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Countdown to touchdown

NBC Sports plans enhanced graphics including virtual elements for the big game between Cincinatti Bengals and Los Angeles Rams

As the teams prepare to take to the field at the SoFi Stadium in California for Super Bowl LVI on Sunday night, last minute checks are being made to the broadcast technology that will bring the game to millions of fans around the world.

NBC Sports is the host broadcaster for this year’s event and Fred Gaudelli, executive producer of Sunday Night Football and Super Bowl LVI, has revealed the broadcaster will roll out a graphic look that reflects a Los Angeles flavour. The network’s new graphics package will include virtual elements and leverage unique features of SoFi Stadium.

“We’ll have a brand-new graphics package,” said Gaudelli, “a really cool virtual package.” For the first time, the network will use a Steadicam in combination with the SoFi Stadium’s Infinity Screen scoreboard suspended above the field to display some of its virtual graphics, reports TVTech.

Gaudelli has declined to say how many cameras the broadcaster intends to use for Sunday’s game, but did reveal it plans to add more equipment than the standard Sunday Night Football set-up. However, Gaudelli will deploy more cameras on the goal lines, more to shoot down the sidelines and additional cameras to shoot down the end lines. “So, the cameras we add for this are really to capture situations,” he said.

“[The added cameras are] more to make sure that there are no unanswered questions. We have all the critical looks, and that’s how we approach the game from the camera standpoint,” said Gaudelli.

“So, we’ll have a nice bag of toys,” he continued. “There’s no question about it. But as you know and I know, it really comes down to how you cover critical moments of the game,” he said. “And while I want to make the game feel like a spectacle, and we will, I’m more concerned about how we are going to cover those critical moments of the game.”

In the UK, broadcasters Sky Sports and the BBC will take NBC’s feed as part of their coverage.