NEP’s Staff Ready for Super Bowl Weekend

NEP has more than 100 staffers on hand in Indianapolis for a Super Bowl week that will have staffers working hard not only on the big game and the halftime show on Sunday but also on a large amount of shoulder programming that will air on the NBC Sports Network, the Golf Channel, and more.

“The biggest change from the last time NBC Sports had the Super Bowl, in 2009, is the addition of the other sports networks that have a presence here,” says NEP Broadcasting CTO George Hoover. “Even Jimmy Fallon is here [a Game Creek Video truck is handling Fallon’s show], and there is a lot of programming on the NBC network [this week].”

The NEP crew was on hand last week for setup for the NBC game and pregame shows (the ND3, ND4, and SS24 units); the Denali California entertainment truck and ST22 to be used on the halftime show rolled in Monday. The trucks that will handle the world feed, SS25 and Super B, have just arrived. Other NEP units include SS16 for the Bob Costas Show at the Indiana Repertory Theatre, the ESU unit that serves as a signal hub, and SS22 and SS31 for the DirecTV Beach Bowl.

“Lucas Oil Stadium is a wonderful place for a Super Bowl, and I think there will be more Super Bowls here,” says Hoover. “The broadcast compound for NBC is inside the building, while the other trucks are around town for the shoulder programming.” A combination of fiber and satellite gets content from the remote venues into the main NBC compound.

This is not the first time the Super Bowl has been played in a cold-weather site. The 2006 Super Bowl was played in Detroit and required the compound to be located down the street from the stadium. And those involved with last year’s game in Dallas also suffered under nasty conditions.

“There was a foot of snow in Detroit, so being in the building gives everyone the ability to work more efficiently, and we don’t need to watch all the gear because security is tight,” adds Hoover.

The NEP and NBC technical teams and crews, after being on the road week in and week out for NBC’s football coverage, are as seasoned as the New York Giants and New England Patriots. Hoover says it is the studio show that is always the challenge because everyone who usually works in a single, controlled studio environment is now in an unfamiliar environment.

“We will have everybody out of here by Feb. 2,” he adds, noting that a quick breakdown will get all the trucks off and running to their next gig.