Live From Super Bowl LIII: Bexel Rolls Out Second Field Audio Cart
The additional cart will support sideline-reporter and RF operations
Bexel has supported CBS NFL operations all season long, and that support is growing for Super Bowl LIII with an additional RF audio cart on the sidelines, a 12-channel IPTV system throughout the compound, additional super-slo-mo systems, lighting in the main broadcast booth, pedestals and monitors on the sets and stages, and deployment and maintenance of more than 150 runs of multistrand fiber.
“CBS is a great partner, and we love working with them as they communicate very well and are also very well-organized, which is not a surprise,” says Lee Estroff, VP, account development, Bexel. “We’ve been planning this with their team for more than a year.”
It doesn’t hurt that Bexel is well-versed in the ins and outs of Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Scott Nardelli, SVP/GM, Bexel Engineered Systems, and his team oversaw the venue’s initial fiber installation and made sure it was interconnected to Centennial Park and the Georgia World Congress, where many Super Bowl-related activities and events are held.
“This is the 15th Super Bowl I have worked on,” says Estroff, “By far, it is the most convenient, as any venue is a 10-minute walk and you don’t have to fight with crowds or security.”
Bexel is also providing CBS with Canon’s 122X lens and for good reason: the broadcast-solutions provider is currently the only company in the U.S. to have the relatively new lens in stock. It was used at the AFC Championship game in Kansas City and made the trip to Atlanta because, Estroff says, CBS and others that have used the lens have been pleased with the results. Bexel is also providing additional Canon 45X and box lenses.
The second RF audio cart will play a big role in sideline-reporter and RF operations. The cart supports the sideline reporters, providing a monitor that they can watch. It also is a sideline destination for all the IFB, parabolic, and other RF wireless audio systems in use around the field. The second unit will ensure that talent on both sidelines will always have a place to call home and watch the action.
“It is really a home base for sideline talent,” says Estroff. During games that are outside, for example, a pop-up tent can offer protection from the elements.
Bexel’s efforts also highlight how, increasingly, it works closely with the NEP Group, which acquired it a little more than a year ago.
“We’re able to take on and execute on projects that we could not do in the past as we have more resources and more manpower,” notes Estroff. “And NEP loves what we bring to the table as they are able to do projects they have never done before. We’ve been hiring and growing, so it’s been really good.”
Much of the equipment used by CBS for Super Bowl LIII will make the relatively short drive north to Charlotte, NC, for the NBA All-Star Game on Feb. 17. The game is only part of a very busy weekend that tips off on the afternoon of Feb. 15 and features numerous events.