Super Bowl LIV: From The Field To Your Screen

What The Super Bowl Means To Us

As one of the biggest live television sporting events, the Super Bowl truly makes a mark in the sports production industry. Last year, 102 million total viewers were reported to have tuned into Super Bowl LIV. This year, with the pandemic lingering and in-stadium viewing options becoming limited, audiences are connected to their televisions more than ever before. And Super Bowl LV is going to reflect that. Gemstone Media is ultra excited about this year’s Superbowl because we are directly involved in the production!

Many viewers don’t think twice about it; a game’s playing, and it’s expected to seamlessly appear on our screens. In fact, that’s exactly how the experience should feel. That’s what those of us who produce live sports production regularly strive for: a seamless delivery of content from the field to the screen. But to us, this year’s Super Bowl LV is more than “just” a game. It’s a representation of the array of possibilities new technology brings to the table. It sets the precedent for the ultra-high-quality future of sports production in the digital age.

So, how exactly doesthe game come to your screen? What’s it like from the “inside”? What goes into ensuring that seamless delivery of content? Let’s talk.

As CBS puts it, the millions of viewers tuning in to watch the Kansas City Chiefs play the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will be treated to an unparalleled viewing experience. This year’s coverage will have a more cinematic feel, thanks to cameras and camera enhancements never before used in football’s biggest game. Additionally, the talented people who run the equipment. Toys are cool- but the creativity and the technical expertise of the professional team bring them to life.

For instance, the trolley cam will zipline along a wire extending from one end of the stadium to the other at speeds up to 65 miles per hour. You’ll be immersed in the game, with this camera making it feel like you’re watching from the eighth row of the stands.

If that’s not enough, more than ten 4K and multiple 8K cameras will be integrated among the 120 cameras used for the live broadcast. Dozens of camera angles embedded throughout the field and in the stadium will bring the Super Bowl to viewers at home.

All of these digital components will be synthesized together on-the-spot as production crew members quickly cut and edit together the best footage as it takes place on the field.

What’s really exciting to us is the addition of new tools used for broadcasting this game. Here’s a list of some things that stand out to us:

  • Augmented Reality – Animations, in-game graphics, and augmented reality will enhance the viewer experience   
  • Embers and particles will light up the Tampa night as the game takes shape to produce the event with detail never before seen on sports television                                                                                                                                                                    Trolley Cam – This is the camera we mentioned earlier, which will provide a look at the players from a vantage point never used, until now, in the history of the Super Bowl

    Venice Cameras

    • These on-field cameras will capture that dramatic, cinematographic feel like you’re used to experiencing while watching commercials and movies
    • Some of these cameras will be operated on devices called Steadicam rigs and MOVI rigs that have been described as giving a 3D video game look and feel
    • Movie Bird CranePositioned at 53 feet in the air, this crane has traditionally been reserved for major film and television productions.It’ll also serve as one of the many augmented-reality-encoded cameras strategically placed in the stadium
      • The Numbers

        • 120 total cameras
        • 18 robotic cameras
        • 32 cameras embedded in end zone pylons
        • 2 wireless pylon cameras along the sidelines
        • 19 television mobile units
        • 3 sky cams and fly cams
        • 1 trolley cam 
        • 1 Movie Bird cam
        • 25 super slow motion angles
        • 12 cameras with 4K and 8K production capabilitiesHow Gemstone Media Is Involved

          We’re especially excited about the game because some of our very own team members are working as part of the production crew! Our team has an extensive history of working in the live sports production industry, this game in particular really stands out to us. It’ll illustrate the ways in which technology continuously opens the door to new opportunities and capabilities. It will also create great opportunities for our clients going forward as we capitalize on the paramount experiences and knowledge our team gains and can bring back.

          Beyond that, we look at Super Bowl LV as a chance to recognize the vital role that this digital age plays in connecting people together. It’s a chance to harness the skills, tools, and technology at our disposal to embrace and meet the needs of the very people who give us purpose, reason, and a platform to apply our skills.