With Super Bowl LI around the corner and our 20th anniversary celebration underway, we thought it would be fun to look back on the NFL graphics packages we’ve teamed up with CBS Sports on over the last 19 years. 2016’s Super Bowl 50 marked our sixth Super Bowl collaboration with the network, though our relationship dates back to 1998, shortly after the network won the rights to the American Football Conference (AFC) package.
Looking to establish a modern graphics package with a competitive edge, they brought our team on board. Working out of a New York office that RCS Co-founder Steven Heimbold established for the project, our crew designed, built and implemented the network’s first real-time 3D remote and studio sports graphics package. Built on Everest, now known as the Viz Engine, the package aired across regular season and playoff broadcasts.
In 2001, CBS nabbed Super Bowl XXXV rights, and our graphics and technology were used on one of the world’s biggest stages as the Ravens topped the Giants 34 to 7. Updated and used again in 2003, the package added flare to the Super Bowl XXXVII broadcast as the Raiders faced off against the Buccaneers in San Diego.
Three years later, CBS Sports returned to RCS looking to overhaul graphics for its coverage of NFL and select NCAA games, as well as golf and tennis matches. Imaginary Forces guided the designs for the project, with our team developing front end software and custom scripts for a real-time remote and studio package, in addition to the Vizrt build. The graphics package was spotlighted in CBS’ Super Bowl XLI coverage, as the Colts battled the Bears in Florida.
Looking for a total graphics refresh for the upcoming NFL season, CBS tapped us for another update in 2010. RCS worked on the design and Vizrt build, and developed custom software for a graphics package used across some of its key sports coverage, including Super Bowl XLVII, which saw the Ravens and 49ers go head-to-head in New Orleans.
In 2014, we teamed up with CBS Sports again, this time to manage the Vizrt build and create custom software controllers and scripts for its Thursday Night Football graphics package. Troika handled the designs for the project, which extended into 2015 and 2016.
As the Super Bowl turned 50 in 2016, the Broncos faced the Panthers in an epic matchup that became the third most watched TV broadcast of all time. Prior to the big day, RCS worked with CBS and Troika to refresh the network’s existing graphics package. Our crew was also responsible for delivering all the front end software and scripts for the package ahead of time. The project earned a Sports Emmy, marking the 11th Sports Emmy Award-winning project that RCS has contributed to.
If there’s anything we’ve learned from working with CBS over the last 19 years, it’s that collaborating with talented, smart people who have a passion for sports and sports fans is invaluable. The network continually pushes the limits of technology to improve the sports fan experience across the board, and we’re proud to be involved in their productions. We look forward to building on our relationship with them as graphics production and technology continue to evolve.