Football fans across the world aren’t
likely to realize it, but most years, IBEW members are as critical to their Super
Bowl viewing experience as chicken wings and guacamole.
|New York Local 1212 members Matt McGahan top, and Mario Zecca operate the Chapman camera crane --- which allows for camera shots above the players on the sideline – during Super Bowl 54 while working for Fox Sports.
This year’s game on Fox marked the 29th time that IBEW professionals provided the pictures and sound from the big game. The Kansas City Chiefs beat the San Francisco 49ers 31-20 at Miami’s Hard Rock Stadium.
Fox’s telecast averaged 99.9 million viewers, according to Fox Sports public relations, and 102 million across all platforms, including Fox Deportes, which aired the Spanish-language telecast.
More than 400 IBEW members were in South Florida working as camera operators, sound mixers, graphic artists, replay technicians and other responsibilities. The IBEW has had a relationship with Fox Sports since the early 1990s, when the network was just beginning its sports division. This was the ninth Super Bowl televised by the network.
“We’re incredibly proud of our long-standing partnership with Fox Sports and thankful that it gives our talented and hard-working members a chance to work on the biggest stage of all,” International President Lonnie R. Stephenson said. “They always do us proud and they did just that during this year’s game. They’re the best at what they do.”
The IBEW has a relationship with another Super Bowl broadcaster, CBS, dating back to 1939, when it was a radio company. Members have provided the behind-the-scenes personnel for the 20 Super Bowls televised by that network. That means IBEW members have worked 29 of the 54 Super Bowls played – more than half.
Other IBEW members were in and around Miami working for local television stations and other production companies covering the game and events surrounding it.
“As I visited the stadium the week before the game, I saw firsthand all the hard work and knowledge required to prepare for the most-watched television event of the year,” Broadcasting & Telecommunications Director Robert Prunn said.
“Fox Sports is a great partner of the IBEW, and our members contribute so much to the success of all sporting events on the network. The Super Bowl is always fun to watch, and I hope it meant a little more to the rest of our members knowing that their brothers and sisters were bringing the game into our living rooms.”
The quality of the IBEW members’ work was not lost on Fox Sports executives either.
“The Super Bowl is the day that we all live for as sports television professionals, and none more so than the talented men and women working with us down in Fort Lauderdale,” said Michael Davies, Fox Sports senior vice president for field operations and technology. “We are truly grateful for our relationship with the membership and leadership of the IBEW, not to mention the amazing crew that’s working the game with us. It’s what goes into making Super Bowl Sunday a huge success.”
Hard Rock Stadium is in Miami but Fox Sports has much of its operations based in nearby Fort Lauderdale.