NFL and NBC Sports taps Level 3 for Super Bowl video broadcast

DetailsMichelle Clancy | 28 January 2015

The NFL and NBC Sports have tapped Level 3 Communications to support the broadcast of Super Bowl XLIX on 1 February.

The programming will be supported by Level 3's Vyvx VenueNet+ technology. This is the 26th consecutive year that Level 3 Communications has provided services for the Super Bowl.

The Super Bowl drew 111.5 million viewers last year, which is the largest audience in television history. This year, the Super Bowl will be hosted at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona, which is connected directly to Level 3's fibre-optic network.

Level 3 will also support NBC broadcasts from downtown Phoenix, which will occur in the days leading up to, and the day of, the event. In total, more than 3,000 hours of video content will be acquired, encoded and transported across Level 3's Vyvx VenueNet+ platform as part of the Super Bowl coverage.

"We understand that an event this massive comes with incredibly high expectations for a seamless viewing experience," said Mike Meehan, senior vice president of sports operations for NBC Sports Group. "Level 3 has nearly three decades of experience delivering high-profile, global events, and we trust them to provide the reliable performance we need."

Level 3 will also provide NBC with the video transport it requires to broadcast MSNBC's Morning Joe show from Phoenix in the days leading up to the Super Bowl, along with other Vyvx services to other NBCUniversal properties that will be onsite in Phoenix throughout the week.

"Each year, the Super Bowl grows and is better than the year before, and that requires an increasingly complex operation to ensure a smooth, uninterrupted broadcast," said Glenn Adamo, vice president of media operations for the NFL. "We have a strong working relationship with Level 3, and each year they've been able to ensure the NFL's millions of football fans receive the best quality broadcast available."

In addition to delivering the game, Level 3 will also carry the pre-game and post-game feeds to all NFL operations centres; NFL Films in Mt Laurel, NFL Network studios in Culver City, NFL Network Master Control in Atlanta, as well as other broadcast networks and satellite teleport sites for global distribution.

"There's no larger fan base in the US than that of the NFL, and Level 3 is honoured to enable those fans to enjoy the pinnacle game of the season," said Anthony Christie, chief marketing officer at Level 3. "After 26 years of working with the NFL and broadcasters like NBC, we are well aware of the complexities involved with delivering an event of this magnitude on a global scale. That's why we work in lockstep to plan and execute delivery of the Super Bowl, ensuring a seamless viewing experience for viewers around the world."