Sports

Fox Sports tests weather gadgets for Super Bowl

BETH HARRIS, AP Sports Writer
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A fan holds up a sign during the first half of an NFL wild-card playoff football game between the Green Bay Packers and the San Francisco 49ers, Sunday, Jan. 5, 2014, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Phelps)

A fan holds up a sign during the first half of an NFL wild-card playoff football game between the Green Bay Packers and the San Francisco 49ers, Sunday, Jan. 5, 2014, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Phelps)

PASADENA, Calif. (AP) — Fox Sports has a few weather-related tricks up its sleeve for next month’s Super Bowl telecast, and the network plans to test them out before the Feb. 2 game that will be the first played in a cold-weather climate.

It will use this weekend’s NFC title game in Seattle between the San Francisco 49ers and the Seahawks to test an infrared camera that will show how players’ body temperatures change throughout the game.

“I don’t know what story that tells, but it might make for some pretty cool pictures,” Eric Shanks, Fox Sports chief operating officer and executive producer, told the Television Critics Association on Monday.

He said another unspecified device will show how wind affects a quarterback or kicker.

Shanks said the network will have more high-tech 4K cameras than ever before to zoom in for what he called “that definitive angle.”

The network is touting the game as “the coldest and boldest Super Bowl ever” in its advertising. Shanks said the pre-game timing will be altered slightly because of the temperature so people aren’t on the field standing around too long waiting for the players to come out.

“We have spent a lot of time with the league going over contingency plans not unlike what we do for this weekend in Seattle,” Shanks said, noting three NFL games on Fox this season were delayed because of weather.

Forecasting company AccuWeather said Monday the game-day temperature will be 35 degrees with a chance of snow showers. However, Shanks downplayed the cold factor.

“It’s not like football isn’t played in the cold. We were just in Green Bay,” he said. “The NFL shouldn’t be apologizing for a cold-weather Super Bowl. If this goes off well, I think we should give another Super Bowl to a cold-weather city. How great would it be to have a Super Bowl in Green Bay?”

Fox is building a three-story studio in Times Square that will host its game-week programming, even though the game itself will be played in nearby East Rutherford, N.J.

“We’re not hiding the fact that it’s in New Jersey,” Shanks said. “We make sure that New Jersey is equally and fairly represented.”

The game’s host committee will shut down Broadway in Manhattan with 12 blocks of hospitality starting the Wednesday before the game.

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Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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