NEWS ANALYSIS

Super Bowl 50 And Its Lasting Tech Legacy

Super Bowl 50 is in the books and with it a massive effort that arguably will reshape the nature of Super Bowl operations for years to come. Why? Simply because of the sheer number of firsts at this year’s big game that might be here to stay.

Early Ratings: Second-Best Super Bowl Ever

The big game scores a 49.0 rating in metered-market households, behind only last year’s record-setting contest. More accurate numbers will be released later today.

PLAYOUT

CBS Sports Relies on Admiral Video Pylon Cam

TVN TECH

CBS Turns Up Tech For Super Bowl Sizzle

Among the innovations CBS Sports has on tap for Sunday’s game at Levi’s Stadium (the control room is above) is a combination of CBS’s super high-res EyeVision 360 camera system, which gives viewers a 360 degree replay perspective on game action, and its virtual first-down and end-zone lines. “If the situation is right, out of the first-down line or end-zone line we are going to bring up vertically a [virtual] transparent pane of glass,” says Ken Aagaard, engineering EVP. “As you revolve around, you can actually see if the ball or the player broke that pane of glass.”

How To Cover A Super Bowl: With 550 Staffers

Super Bowl 50 kicks off at 3:35 p.m. PT Sunday, which means that by 6 that morning the CBS Sports compound of 12 trailers at Levi’s Stadium in San Francisco will be buzzing with all the electricity that 32 miles of cable can carry. There are 70 cameras in the stadium, including eight pylon-cams in the end zones, and maybe 100 cameras in all, topped by a cam on the replica Space Needle at California’s Great America next door.

Lesley Visser Combines Grace, Style, Humor

Visser’s résumé as one of the most accomplished sports journalists in the business is well known. She’s the first woman the Boston Globe hired as a sports reporter. She is the first woman to cover the NFL on a regular basis for any media outlet. She is the first woman to be recognized by the NFL Hall of Fame. It’s her role in helping other women grow in the business that is not as publicized. But Visser’s closest friends cite it as quickly and forcefully as any of her many professional accomplishments.

Fantasy Sports Companies Weigh Leaving US

As industry leaders FanDuel and DraftKings fight to protect their lucrative enterprises, other companies offering daily fantasy sports are taking different approaches to how they operate as their new industry faces increased scrutiny.

CBS Golf Analyst Feherty Moves To NBC

CBS To Use Pylon Camera For NFL Coverage

CBS Sports Launches Digital, Daily Newscast

CBS Sports Legend Charles D’Onofrio Dies At 92

CBS Analyst Phil Simms To Avoid Saying ‘Redskins’

NEW YORK (AP) — CBS lead analyst Phil Simms plans to try to avoid saying “Redskins” during Washington’s nationally televised game against the New York Giants. The network airs the matchup Thursday night as part of its new NFL package. Simms first told The Associated Press last month that he would call the team “Washington” […]

CBS Innovates With US Open Tennis

On Saturday, CBS Sports will begin its broadcasts of the US Open tennis tournament, culminating with the men’s singles championship on Monday Sept. 8. It’s the beginning of the end — ESPN will take over the rights and production duties next year — but that has not prevented the CBS Sports team from ensuring that its role at the center of the production action is anything but top notch.

CBS, NFL Net Prepping For Thurs. Football

If your TV is ever tuned into CBS it doesn’t take long to see the massive effort being put into promoting the new Thursday Night Football broadcast TV franchise. And the combined production efforts being put forth by CBS Sports and the NFL Network behind the scenes is shaping up in such a way that it will arguably be the largest week-in-week-out regular season production the NFL has ever seen.

CBS, Pro Bull Riders Sign Long-Term Deal

The multiyear deal between CBS and the Professional Bull Riders calls for airing 14 bull riding events a year on the regular broadcast network, as well as another 36 on the CBS Sports Network. The PBR will get its most time ever on national TV under the agreement.

Marv Albert Gives Up NFL, To Focus On Basketball

Sports TV Director Sandy Grossman Dies

The eight-time Emmy winner directed 21 seasons of NFL coverage hosted by John Madden and Pat Summerall for CBS and Fox. He came to Fox from CBS with Madden and Summerall for the 1994 season, when Fox first got NFC rights — a major boon for the network. He was 78.

CBS Broadcaster Calls Gonzaga Player A ‘Polack’

SAN DIEGO (AP) — A CBS announcer has apologized to a Polish-born Gonzaga player for using a derogatory term while describing the defense Oklahoma State was using against Przemek Karnowski. In an effort to make a comeback in the second half, Oklahoma State started deliberately fouling Karnowski, who is a poor free throw shooter. Andrew […]

CBS’s McManus Outlines Succession Plan

CBS Sports Chairman Sean McManus discussed succession plans, the relationship with Turner Sports, and the continued strength of live-sports programming in a TV era dominated by DVRs and binge viewing during the B&C Sports Business and Technology Summit in New York City today.

