Extensive Custom Rental Package, Services and Support Accommodates Super Bowl Week Activities in New Orleans
NEW ORLEANS, FEBRUARY 6, 2013—To prepare for the expansive Super Bowl week broadcast schedule and telecast of the big game from New Orleans, several networks turned to Bexel, a unit of the Vitec Group’s Services Division and a leading worldwide provider of broadcast services, to handle their on-site production needs and fiber infrastructure. These services were deployed at both the Superdome as well as the Jackson Square Park in the French Quarter of the city.
Bexel assisted CBS with edit capabilities, equipment rentals, engineering support and fiber throughout the week leading up to the big game. Numerous Avid editing bays were set up in an office trailer on the grounds of the Superdome to handle production needs, and managed that location to ensure support throughout Super Bowl weekend. Bexel also outfitted BBS1, the company’s 53-foot edit truck—a fully configurable production platform—with multiple linear edit bays as well as graphics support.
Along with the company’s vast engineering support, led by engineer in charge Lane Robbins, Bexel also supplied ancillary equipment, including cameras, super slo-mo systems, monitors, tape machines, lenses and EVS servers in order to help CBS capture and broadcast all the week’s events.
In addition to fulfilling production needs on-site at the Superdome, Bexel provided fiber infrastructure, production equipment, support and services at Jackson Square, about a mile from the Superdome, as well as Morial Convention Center. CBS contracted Bexel for the fiber optic infrastructure at Jackson Square, allowing for connectivity over the entire park for four separate and independent sets. The broadcast included such CBS Network programming as The Talk, CBS This Morning, Eye on Football, ROME, Super Bowl Live, Lead Off, CBS Evening News and The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson.
“The broadcast compound is isolated from Jackson Square, with Decatur Street being open to the public,” says Justin Paulk, Bexel’s fiber optic business segment manager. “Bexel was asked to provide a solution to establish temporary connectivity. Collectively we decided the best solution would be to deploy our 72-strand fiber from each mobile unit to its associated set. The result is that each set had a 72-strand fiber with a glass cow sitting next to it.” From each “glass cow,” which Paulk describes as a breakout fiber patch panel, 40 short 200’ TAC-12 single-mode fiber cables extended out to audio, video, and camera feeds. All connectivity crossing the street was made via 288 single-mode strands.
To efficiently react to the needs of the various shows and production sets, Bexel ESS Project Manager Andy Berry oversaw the Jackson Square setup, while Paulk managed the compound. What’s more, to expedite connectivity, Bexel provided one college booth fiber kit to each stage, providing 18 HD video, 48 audio, comms with integrated SAP panels and rewetters for IFB.
“Managing the optical workflow is something that the newly formed Bexel Engineering Systems and Solutions (Bexel ESS) group specializes in,” adds Paulk. “It is always great to be a part of the planning process prior to events, allowing the entire process to be executed in an organized and efficient manner from the start.”
Throughout Radio Row, located at the Morial Convention Center, the Bexel team provided editing facilities and storage for the extensive live radio programming. In addition, the Camera Corps’ Q-Balls and Sony XDCAMS were utilized to capture overhead shooting on the floor of the convention center. “We also brought spare gear with us to New Orleans,” says Julia Rogers, business development manager, Bexel. “If there was a need, we were able to fulfill requests right there on the spot.”
Lastly, Bexel provided its T2 fiber trailer to supply connectivity for NFL Films and more than 30 broadcast affiliates. As in years past, Bexel ensured optical connectivity from the field post-game for all of the local media connectivity. “Historically we have monitored all signals coming off the field with the DA infrastructure we build into the truck and Evertz VIPs,” says Perry Sanderson, Bexel fiber technical sales. “This year, however, we rolled in our pre-built Evertz EMR 128 x 128 Magnum Router, which includes six VIP-Xs and internal patching. This allowed us to not only monitor the signals coming from the field, but also to look at feeds coming off the scaffolding.”
Bexel assisted in providing optical connectivity for the still photography groups, including paths from various locations within the stadium, such as the catwalk, back to the workspaces of the various news agencies’ covering the game.
“Our involvement in the Super Bowl is a huge undertaking and this year was our largest effort to date—demonstrating the tremendous growth we’ve experienced with our broadcast partnerships,” says Lee Estroff, vice president, business development, Bexel. “We touch so many different parts of this event and offer so many different services, not to mention we came into the event already familiar with the venue. Our expertise in large events, coupled by the large amount of staff we were able to supply on location, positioned us nicely for another successful Super Bowl win.”
Bexel is the pre-eminent worldwide provider of broadcast services including video and audio equipment rentals, fiber services, new audio sales, used equipment sales, and repairs/maintenance. Bexel provides brilliantly designed and flawlessly executed systems and solutions to all customers – including producers of the biggest and most important televised events in the world. For more information, visit http://www.bexel.com.
About the Vitec Group:
Capture the moment™
For over 100 years, through every innovation in photography, film and digital image-making, Vitec businesses have developed a powerful portfolio of brand and products that have enabled some of the most amazing moments to be captured under some of the most challenging conditions. Vitec is an international Group principally serving customers in the broadcast photographic and military aerospace and government (MAG) markets. Vitec is based on strong, well-known premium brands on which its customers worldwide rely. Vitec is organized in three divisions: Videocom, Imaging and Services Videocom designs and distributes systems and products used in broadcasting and live entertainment, film and video production and MAG. Imaging designs, manufactures and distributes equipment and accessories for photography, video and events. Service provides equipment rental, workflow design and technical support for camera, video, audio, fiber optic and wireless technology used by TV production and film crews. More information can be found at www.vitecgroup.com.