Super Bowl XLIII: NBC Goes All-Out in HD

NBC Sports may have seemed like a likely TV venue for this year’s Super Bowl after providing coverage of Sunday night NFL games all season—not to mention its exclusive rights to the highly popular summer and winter Olympics for many years. But Sunday’s 43rd NFL championship game was the first to be covered by the Peacock network in over a decade.

As if to show it hasn’t lost its Super Bowl touch, NBC Universal brought out an arsenal of high-tech equipment in Tampa, Fla., for the occasion—primarily dozens of HD cameras and support gear for covering the most widely viewed annual TV program (HD or otherwise) in America.

NBC Sports deployed no fewer than 55 HD cameras around and above the playing field (made slightly more challenging than usual since no aircraft are allowed above the Super Bowl stadium itself since 9/11). One main aerial shot of the stadium came from a handheld camera on the roof of a nearby bank.

Besides a Cable Cam HD hovering bird-like just above the field, other equipment on Sunday included: Sony HDC-1000 and HDC-900 fixed cameras; Sony HDC-1500 and HDC-950 handhelds; as well as Sony HDW-F900 and HDW-700 camcorders. NBC Sports also used a couple of Sony HDC-3300 Slo-mo Cameras—one in each end zone. Canon supplied most of the HD lenses, according to a feature article in TV Technology .

The only noticeable glitch in the all-day pre-game and game coverage came during a live interview (in HD) with President Obama from the Map Room of the White House. Audio dropped out for several seconds while the president was speaking, followed by some momentary image freeze during the Matt Lauer interview.