It’s not every day that a missed field goal kick during a Super Bowl sparks a technological revolution in sports broadcasting. But that’s exactly what happened when CBS Sports’ Jason Cohen and Mike Francis witnessed Kansas City kicker Harrison Butker’s 42-yard attempt bounce off the left upright during last year’s game. Cohen, the division’s VP of remote technical operations, wasted no time and texted the league’s broadcasting department with a brilliant idea – placing cameras inside the uprights. And just like that, the doink cam was born, adding a whole new dimension to the viewing experience of the game.
As CBS gears up for its record 22nd time broadcasting the Super Bowl, they’re bringing out all the stops in terms of technology. Harold Bryant, the executive producer and EVP of production for CBS Sports, promises viewers that this year’s broadcast will feature more technology than ever before. The addition of cameras with zoom and super slow-motion capabilities means fans will get a detailed look at just how close a kick comes to making it inside the uprights or sailing straight through the middle.
The doink cam isn’t just a gimmick for this year’s big game; it’s part of a larger trend of using cutting-edge technology to enhance the viewer experience. CBS tested the new cameras during preseason and regular-season games, with input from former NFL kicker turned CBS analyst Jay Feely on optimal camera placement. And given that Super Bowls often serve as testing grounds for innovations that eventually become standard across all NFL broadcasts, it’s entirely possible that the doink camera could become a regular feature in future seasons.
In addition to the doink cam, CBS will deploy a staggering 165 cameras for this Sunday’s game, including 23 augmented reality cameras that will be used by both CBS and Nickelodeon. Speaking of the latter, Nickelodeon will take the augmented reality experience to a whole new level by featuring beloved characters SpongeBob SquarePants and Patrick Star alongside hosts Noah Eagle and Nate Burleson. With this innovative approach, Nickelodeon’s broadcast promises to be a delightful and immersive experience for fans of all ages.
So, as you settle in to watch the showdown between Kansas City and San Francisco this Sunday, keep an eye out for the doink cam and other technological marvels that CBS has in store for viewers. Who knows, maybe next year’s Super Bowl broadcast will feature even more groundbreaking innovations, all aimed at bringing fans closer to the action than ever before.