Super Bowl Report: Bexel Delivers for Clients at Big Game

Bexel Broadcast Services once again has a ubiquitous presence at the Super Bowl, supplying equipment and services that are helping everyone from Fox Sports, NFL instant replay, the NFL Network, ESPN, the halftime show, local broadcasters and, new this year, photographers covering the game for the Associated Press and Getty Images.

Scott Nardelli, chief business development officer, Bexel Broadcast Services, says the photographer services are an outgrowth of the Oscars, where Bexel allows photographers on the red carpet to instantly deliver their photos to their work room via fiber.

Scott Nardelli inside Bexels fiber truck at the Super Bowl.

At the Super Bowl two fiber connections to the catwalks above the field and four on the sidelines allow photographers to tether their camera via Ethernet media converters to fiber links to the media room.

Another big change this year is impacting local TV stations that come in to do standup reports from the field after the game. Bexel provides those connection points as well, and this year there will no longer be support of analog cameras.

“Handling analog signals was a huge issue and this makes things a lot simpler for us,” says Nardelli.

It also reduced the size of equipment racks in the Bexel fiber trailer where the signals from the field are passed through to the nearly 30 local TV station clients. “we now only need three rack units of 16-channel Advanced Fiber Products gear,” says Nardelli. “we are provisioned to serve up to 40 clients.”

Justin Paulk, fiber optic manager for Bexel, was busy this week meeting the needs of the NFL, TV networks and stations, and photographers.

Bexel will also supply equipment and connectivity for the Instant Replay booth. “One nice thing about being here in Dallas is the replay booth fiber connections are already in place for two replay booths,” adds Nardelli.

Lee Estroff, Bexel Broadcast Services, director of BBS technical sales, is working closely with Fox Sports as the company oversees pre-game and game edit facilities. Located in what is traditionally the still photographers work room and locker, the edit facilities include Six Apple Final Cut Pro editing stations outfitted with four EVS IP directors and attached to a 16TB Avid Unity shared storage system. The IP Director pulls clips off of the EVS network used during the game and pre-game and allows clips to be shared, pulled into edit bays, and pushed and pulled as needed. Bexel contracted Brian Carr, owner/creative of Los Angeles-based remote editing services provider to engineer and support the system.

“We’ve worked with him for the past couple of years on projects like the World Series, NBA All-Star Game, and NBA Finals,” says Estroff. “He provides the mainframe and the support.”

And for the second year in a row Bexel is the exclusive provider of lighting gear in the Super Bowl announce booth, providing Litepanels LED gear.

Bexel also had some additional support this week in the form of its Dallas office. “The beauty about being here in Dallas is our office is only 15 miles away so we can get equipment  in and out pretty easily,” says Estroff. “And with Fox we know the key players on the crew and have good relationships.”