SMT Powers Super Bowl LI on Fox
The undisputed biggest game in American sports is the Super Bowl, and this year Fox Sports is preparing a massive live production using a wide array of Vizrt production tools. Preparations began with a multi-year deal for Vizrt to provide Fox Sports with the Viz Libero sports analysis system for both the national and regional networks. Viz Libero enhances play-by-play coverage by providing alternate angles, virtual fly throughs and detailed analysis with telestration tied to the field.
Earlier in the 2016-2017 NFL season, Fox Sports introduced augmented reality graphics to select games using Viz Virtual Studio. Tracking partner Skycam provides additional camera angles of the game, including bird’s-eye views and the view behind the quarterback. The tracking data from Skycam along with optical tracking data from SMT allow Viz Virtual Studio to place AR graphics such as scoreboards, player lineups and statistic charts on the field.
“Our temporary Super Bowl set will allow us to take advantage of many different parts of Vizrt’s enterprise products. We have come a long way from only utilizing real time graphics for simple lower thirds and fullscreens,” says Zac Fields, SVP graphic technology and innovation, Fox Sports.
The FOX Sports Super Bowl studio will be set up at Discovery Green in Houston. This large area will feature three separate operating sets along with 14 large LED screens. These monitors will include graphics and video content produced by four dual channel Viz Engines.
In addition to populating 14 LED screens, FOX Sports will use Viz Engine to populate two touchscreens and one 50′ Techno crane with AR capabilities.
Fox Sports will also use Viz Trio to produce lower third graphics, full screen graphics, real-time stats and interactive charts. Viz Trio will control graphics displayed on Viz Engines from the mobile units during the live game as well as all pre- and post-game shows.
“We are extremely proud to be working with Fox Sports again on another major event,” says David Jorba, President, Vizrt Americas. “Fox Sports continues to push the boundaries of what technology can do for efficient and outstanding sports live production, and we are happy to be by their side supporting their latest innovations.”
Fox Sports has used Vizrt technology for its graphics production since 2010, in the studio as well as onboard the various mobile production trucks. This includes generating the popular “Cleatus” CGI robot that appears during program interstitials during every NFL on Fox telecast.