FOX Sports Broadcast, Digital Innovation Headline Super Bowl LI Tech Initiatives

FOX Sports, through its FOX Sports Lab initiative, is adding a virtual reality highlight and replay VOD package for SUPER BOWL LI, teaming with LiveLike to deliver the first-of-its kind, six-camera offering through the recently launched FOX Sports VR App. The addition pushes the total FOX Sports camera count well above 100, with more than 70 cameras in play from Houston’s NRG Stadium for the Feb. 5 matchup between the Atlanta Falcons New England Patriots on FOX (6:30 PM ET).

“Everyone wants to elevate their game for the Super Bowl,” said Michael Davies, FOX Sports SVP Field & Technical Operations. “From the players on the field to the advertisers to every single FOX Sports camera operator, they all realize they are on a massive world stage and they want to bring their A game.

“FOX Sports has pushed the envelope of production innovation all year, with virtual reality across several major events,” Davies. “And for the Super Bowl, we re-double that effort, adding several production ‘firsts’ that enhance the multi-platform viewing experience.”

FOX Sports Super Bowl LI production tech highlights:

  • VIRTUAL REALITY: Teaming with LiveLike, FOX Sports is delivering the first-ever Super Bowl in-game highlights published during the game in virtual reality through its recently released FOX Sports VR App (no authentication required). In addition to the game’s top plays and most exciting highlights, the entirety of Super Bowl LI, beginning with the coin toss through and concluding with the post-game awards ceremony, will be available on the FOX Sports VR App.
  • BE THE PLAYER: FOX Sports is delivering on its ongoing investment in production technology and its effort to team with technology leaders with a first-of-its kind Super Bowl LI project that gives viewers a truly unique field-of-vision perspective of the most-watched sporting event of the year. Using innovative technology, FOX Sports introduces the “Be the Player” enhancement, a feature that displays a POV perspective from any player on the field without ever having a physical camera attached to the player.
  • LIVE STREAMING: FOX Sports is offering a live, non-authenticated stream of Super Bowl LI on FOX Sports GO, the streaming platform that showcases all of FOX Sports’ live events and studio programming. Fans around the country will be able to stream the biggest television event of the year at FOXSportsGo.com, using iOS, Android and Amazon tablets or through connected devices, including Apple TV, Roku, Android TV, Chromecast and Amazon Fire. For the Super Bowl broadcast, users will not need to enter their pay TV credentials for viewing.
  • FIELD PASS: NFL Field Pass is a backstage look at Super Bowl LI, documenting team and player arrivals, on-field warmups, team introductions and stadium activity — streaming live on FOX Sports GO through tablets, connected devices and FOXSportsGO.com and FOXSports.com.
  • AUGMENTED REALITY: FOX Sports will have seven enhanced augmented reality cameras including the Skycam to provide the yellow line. In addition to the yellow line on Skycam, FOX Sports will also provide real-time 3D graphics on or over the field in striking fashion.
  • DISCOVERY GREEN: FOX Sports will have three production trucks supporting more than 20 hours of programming a day across multiple networks. With six TV-ready structures and more than 35 cameras in play, including a 50-foot Technocrane and a Stradacrane, Monday through Sunday pre-game coverage reaches new heights.
    • DISCOVERY GREEN TOUCHSCREENS: FOX Sports will utilize two touchscreens among two of the sets at Discovery Green. One will provide social media content, while a second will combine touchscreen and augmented reality technology for a unique Super Bowl picks feature.

Discovery Green by the numbers:

  • 36 HD cameras, including:

o   Skycam

o   3 wireless cameras

o   2 jibs

o   3 robotic cameras

  • Massive audio installation, including:

o   36 wireless microphones

o   48 wireless intercom packs

  • 41 HD monitors
  • Miles of cable
  • 14 miles of tactical fiber cable
  • 986 strands of single mode fiber
NRG STADIUM: With more Super Motion and 4K cameras in play than ever before, the FOX Sports Super Bowl LI production effort in-stadium includes:
 
  • 70 total FOX Sports cameras for Super Bowl LI, including:

o   2 high-speed (4X) 4K high-resolution cameras

o   4 normal-speed 4K cameras

o   4 3X (180FPS) Super Motion cameras

o   2 6X (360 FPS) Super Motion cameras

o   3 8X (480 FPS) cameras

o   24 pylon cameras (8 pylons x 3 cameras)

o   1 8K camera

  • FOX Sports audio by the numbers:

o   More than 91 microphones (including NFL Films player mics)

o   Mics on every camera, including Skycam

o   Three audio mixing boards

o   5.1 Surround Sound

  • Fun Facts:

o   13 mobile units in the FOX Sports broadcast compound, totaling nearly 10,000 square feet of office space

o   15 temporary structures, providing an additional 19,000 square feet

o   180,000 feet of cable added – more than 34 miles