NFL Network preps for broadcast of big Packers vs. Bears game

GREEN BAY -- A lot of work goes into broadcasting big games like the Green Bay Packers vs. Chicago Bears game at Lambeau Field Thursday. The NFL Network rolled into Green Bay on Monday -- three days before kickoff. FOX6 News got a behind-the-scenes look at the preparations for prime-time football.

Thursday's game was the kickoff to the NFL Network's football broadcasting season, and they said anything can and will happen during a football broadcast.

"A lot of pressure -- first game. There's a certain amount of preparation and there's a certain amount of luck you count on for that as well," NFL Network's Director of Remote Operations Rod Conti said.

For their broadcasts, the NFL Network brings along six mammoth size trucks. Monday through Friday, a staff of about 180 people tests equipment and sets up high-tech stages. Amidst the setup, there's also appreciation for the venue.

"Green Bay is like the Vatican of the NFL. Lambeau Stadium is the Vatican, so coming here is just the greatest. To start off our season at Lambeau --I think everybody has a buzz about that when they come here," Conti said.

Wednesday, crews worked to assemble a stage outside Lambeau Field for the NFL Network's pregame show.

"We`ll have monitors with the show so people can come and watch and we`ll have some of our talent come out and do some segments on the sidewalks as well," NFL Network Senior Operations Producer Ben Simms said.

Simms is a Wisconsin native.

"I'm from Madison, so it's good to be back here. The family's been up here and it's been a fun week," Simms said.

Despite all the preparation, staff is always bracing for the unpredictable nature of live television.

"There's a part of preparing for it and there's a part of just keeping our fingers crossed that everything that we can be subject to holds off for the three hours that we are on air," Conti said.

Wednesday night, staff held rehearsals for Thursday night's broadcast. They referred to it as "the calm before the storm."

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