Forget the Super Bowl 50 halftime show and the commercial breaks: Fans are going to get a better look than ever at the game’s action this year in what should be a great matchup between that brutal Denver defense, and Carolina’s tenacious … well, everything. CBS Sports announced this week that its coverage will incorporate a cornucopia of new high-tech cameras that allow for more advanced replays and whole new perspectives.
NFL games are already known for their captivating broadcasts each week thanks to the innovative Skycams introduced in 2001, which roll around on wires above the action like so many robotic spiders.
But the biggest game of the year should offer an even more impressive viewing experience. CBS Sports will use the new EyeVision 360 replay system for the first time, giving fans a 360-degree view from different points on the field throughout the game. On top of that, Pylon Cameras and audio will provide a field-level perspective.
Held at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif., Super Bowl 50 will have 75 percent more cameras covering the game than last year, according to Wired: 70 in all, compared to 2015’s 40. Thirty-six of the cameras will be part of the EyeVision 360 system and will be strung together around the 25-yard line to capture the whole field in 5K resolution. Footage from the cameras can be frozen to show a 360-degree view of a given player’s perspective during a specific play. For example, viewers will be able to see what Cam Newton or Peyton Manning saw from the pocket.
Pylon Cams will account for another 16 of the broadcast’s cameras. The eight pylons that stand in the corners of the two end zones will house the hi-res, hi-def cameras, and they’ll also have microphones that capture the sounds of the game. Given their location, they should be particularly useful on scoring and red zone plays.
The new technology adds extra appeal to an already exciting event. We’ll see if it can help CBS top last year’s Super Bowl, which drew in the biggest U.S. TV audience ever. Super Bowl 50 airs on CBS at 6:00 p.m. ET on Sunday, February 7.