Fox bundling up for frigid telecast at Lambeau Field

  • Article by: JUDD ZULGAD , Star Tribune
  • Updated: January 17, 2008 - 9:07 PM

Network personnel were busy purchasing cold-weather gear for the game. The forecast for Sunday's 5:30 p.m. start is a high of 7 above and a low of 3 below. Summary.

Fox Sports employees likely got some odd looks this week when they went shopping for winter gear -- in Los Angeles.

"We bought tons of hand and foot warmers," said Jerry Steinberg, Fox's vice president of field operations. "Who knows if they will be sold out in Green Bay?"

As Fox officials planned their coverage for the NFC title game between the Giants and Packers on Sunday, one key focus was bracing for the frigid conditions of Lambeau Field. The forecast calls for a daytime high of 7 degrees with a low of minus-3 for a game scheduled to kick off at 5:30 p.m. Winds could be gusting from 10 to 15 miles per hour.

"The real heroes for us will be our camera people, who will be out in the elements for three plus-hours and our two sideline reporters, Pam Oliver and Chris Myers," said Ed Goren, president of Fox Sports. "And the pregame guys are going to be out there, too."

Members of CBS' crew also will have to battle the cold during the AFC title game between New England and San Diego at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass. That one will kick off at 2 p.m. and its expected temps will be in the teens; however, it has the potential to feel much colder with winds approaching 40 miles per hour.

Those on the pregame shows might tell you how cold they are on their outdoor sets -- heated blankets make life a bit easier -- but at least they will have the opportunity to go inside during the game.

No such luck for a camera crew that Steinberg estimates will total about 20 on Sunday in Green Bay. The toughest assignment will be for those operating the high end-zone cameras because there isn't much protection from the wind. Fox will have a second trailer set up to enable those who can take a break to warm up.

But Steinberg seems far from concerned about potential cases of frost bite.

"That's what these guys do," he said. "It's the same thing as doing a baseball game in July in St. Louis when it's 100 degrees and 100 percent humidity. You run the gamut from one extreme to the other."

While doing a game in the cold might be uncomfortable, it has little impact on what fans see at home. Part of the reason is that modern equipment can be powered up the Friday before an event and left on until after the game, meaning there shouldn't be any surprises on Sunday.

Lance Barrow, the lead producer for CBS' NFL coverage, said rain is another story. That is fresh in Barrow's mind given that CBS had problems with condensation buildup on its cameras because of a steady rain that fell during last season's Super Bowl in Miami.

"Our cameras are able to handle extreme cold and extreme heat," Barrow said. "Our camera guys are used to being in all kinds of elements. We have an experienced crew. They are bundled up and well prepared just like the players on the field."

While rain might not be welcome, the same can't be said for snow. It might have been difficult to see through the flakes at times during Fox's coverage of the Packers' victory over Seattle last Saturday in a divisional round game, but the network types loved it.

"The weather forecast last Saturday was just for some flurries and it was supposed to stop around game time," Goren said. "So I get out to Lambeau and it's snowing. I was with [NFL] Commissioner [Roger] Goodell and said, 'Can we get the special effects to continue during the game?' I hope we don't run out of snow. The pictures were phenomenal and it was a fun broadcast. I do think that snow has a positive effect on the ratings."

It certainly did in the Twin Cities. The Packers' victory had a 25.9 rating and 49 share in this market, placing it behind only Milwaukee, Seattle and Jacksonville among the 56 metered markets in the United States.

Fine-tuning

• No doubt helped by plenty of Vikings talk, KFAN finished second in the Fall Arbitron book among men 25-to-54 years of age with a 7.9 share from the hours of 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday (when it has local programming). That was an improvement from a 6.7 share and fourth-place finish in a not-so-great summer book. KFAN finished as the No. 1 talk station among adults 25-54 from 6 a.m. to midnight Monday through Sunday with a 4.4 share. That, however, trailed six music stations.

• In an agreement announced Thursday, Turner Broadcasting will take over NBA TV and the league's web operations. The deal will run through the 2015-16 season.

• KSTC (Ch. 45) has added the Wild-Vancouver matchup on March 21 to its telecast schedule.

