Live From Super Bowl LVI: With 27 Trucks and More Onsite NEP Group Supports Super Coverage
NEP’s Glen Levine: ‘It’s one of the largest Super Bowls we’ve done.’
NEP Group once again has a big presence at the biggest sports event in the U.S., the Super Bowl, and NEP U.S. Broadcast Services President Glen Levine says things are going well heading into Super Bowl LVI, which will be played at SoFi Stadium on Sunday.
“It’s probably one of the largest Super Bowls we’ve done,” Levine says. “We have nine mobile units consisting of 27 trailers here, and it has been a joint venture between the NEP companies. We’ve been planning this for months, and it has been a team effort across the board on the NBC and the NFL Films side.”
MORE FROM SUPER BOWL LVI:
- On Eve of Big Game NBC Sports Talks Unique Efforts, Tech Advances
- Telemundo Deportes Brings Latin Flavor to Its First Over-the-Air Broadcast of the Big Game
- Gaudelli, Esocoff Focus on Storytelling for Their Seventh Super Bowl
- A Tour of the Lakeside and Interior Studio Sets at SoFi Stadium
- No Place Like Home for NFL Media as it Tackles Super Bowl Programming, Halftime Show, NFL Honors from Home Facility
- NFL Media’s Dave Shaw on Hosting Studio Shows, Providing Workflows for Neighboring Super Bowl
- ESPN Calls Disneyland Home for Week-Long Studio Programming
- Van Wagner Designs Robust Hybrid Workflow for First In-Venue Show at SoFi Stadium
- Verizon Powers 5G Multi-View for In-Venue Fans, Halftime-Show Option for At-Home Viewers
- Devlin Design Group Handles Creative Direction of FanDuel Studio Set on Radio Row
- Canon Broadcast Support Back in Action
- Riedel Beltpacks Keep Officials, Broadcasters, and Venue Connected
- ATK Audio Boosts Subwoofer Complement for Hip-Hop Halftime Show
Most notably, NBC Sports will rely on ND1 and ND7 as the primary production hub for its Super Bowl game and pre/postgame coverage. The broadcaster will also deploy Supershooter 5, ST5, and Supershooter 18; Supershooter 3 will be involved with the production at the Lake Set.
NFL Films, meanwhile, will rely on Supershooter 9 and ST9 for the Super Bowl world feed, and Super B and Cable Truck 2 will assist with game coverage.
The main NBC compound is located inside the stadium, and, according to NEP Group Director, Sales, Michael Pean, almost 80 staff members are onsite supporting trucks and systems: 40 working with NBC, another 40 with other clients.
Pean notes the difficulty of getting everything into the compound: “The Rams’ playing in the NFC Championship Game made us have to change move-in and staging to Monday. But it’s so cool to see everything come together.”
Other mobile units on hand include Black and Red at the Super Bowl Experience, Summit at NFL Honors, and Atlantic US at the Tailgate on Sunday.
NEP Group’s Fletcher is onsite with a variety of gear supporting NBC’s efforts. It will provide seven Sony HDC-4800 cameras for high-frame-rate 4K zoom needs, two goal-line camera systems, two sideline systems, two systems over the end zone, a high-end-zone system, and a Sony P43 shooting at 4K from the Skycam. Also, there are six DreamChip POV cameras, three mounted on each goalpost shooting the backline and used for 4K zoom extraction replays; two DreamChip POV coach cameras; and two PeaPod 500 goalpost robotic cameras with virtual-graphics interface. Two HDC-Sony P31 1080p robotic cameras are located in the booth; five Sony HDC-P50 robos, in the hallway. Five Sony PWS-4500 servers will also be in use.
Among the highlights Levine has seen since arriving onsite are the 4K goalpost cameras from Fletcher: “The 4K cameras are coupled with Sony servers so the user can see lots of detail shooting down the back line, giving an infinite level of detail.”
Another advance is the EVS workflow, which involves 33 servers on XNET VIA, with 198 recorders and 108 players for game and pregame needs.
According to NEP VP, Engineering, Brian Weiland, the network is the largest EVS VIA network NEP has built, and the 33 servers are only one shy of the limit.
“It helps with disaster recovery but also gives everyone access to everything, anywhere,” he explains. “Pregame can pull from the game truck, which is something they couldn’t do in the past.”
Super B has built six racks of patch panels that connect everything and handle more than 800 patches.
“It’s a robust solution that is quick to set up and deploy,” notes Levine.
AVS (Aerial Video Systems) and BSI have a big role. The former is providing four RF cameras to NBC’s main-show efforts, seven to pre/postgame coverage, four to the RocNation halftime show, four to NFL Network, three to Van Wagner for in-venue needs, and three to NFL Honors.
BSI will provide a mix of wireless gear at both SoFi and the Santa Monica set. A total of 96 handheld radios, 18 high-power IFBs, eight high-power PLs, and 22 1.4-GHz mics will be used at both locations. The Santa Monica set will have three RF cameras and two Sony HDC-P1 box cameras, and BSI will also handle seven return video signals.
Sweetwater will manage four LED towers at four entryways into the stadium, LED walls for two DJ booths, and the LED wall for the Game Day Fan Plaza stage. A Sweetwater control hub will provide centralized playback/routing from the South Lot for all the screens around the Super Bowl site.
“We’re proud to be here and of all the work that goes into it for all of our clients,” says Levine. “The NEP team has been supportive of each client with a lot of hours and preparation to get to this point.”