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CBS Sports Utilizing New Camera Tech for Super Bowl LV

CBS Sports Super Bowl LV Trolley Cam
(Image credit: CBS Sports)

NEW YORK—CBS Sports is ready to bring its A-game to its production of Super Bowl LV, announcing a number of new technologies, ranging from cameras to graphics, that the network says will bring a new look to fans.

Super Bowl LV will be the 21st time the CBS has produced the Super Bowl, and because of the unique circumstances as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic—including the reduced number of fans that will be in the stadium for the game—the network has announced a number of new cameras that will be utilized during the broadcast.

One example is the Trolley Cam, which will be used for the first time live during the Super Bowl, CBS said. The Trolley Cam is operated on a wire from one end of the stadium to another, allowing for an angle that resembles a fan’s view from the lower stands. CBS says that the rig can travel up to 65 mph.

Also making their Super Bowl debut will be the Sony Venice cameras to capture what CBS calls a “cinematographic feel” for on-field coverage. The Venice will use full-frame imager shots in a short depth field to produce the unique look. The cameras will be operated on a steadi-cam rig, as well as a MOVI rig.

CBS has also announced that it will have a 53-foot Movie Bird crane on the upper concourse of the stadium for sweeping shots of the pregame set and game action. The crane will also be used for one of the production’s augmented reality encoded cameras strategically placed throughout the stadium.

(Image credit: CBS Sports)

In total, CBS says that it will have more than 120 cameras placed throughout the stadium, including 12 4K and 8K cameras to capture close-up shots during the game. The 4K cameras will be controlled robotically from the stadium concourse levels, while two Sony 8K cameras will be fixed on robotic gimbals from the lower field.

CBS is also introducing special graphics for its Super Bowl coverage. Four augmented cameras will be used to help create the motif of sea and sand in graphics. Additional animations, in-game graphics and augmented reality will be featured throughout the game. The Unreal Engine is supporting these efforts.

With COVID-19 still a major factor, CBS plans to continue practicing its “alternative production methodologies” for production of Super Bowl LV that it has been using for the entire NFL season. This includes extra mobile units that allow for person-to-person social distancing; replay operators working remotely; and dozens of editors, graphic operators and show production personnel working from the CBS Broadcast Center in New York.

CBS has shared a preview of what its production will look like:

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Super Bowl LV takes place on Feb. 7 from Tampa, Fla., and will see Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas Chiefs play Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.