Live From Super Bowl XLIX: NFL Network Expands Presence for Big Game
The NFL Network has offered more than 80 live hours of programming this week in advance of Super Bowl XLIX, and the NFL’s presence, including NFL Films and those working on the world feed, will top out at nearly 300 people. The big game also signals the official end of a noteworthy season that saw NFL Network and CBS collaborate on Thursday Night Football.
“CBS did a phenomenal job, and it was a real collaborative effort between the NFL Network and CBS,” says Glenn Adamo, VP, media operations, NFL. “We gave them the expertise we had, and, clearly, with their A team, we took the coverage to a whole new level from both a production and operational standpoint. They were an absolute joy to work with.”
For Super Bowl operations, NFL Network has a downtown technical hub set up by the NFL Network team of Dave Shaw, VP, operations and engineering; Adam Acone, director, media operations and planning; Mike Kusama, director, media operations; and Bob Hess, director, technical operations.
Says Adamo, “They’ve done a great job planning to do this most efficiently out of three trucks [Game Creek Pride, Glory, and FX] while satisfying all the Media Group’s needs in an efficient plug-and-play hub.”
Game Creek Glory handles all programming from NFL Experience, press conferences, the media center, and NFL Network’s Playbook; Game Creek Patriot handles events at the Phoenix Convention Center, NFL.com, NFL Digital, NFL Now, and NFL Social Media.
In addition, Game Creek FX handles radio row and Super Bowl Central at the NFL Experience, NFL Honors, media center, and Playbook; and HFI Alliance C unit at the Phoenix Convention Center for editing, transmission, and operations.
Operations at University of Phoenix Stadium are housed in Game Creek Pride (which also handled Media Day); the Alliance VIP unit (home to executives, quality control, and NFL Films edit and transmission); and NEP’s EN1, which handles the world feed and, last week, was home to ESPN’s production of the Pro Bowl.
“That is one of the reasons we used [EN1],” notes Adamo. “It could just stay here and has the firepower for a world feed.”
One change this year is the use of three transmission companies: The Switch, Level 3, and Azzuro. The Switch handles primary transmission out of the stadium while Level 3 is a backup from the stadium. And both Level 3 and Azzuro are on hand at the Phoenix Convention Center.
“Our transmission plan is amazing,” Adamo adds, “and everyone has a piece of the pie, so we spread around redundancies.”
As for the world feed, more than 170 countries will take the feed directed by Brian Hennessey and produced by Joe Zucco.
“This event has run smoothly, thanks to Dave and the team, mostly because Dave is such a terrific planner,” says Adamo. “And it’s interesting that we grow this big event every year with challenges that are sometimes daunting. We rise to the challenge because of the talented people who know how to collaborate and execute at the highest levels.”