Bexel Broadcast Delivers for CBS, ESPN, Turner, and NFL Films at Super Bowl
Bexel Broadcast Services has spent Super Bowl week servicing four top clients as CBS Sports, ESPN, Turner Sports, and NFL Films all made use of the company’s rental and fiber services.
“The trend is that everyone is squeezing a lot of different shows out of one big show, and that is a trend we see continuing as more channels are launched and they leverage events like this as much as they can,” says Johnny Pastor, director, Bexel Broadcast Services.
CBS Sports has relied heavily on Bexel for both fiber support at Jackson Square as well as a wide variety of gear at the Mercedes Benz Superdome broadcast compound. Avid Nitris Symphony editing systems and an 80 TB Unity system have been at the center of CBS pre-game operations for editing of features and packages while four Sony super-slow motion cameras, Fujinonlenses for Fletcher NAC high-speed cameras, and 17 EVS systems will play an important role during the game broadcast. Bexel also supplied approximately 150 monitors (a mix of Panasonic, Sony, and TV Logic units) and and 11 screening stations throughout the compounds and Intercontinental Hotel.
A full-blown linear editing system is also being supplied and used in the BBS1 production trailer, something that is not only an anomaly in a nonlinear, digital world but also increasingly difficult to support as many of the pieces of gear required are either no longer manufactured or difficult to find.
“I think linear systems will be around for another three years and then would probably be it,” adds Pastor.
Lee Estroff, Bexel, vice president, account development, says that CBS Sports execs Bruce Goldfeder and John McCrae got Bexel involved early in the planning process for both the Super Bowl itself and the week-long of broadcasts that took place from Jackson Square.
“We were an integral part of the planning and coordination from day one and we knew our goals and plans as we were part of the whole process,” he adds.
ESPN, meanwhile, made use of two Bexel engineers to build an IPTV-based HD distribution system for use in their compound at Jax Brewery. The 12-channel system involves 12 Evertz IPTV systems (the same one ESPN deployed for the recent Winter X Games) and allowed the distribution of program channels and isolated camera feeds to be customized and distributed throughout the production trailers.
“We’re starting to see IPTV systems deployed a lot more in compounds now that cat five cable is run throughout the entire compound,” says Pastor. “It’s easy to get signals wherever we want and with media converters and fiber it’s a no brainer.”
Bexel also played a major part in the launch of a new program on CNN and produced by Turner Sports: Bleacher Report. The first of the programming collaborations was Kickoff in New Orleans: A CNN-Bleacher Report Special, a live one-hour show televised yesterday from a set near the Harrah’s hotel in New Orleans. Bexel provided one of the flypack systems used at the London Olympics as the backbone for the production.
And after the game tonight Bexel’s fiber trailer will be at the center of the action, providing signal connectivity for local TV stations that are reporting from standup positions on the field.
“This compound is also a trend in that they just get bigger and bigger on things like the Super Bowl,” adds Pastor.