Live From Super Bowl LVIII: NFL Media Gears Up for 8 Hours of Pregame Coverage
Most of the shows are cut and produced out of NFL Media Center in Los Angeles
It has been a busy week of remote production for the NFL Media team with Super Bowl Opening Night, NFL Honors, and various press conferences. But the team is now focused on the Big Game itself, building a set that, on Sunday, will be home to more than eight hours of coverage from the NFL GameDay production team beginning at 9 a.m. ET.
“Game day is when we will be onsite with our talent from a full-stop perspective,” says Jessica Lee, VP, studio operations, NFL Media.
Lead broadcaster Rich Eisen and the announce team will be on the main set on the stadium’s concourse level, with the production team operating out of a control room in Los Angeles. “We also have a desk on the field that we will use for a two-hour postgame show,” says Adam Acone, director, media operations and planning, NFL Network. “That also will be cut in Los Angeles.”
One challenge is that the concourse set is only 15 ft. deep, requiring the use of robotic cameras, including a Jita.
“We’re using all robotic cameras with the exception of one manned handheld on our set,” notes Acone. “We are partnering with both Fletcher and JitaCam, and, while the robos are stationary, the JitaCam can track up and down and back and forth. Those will be controlled out of [NEP] Supershooter 62.”
This year, the NFL Media team has leveraged its studios and production facilities at the NFL Media Center in Los Angeles more than ever. NFL Media is using two trucks in Las Vegas: NEP Supershooter 62, which is onsite at Allegiant Stadium, and an F&F Productions truck at the Red Carpet show.
Opening Night, Super Bowl Live, Total Access, press conferences, and game-day programming are cut and produced in NFL Media’s enhanced facility at NFL-LA studios in Inglewood, CA, with live shots sent from remotes in Las Vegas. NFL Honors and NFL Honors Red Carpet were cut in Las Vegas, with NFL Network and Rock Garden Productions handling the primary event and NFLN doing the exclusive Red Carpet show. Good Morning Football continues to have live shots from its host location in New York, along with live shots from Las Vegas fed to NFL Films, where the show is cut.
According to NFL Media Head of Operations Dave Shaw, some assets have been scaled back this year to keep more-logical efficiencies, including smaller complements for Total Access at Media Row and Opening Night at the stadium. Despite the scale-back, he says, Opening Night was cut beautifully: “Opening Night this year looked great. It’s one of the better-looking productions that we’ve seen.”
The Media Row productions relied on TVU to send everything to the compound, which, in turn, fibered it to the NFL Media Center in Los Angeles. The Red Carpet show was sent via fiber as well as satellite via an ARCTEK truck. The show was cut in Las Vegas by NFL Network and Rock Garden Productions; Red Carpet is an NFL Network effort produced with seven cameras, two of which are ENG.
“Our team at NFL Media continues to pour all of its effort into each production, using the tools we can provide,” says Acone, “to give our fans all they need — and more — to get ready for the Big Game on Sunday. I give so much credit to our production team, operations teams, engineering teams, and our great vendors onsite in Las Vegas and, most important, in Los Angeles to make our Super Bowl experience everything NFL fans have come to expect.”
Up next for the NFL Media team is the HBCU Legacy Bowl on Feb. 24. The NFL Combine will be a week later in Indianapolis.
“And then we have the Draft in Detroit, which we are gearing up for,” says Shaw. “It should be a fun one for that city with all of their teams’ recent success.”