Live From Super Bowl LI: Game Creek Video Plays Key Role for Fox Sports, NFL Network, ESPN
Chesapeake unit makes national stage debut before it heads to MASN
Game Creek Video’s presence at the Super Bowl during the years Fox has the right always takes a big leap and this year is no exception as the production facilities provider is involved with not only the game production for Fox but also for NFL Network programming and ESPN.
The Fox game coverage will be centered around Encore A, B, and C which is making its Super Bowl debut. Fox is also using Cleatus A and B (also known as Peacock One when working for NBC Sports), Edit 1 and 2 which are handling a variety of needs (including the 8K production), and then Chesapeake, the new truck that will be used by MASN, for the Red Carpet and Opening Night.
Mike Copeland, Game Creek Video engineer-in-charge for Encore, says the new Chesapeake truck has easily folded into the mix, befitting the design work of Jason Taubman, Game Creek Video’s, VP of design and new technology and Keith Martin, engineering project manager.
“The trucks follow a pattern but there is a tweak for each generation and it’s nice to see the evolution,” says Copeland. “When I started here there were two or three trucks and now there are 40 so it’s quite different but in a nice way.”
The trucks are also designed for easy interconnect.
“Any router in any truck can become part of a router in another truck,” he adds. “We have some really smart guys here who are backed up by an excellent company and an excellent leadership staff that provides us with some great tools to work with. We have a lot to be proud of.”
Half of the battle for many events that are the size and scale of the Super Bowl is having a decent compound layout that is logical and user friendly. Kevin Callahan, Fox Sports, VP of Field Operations, took on that challenge of laying out the compound and Copeland says that Callahan’s previous experience working for Game Creek Video gives him an understanding of what it is like working on both sides of the facility provider/client relationship made a difference.
“With the help of Kevin we could see the big picture from the beginning and know what to expect,” says Copeland. “He really stepped up and handled everything and he pretty much has all the bases covered.”
Game Creek has 16 staffers on site (plus six comms personnel) and Copeland says the goal is to have facilities designed in such a way that engineers can go from one truck to the next and find the same infrastructure.
“We’re cognizant of promoting from within so if a guy knows how to run one truck they can move to another and the philosophy will be the same,” he says.
The NFL Network is using three Game Creek Video units as well: Pride for the opening night concert and stadium pre-game and post-game coverage; Nitro for NFL Honors on Saturday night; and Gemini for the NFL Commissioner’s conference. ESPN, meanwhile, is using Justice for its pre-game and post-game coverage at the stadium.