Inside the NBC Super Bowl Production Truck

By Brian Flood 

A thrilling last-second Super Bowl finish has given NBC the highest-rated Super Bowl ever, according to Nielsen overnight metered market ratings. The game measured a 49.7 rating  and 72 share, giving the game a 4% boost over last year’s Super Bowl which was a much more lopsided finish as the Seahawks defeated the Broncos 43-8. Fast national numbers will be out later today, and early viewership totals show it on par with last year’s 112.2 million.

And while the NBC suits are happy, how did the producer of NBC’s coverage feel? “It’s hard for me to say because I have to go back and watch it,” Fred Gaudelli tells Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch who was given inside access to NBC’s production truck.

“I thought Drew [Esocoff, Director] had a great night, I thought the announcers were having a great night and our crew was really in sync. But when you go back and watch, you will find things you wish you did differently.”

So will Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson who threw an interception on a play call that will be questioned for a long time. But how did NBC handle the coverage?

At that point once you show the interception, then it is about the reaction. Brady’s reaction was unbelievable. So was Pete Carroll’s, and I feel bad for him because he has to live with that one probably forever. This was one of the greatest Super Bowls ever. The truck was pretty much in control. We wanted to make sure we had the right angles and replay and that Drew was cutting the live pictures. I thought everybody was in sync.

Deitsch’s column goes on to point of several interesting observations regarding the way Gaudelli produced the telecast, including the difficult decision not to show a news-worthy illegal TD celebration.