Super Bowl XLVI brings out the best in live sports production

This year’s main Super Bowl XLVI telecast will be brought to you in 1080i HD by NBC Sports and NEP Broadcast, a veteran mobile production company with many such productions to its name.

NEP Supershooters—a division of NEP Broadcasting, in Pittsburgh, Penn.—will have a total of ten trucks onsite in Indianapolis at Lucas Oil Stadium. Its “ND3”, “ND4” and “SS24” (53-foot) rigs will cover the main game telecast, while another six trucks will help produce a variety of game-related programming onsite. The trucks feature live production equipment from Avid, Abekas, Calrec, Canon, Chyron, Evertz, EVS, Grass Valley, Ikegami, Miranda Technologies, Panasonic, Sony and Vizrt, to name a few.

For example, NEP’s SS24 HD mobile production truck, which is one of the largest in the country and is comprised of two 53-foot double expando trailers combined, features 8 Sony HDC-1000 hard cameras, 6 Sony HDC1500 handheld cameras and several Sony HDC-3300 handheld super motion camera systems—all with Canon HD telephoto and wide-angle lenses. Also on hand are numerous EVS XT2 HD servers, a Calrec digital audio mixing console, a Grass Valley Kalypso HD production switcher and Grass Valley Trinix NXT and Concerto Series routers.

The company’s SS25 truck will be used for the NFL’s World Feed and carries a Grass Valley Kalypso Video Production Center switcher, more than a dozen Grass Valley LDK 8000 Elite WorldCam HD cameras, as well as Grass Valley Trinix and Concerto Series routers.

NEP’s “California” truck will help broadcast the live halftime show featuring pop star Madonna and its “Summit” truck will cover the NFL Hall of Fame event. The ND4, California and Summit vehicles include a Grass Valley Kalypso HD video production switcher on board.

This year’s production will also be supported by Game Creek Video, a mobile production company based in Hudson, N.H., which will have several of its mobile production trucks on hand in Indianapolis to help produce programs for ESPN and NBC. The company’s “Freedom” truck, complete, with at least a dozen Sony HDC1500 HD cameras (seven with Sony HD Large Lens Adaptors), a Grass Valley Kalypso Video Production Center switcher with dual external HD GVeous effects units and a Calrec Sigma console, has been handling various ESPN studio shows during the entire week from Pan Am Plaza. The company's“Northstar” truck, with Sony cameras, a Grass Valley Kayenne switcher, Canon lenses, and Evertz routers on board, will cover ESPN’s “Sports Center” live coverage also from Pan Am Plaza, while the“Larkspur”mobile unit, also with a Kayenne HD production switcher, EVS XT2 HD servers, and a PESA router, will broadcast for ESPN from Lucas Oil Stadium.

For the first time, Jimmy Fallon's show will hit the road, hosting four editions from the host city, including the first-ever presentation of Live Late Night with Jimmy Fallon on Sunday night/early Monday morning after the game. Game Creek’s “Victory” truck will be dedicated to this production, complete with Sony cameras, Canon lenses, Chyron Duet graphics, a Grass Valley Kayenne switcher, EVS XT2 HD servers and a Calrec Apollo console.

As the main broadcaster for the Super Bowl this year, NBC Universal is controlling all of the most important signals. At the network’s 30 Rockefeller Plaza headquarters in New York City, a large Grass Valley Trinix HD router will distribute signals for the live television as well as online viewing. This year’s game is also being streamed live online, both to computers, via, and mobile devices, via Verizon Wireless’ NFL Mobile app. (supported by the MobiTV streaming platform), representing the first time the game has been available ((legally) online in real time.]

In fact, all content generated by NBC for the Super Bowl will go through several Grass Valley Trinix routing switchers (all under Encore Control System control) and Profile/K2 Summit HD media servers at 30 Rockefeller Plaza in New York City. The other domestic and international broadcasters will distribute their respective content using other playout and transmission paths.

As for online coverage, for the first time ever, the Super Bowl will be live streamed by NBC Universal. The network has vast experience with live streaming, having already streamed the last two Olympics and is set to stream the 2012 Summer Olympics from London.

The live stream will use the same Microsoft Silverlight player that NBC uses for its “Sunday Night Football” streams, but might add some new features to the Super Bowl broadcast. The game will be available for anyone in the U.S., but due to rights issues, will be blocked from international viewers.

The online stream of the Super Bowl will have its own set of ads, which will differ from those shown on broadcast television.