While the planning goes on in the background, CBS will be broadcasting another full slate of regular-season football. A normal broadcast will feature a 36-camera complement. Lance Barrow, coordinating producer of the NFL on CBS, says the network has added a few high-speed cameras for each of its broadcast teams.
According to Harold Bryant, executive producer/VP, production, at CBS, the network will incorporate virtual-graphics and replay systems from Red Bee Media, an enhancement that CBS began using on its NCAA Tournament coverage.
Red Bee’s Piero systems provide 360-degree panoramic replays of the action. The system stitches together shots from different cameras, allowing the user of the system to freeze the frame and then swing around the shot to show a different angle.
CBS Sports Network Gets in on the Fun
As the parent network looks to feed its newly branded 24-hour sports network, CBS Sports Network will see a significant boost in NFL programming. The first NFL show on CBSSN will launch on Monday with the debut episode of NFL Monday QB.
“I think it’s a big game-changer,” says McManus. “You don’t want to have a sports cable network without regularly scheduled NFL programming. This is just the start for us. We hope to work with the NFL to develop more programming, and we plan on doing so especially around the week of the Super Bowl.”
The unique program will serve as a next-day breakdown of some of the biggest games and plays from the previous NFL Sunday from the quarterback perspective.
McManus adds that the idea for the show rose from the deep talent pool of former NFL quarterbacks who currently work for CBS Sports. Led by NFL on CBS lead analyst and Super Bowl XXI MVP Phil Simms; Super Bowl XXXVII quarterback and 2002 NFL MVP Rich Gannon; and 17-year veteran and 1999 NFL All Pro quarterback Steve Beuerlein, NFL Monday QB will focus on how quarterback play affected the games, key plays, clutch drives, crucial decisions, star performances, and winning and losing efforts.
“We didn’t recall seeing a show produced on a regular basis from the quarterback’s perspective,” says McManus. “We thought we were uniquely qualified to do that, and it was a great way to introduce NFL programming to the CBS Sports Network. I think it’s a great concept, and it’s step one in a series of many steps for us.”
Additional contributors during selected weeks will include other quarterbacks from the NFL on CBS roster, such as Hall of Famers Dan Marino and Dan Fouts and Super Bowl XXIII quarterback and 1988 NFL MVP Boomer Esiason.
Adam Schein hosts from the CBSSN studio at Chelsea Piers in New York, with the quarterbacks weighing in from various parts of the country.
CBS Sports Network will also host additional hours of Super Bowl programming and will have its own studio set on location in New Orleans.