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Team Irvin 32 4th Qtr 3:10
Team Carter 28
Miami 96 FINAL
Chicago 84
Oklahoma City 98 FINAL
Cleveland 108
Dallas 106 FINAL
New Orleans 109
Indiana 106 FINAL
Orlando 99
LA Clippers 120 FINAL
Phoenix 100
Minnesota 100 FINAL
Atlanta 112
Detroit 110 FINAL
Toronto 114
Milwaukee 95 FINAL
San Antonio 101
Boston 111 FINAL
Golden State 114
Washington 117 FINAL
Denver 115
Houston 76 3rd Qtr 2:31
LA Lakers 53
Team Toews 17 FINAL
Team Foligno 12
South Florida 53 FINAL
Connecticut 66
Boston College 64 FINAL
Georgia Tech 62
Virginia 50 FINAL
Virginia Tech 47
Indiana 70 FINAL
Ohio State 82
Stony Brook 61 FINAL
Binghamton 54
Cincinnati 56 FINAL
UCF 46
Maine 70 FINAL
Hartford 61
Monmouth 64 FINAL
Manhattan 71
Fairfield 67 FINAL
Marist 73
Rowan 48 FINAL
Princeton 96
St Bonaventure 48 FINAL
Rhode Island 53
Duke 77 FINAL
St Johns 68
Saint Peters 69 FINAL
Siena 55
Drake 40 FINAL
Wichita State 74
Vermont 61 FINAL
UMass Lowell 50
Seton Hall 57 FINAL
Butler 77
NJIT 72 FINAL
South Alabama 55
Northern Iowa 54 FINAL
Illinois State 53
Louisville 80 FINAL
Pittsburgh 68
UMBC 55 FINAL
Albany 69
Niagara 64 FINAL
Iona 87
Notre Dame 81 FINAL
NC State 78
Belmont 63 FINAL
Tennessee St 55
Creighton 50 FINAL
Villanova 71
Northwestern 67 FINAL
Maryland 68
Washington 56 FINAL
Utah 77
Senior-North 34 FINAL
Senior-South 13
Seton Hall 99 FINAL
Georgetown 85
St Johns 69 FINAL
Villanova 81
Arkansas 58 FINAL
Florida 72
Maine 56 FINAL
UMBC 42
Vanderbilt 55 FINAL
Alabama 52
Lafayette 60 FINAL
Lehigh 65
UCF 61 FINAL
SMU 57
Utah 51 FINAL
Washington 63
James Madison 73 FINAL
Coll of Charleston 53
Delaware 56 FINAL
Drexel 61
Hofstra 56 FINAL
William & Mary 57
Hartford 58 FINAL
Albany 82
Binghamton 54 FINAL
Stony Brook 67
Towson 63 FINAL
UNC-Wilmington 71
Wake Forest 80 FINAL
(17) Florida State 110
Georgia Tech 68 FINAL
Virginia 62
(22) Georgia 51 FINAL
(5) Tennessee 59
Drake 79 FINAL
Evansville 62
Iona 80 FINAL
Canisius 62
Fairfield 33 FINAL
Monmouth 59
Northwestern 75 FINAL
Penn State 76
Wisconsin 71 FINAL
Michigan State 77
Ohio State 79 FINAL
Purdue 71
Northern Iowa 57 FINAL
Indiana State 55
Butler 58 FINAL
Xavier 54
Creighton 93 FINAL
Marquette 75
Providence 42 FINAL
DePaul 90
Northeastern 77 FINAL
Elon 80
(2) Connecticut 96 FINAL
Cincinnati 31
Oregon 78 FINAL
Arizona 81
Bradley 46 FINAL
Loyola-Chicago 45
NC State 49 FINAL
(23) Syracuse 66
(7) Maryland 84 FINAL
Indiana 74
Illinois State 35 FINAL
Missouri State 58
Colorado 68 FINAL
Washington St 73
Tulane 45 FINAL
South Florida 64
(14) Kentucky 83 FINAL
Missouri 69
(9) Oregon State 68 FINAL
(13) Arizona State 57
Vermont 63 FINAL
UMass Lowell 72
Iowa State 58 FINAL
(8) Texas 57
Southern Ill 61 FINAL
Wichita State 80
(15) Duke 74 FINAL
(12) North Carolina 67
Miami-Florida 55 FINAL
(4) Louisville 68
(21) Minnesota 61 FINAL
(25) Rutgers 66
California 72 FINAL
UCLA 57
(11) Stanford 71 FINAL
USC 60

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