Live from Super Bowl XLIX: Sky Sports tackles game with new Sure Shot unit
Sky Sports UK is in the first year of a new five-year deal for the Super Bowl and it is expanding on previous coverage with the use of a new combined satellite/production trailer from Sure Shot, a larger studio position, a pitch side position, and more programming in advance of the big game.
“We have been running a lot of NFL Network programming so there is a lot of live network programming taking place all week based around the NFL and what the Super Bowl is all about as we give a boost to the coverage of the NFL,” says Keith Lane, Sky Sports, director of operations.
Sky Sports game coverage kicks off at 10 pm GMT, an hour before the pre-game festivities. Coverage is expected to end around 3:30 a.m.
For game coverage Sky Sports will rely primarily on the NBC dirty feed for the game coverage and the world feed for the halftime show. It will also have access to individual camera feeds and three EVS servers so the production team can build up replays for analysis and also cut around NBC promotional material. Adobe editing software will also be used for building packages.
Outside of the game coverage Sky Sports this year will have a pitch side host position.
“We want to bring the game and atmosphere to the viewers at home and we thought it would be good to have a pitch side reporter who has an opportunity to grab some people and talk to them,” adds Lane.
Meanwhile upstairs on the studio level Sky Sports has a 19×12 foot studio that is outfitted with a 70-inch touchscreen panel with RT Software tOG-Sports Pro analysis software.
The biggest technical change this year is the use of Sure Shot’s KMHD, the company’s newest production/uplink truck. It measures 42 feet and has a C-band uplink plus Grass Valley LDX-80 cameras with Canon lenses, a Grass Valley Kayenne K-frame production switcher with 4 mix effects; two EVS six-channel servers (Sky will have a total of three EVS servers), and a Chyron LEX 3.1 Duet graphics system.
“We used Sure Shot on some of our golf coverage and this year we saw an opportunity to do something a little bit different,” says Lane. “Sure Shot built a new truck that gives us an opportunity to try using a production/uplink truck for a large on-site production.”
Lane says Sure Shot has done a good job outfitting the truck with really good equipment and the C-band link will provide domestic satellite transmission to New York City where a fiber connection from Pac TV will be used for primary transmission back to the UK. Encompass will provide a backup transmission to the UK and Sky Sports is also downlinking the world feed in the UK as an extra layer of redundancy.