View from main CBS control truck at the Superdome.
It’s always a treat to watch the game coverage by the peerless NFL on CBS team, which is the very best in the business. And backing up our amazing group of analysts and experts in front of the camera is a trained crew of CBS Sports production and technical pros behind the scenes.
Their No. 1 priority is to deliver the perfect angle of every play, along with the sophisticated replays, zoom, and hyper-broadcast detail that TV viewers have grown to love. The production logistics and technical complexity associated with broadcasting the Super Bowl are astounding. This year, CBS Sports will have 62 cameras at the Superdome covering the game, along with dozens of replay devices. When you are able to capture virtually every detail of the action, the hard part becomes choosing the angles and replays wisely and making sure you don’t interfere with the broadcast.
In the mix will be some 4K cameras, which allow for stunning zooming capabilities, as well as the CBS sky cam, which glides over the field on a cable, capturing all. Orchestrating and syncing all the associated gear — including switchers, audio consoles, graphics gear packages, servers HD cam decks, and a whole lot of cable — is a massive undertaking. Beyonce is not the only one rehearsing ahead of Sunday — there have been production rehearsals every day this week to get ready.
I’m in awe of the process and all of my colleagues at CBS Sports who make the magic happen. The final countdown has begun, so follow me on Twitter and stay tuned!
Under the control room truck. Pull one wire and they all go out!
We’re on the ground in NOLA gearing up for Super Bowl XLVII. Many of our shows, crews, and talent have been here for days. Now it’s a whole lot of buildup and anticipation for super Sunday — the biggest day of the year in television, sports, advertising, and marketing.
For many people, it’s a national celebration — a day of fun, cheering, bonding, eating, and drinking in front of the TV. For teams it’s an epic battle, the single biggest day of the year for sports. For advertisers, it’s a rare and valuable opportunity to command the attention of the entire country in one fell swoop. And for CBS it is the ultimate promotional platform — a chance to tell the nation which shows and stars are on our network. It’s also a chance to expose our audience to other parts of CBS, such as CBS Sports Network and Showtime, which some people don’t realize is part of the CBS family.
Although I am onsite for the event, in all my years at CBS I have never actually been seated inside the stadium for the game. This year will be no different. Along with my counterparts in CBS sales and operations, I’ll be hunkered down in a trailer in our production complex at the Superdome, monitoring the broadcast and ensuring that everything goes smoothly. We make sure all the commercials and promo breaks run as planned, and are ready to make changes on the fly if needed. And after all, the game is so much better on TV!
We’ve got a lot of really special promotional spots on deck this year and are so excited to debut them during game coverage. Until then, I’ll be posting updates and photos from my Twitter account @georgetv so follow my adventures at the #CBSSuperBowl, and, as always, stay tuned!
One of the ways to know your audience is through research. My never-ending quest as a TV marketing guy is to understand viewer behavior and how to influence that decision-making process. We study why TV viewers choose what they choose.
Recently, I traveled with members of my team to Las Vegas to ask these questions and more at our world-class CBS Television City research facility at the MGM Grand Hotel. The 9,000-square-foot space is equipped with state-of-the-art facilities, cutting-edge technology, and an expert research staff. This is where we test audience response to new TV shows as well as our advertising.
The input we gather from real people who represent a good cross-section of our audience helps us shape our marketing campaigns to be the most effective. We learn what they like, don’t like, how they watch, and what is important to them. It’s all great feedback that helps us do our jobs smarter.
Oh, yes, in the “I wish I had thought of this” category: one of the most interesting observations during the trip: Restroom TV and ads at the sinks in the MGM Grand Hotel (see picture below). Only in Vegas.
We call these “tent pole” events because they get most of America watching CBS, bringing them under our “big tent.” The value of big event TV is more than just the audience gathered and the advertising dollars collected; it’s the hugely valuable exposure we get for marketing our shows and building awareness for millions and millions of people.
Those who may not regularly tune in to CBS get to see what they’re missing, and loyal viewers get teased with exciting previews for their favorite shows. What makes big events like these so special is that people watch them together — live — and talk about them on the couch or on social media.
And because a powerful platform requires messaging that makes a big impact, our promo creative department is always upping its game. The team is constantly inventing fun, clear, and effective new ways to get attention and drive viewership. If you’re planning to tune in to our Sunday trifecta, you’ll see what exciting stars, shows, and stories we’ll be promoting in the year to come. We’ve got a lot in store, so watch closely, and, as always, stay tuned!
George Schweitzer's position as Chief Marketing Officer at CBS gives him a unique platform not only to observe, but also to help shape the ways technology is altering the television industry and entertainment marketing. His non-professional passions include home automation technology; pro and college football; exploring the American West; and Orange Julius. more »