Production services provider Bexel was on-site in Arlington, TX, days in advance of the Super Bowl to ensure its clients’ broadcasts ran smoothly both on the field and off. No stranger to the big game, Bexel has been involved in producing parts of the Super Bowl coverage since 1990.
Bexel crews worked with 40 clients to produce all aspects of the telecast (watched by 111 million people in the United States alone), making extensive use of technology and tools from a variety of companies owned by the Vitec Group’s Services Division (of which Bexel is a part). This includes Anton/Bauer, Autoscript, Litepanels, Nucomm, RF Central, Sachtler and Vinten.
For the first time, Bexel provided optical services for the photo press this year. These services interconnected their positions on the field, stands and catwalk above the field to the press workrooms inside the stadium and outside in the press compound. This eliminated the need for runners to move media cards from the photographers to the workrooms, while helping to speed up the workflow.
Bexel also provided support to the NFL and NFL Films using Bexel’s optical engineering support unit production truck as the on-site signal-distribution point for domestic post-game interviews broadcasting from the field. The truck’s primary function was to gather signals optically from various sources, usually a good distance away, and distribute them locally via either fiber or copper to multiple clients.
The NFL officiating crew relied on Bexel technicians to support the expanded instant replay systems, used throughout the Super Bowl telecast, in case of failure. The systems reportedly worked flawlessly.
In addition, Bexel worked with Fox Sports (the main game provider) on all of the network’s on-site studio and post-production facilities. Bexel engineers provided support to the sophisticated multiedit bay and viewing station operation throughout Super Bowl week. Fox Sports used Litepanels LED lighting fixtures to illuminate the announcers’ booth. Bexel also provided an assortment of equipment found in the Fox broadcast compound, including EVS LSM replay systems, Sony super slow-motion camera systems, Sony video monitoring, Canon lenses, Autoscript teleprompters and many other products.
Bexel’s support went beyond Cowboys Stadium to Sundance Square in downtown Fort Worth, ESPN’s home base during Super Bowl festivities. At the stadium, ESPN used a mix of Sony HD cameras and other equipment supporting its broadcast, while off-site for ESPN’s “Sports Center,” Bexel supplied engineering crews, fiber-optic equipment, teleprompters, monitors and a Q-Ball HD/SD Minicam system.
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