David Berson Named CBS Sports President

David Berson has been promoted to president, CBS Sports. He will continue to report to CBS Sports Chairman Sean McManus and will be involved in all aspects of CBS Sports’ day-to-day management and will also continue to lead the CBS Sports Network.

NBC’s Bob Costas Slams CBS Sports

He says the Augusta National Golf Club’s dark history is “the elephant in the room” and CBS ought to acknowledge the club’s “history of racism and sexism.”

CBS: No Regrets On Ware Injury Coverage

The network received praise for restraint in showing the gruesome leg injury of Louisville’s Kevin Ware, although CBS Sports Chairman Sean McManus said he knew people would say CBS should have shown it more because the network was in a position to document history. “We documented it, we described it and we showed it, and I think that was enough,” he said.

TECH SPOTLIGHT

Getting Up To (High) Speed On Super Slo Mo

For the big game, CBS will take advantage of recent developments in 4K high-speed and high-resolution videography to not only slow down action in replays without noticeable motion blur or pixilation, but also to zoom in closely to see if a player’s foot is out of bounds or if the football breaks the plane of the end zone. Other networks are also working to push the envelope with high-speed, high-res cameras and Sony is working on next-generation sports production technology.

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Aresco Exits CBS For Big East Conference

Longtime CBS Sports executive Mike Aresco, who has negotiated TV contracts with many sports rights holders, is moving to the other side of the table. Aresco has been tapped as the commissioner of the troubled Big East Conference, which is set to begin TV negotiations.

Doug Gottlieb Leaving ESPN For CBS Sports

Woods Win Has CBS Pumped For Masters

After his first PGA Tour win since 2009, Tiger Woods will bring momentum —  and ratings juice for CBS — into the upcoming Masters tournament.

CBS Sports Opens Site To App Makers

CBS Corp., in a move aimed at boosting its share of the nearly billion-dollar fantasy-sports business, is opening up its CBS Sports website so outside developers can create apps geared toward fantasy enthusiasts. The site will offer free and paid apps, with CBSSports.com keeping a 30% share of sales of paid ones.

Bravo, Com. Central, Oxygen, CBS Sports Add VPs

CBS, NBC Extend PGA Deals Through 2021

With the current contract running through 2012, the new nine-year agreements with CBS and NBC will extend from 2013 through the 2021 season, coinciding with the remaining years of the PGA Tour’s exclusive 15-year cable television agreement with Golf Channel that began in 2007.

CBS News Promotes Two PR Executives

Sonya McNair is upped to senior vice president, communications, CBS News, while Kelli Raftery is named vice president, communications.

Questions in CBS, Turner ‘Madness’ Deal

Next week, CBS and Turner Sports will unveil a new way to watch the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, using two companies, two production teams, two sales forces, and four networks to air every game in the 68-team tournament. Although a plan may be in place, the playbook is by no means carved in stone, as even the top executives at CBS and Turner are not sure how quickly viewers will grasp the new broadcast schedule.

CBS Sports Legend Frank Chirkinian Dies At 84

‘March Madness’ Ads Nearly Sold Out

Commercial time during the NCAA men’s college basketball tournament is virtually gone, despite the complications introduced by showing games on four channels instead of one. March Madness, as the NCAA tournament is more commonly known, is nearly sold out of TV and digital inventory on CBS and Turner’s TNT, TBS and TruTV. That’s the earliest the event has sold so much inventory in recent memory.

CBS Moves News From McManus To Fager

Sean McManus is stepping down as president of the news division to become chairman of CBS Sports. CBS News will now be headed by Jeff Fager, as chairman, and David Rhodes, as president.

Infiniti Revs Up March Madness Sponsorship

CBS Sports and Turner Sports have teamed up with automaker Infiniti in a pact that extends well beyond the margins of March Madness. Having signed on as an official NCAA corporate partner, Nissan’s Infiniti marque will run a multiplatform campaign on CBS, CBSSports.com and NCAA.com throughout the regular season. Once the the newly expanded 68-team tourney tips off on Turner’s truTV, Infiniti will begin running its spots in each March Madness broadcast.

CBS Sports Promotes Sabreen

Dan Sabreen has been promoted to senior manager, communications, CBS Sports, where he will continue to manage publicity for CBS College Sports Network and related CBS Sports programming. Sabreen previously was manager of corporate communications for CBS College Sports Network. In this expanded role, Sabreen will take on new responsibilities, including the NCAA Division I […]

CBS Sports Ups Two Communciations Execs

Jennifer Sabatelle promoted to VP of Communications and Gerard Caraccioli named executive director.

Berson To Run CBS’s College Sports Network

ESPN executive David Berson gets a strategic role in CBS Sports operations and will also run the company’s CBS College Sports cable channel as president.