Inside the CBS TV compound At The Super Bowl

Posted: 8:23 PM, Jan 31, 2019
Updated: 2019-01-31 22:17:02-05

ATLANTA (WTVF) — More than 114 million people watched Super Bowl 49. It was the highest rated television show ever. But even the biggest game in the world has seen a slight dip in viewership the last three years.

CBS is hoping to change that trend with their Super Bowl 53 broadcast here in Atlanta.

CBS started moving into the broadcast compound January 9th and staff continues to pour in.

“We have north of 500 people,” said Patty Power, CBS Executive Vice President for Operations and Engineering. “We have 14 production trucks, we have 115 cameras, we have miles and miles of fiber and cable. It’s like moving an army.”

On gameday this experienced crew is responsible for producing the game and the network’s pregame show while handling any issues in stride.

“This is my third (Super Bowl),” Power said. “My first was Super Bowl XLVII in New Orleans when the lights went out.”

When the power outage hit that day - the crew scrambled to get back on the air.
An event the network has learned from.

“It wasn’t a tv problem, it was a stadium problem,” Power said. “The next thing we learned is that we need to make sure that every aspect of our production is backed up with a generator or UPS, so that’s the case now.”

The Super Bowl’s also a chance for CBS to show off the latest in its broadcasting technology.

“This year we have 3-AK cameras, we have some augmented reality,” Power said. “There’ll be a few surprises, which I don’t want to give away now, but we’ll be ready.”

Ultimately - the goal is to make the viewer at home feel like they’re a part of the action.

“Enjoy the game,” Power said. “I mean that’s what’s important, right? At the end of the day it’s a game and that we cover it as best as we can.”

It’s an event the CBS employees look forward to every three years. And they hope all the hard work pays off with a good broadcast - and record ratings on Sunday.