Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

City Steals Spotlight in Wildcard Game B-Roll

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

City Steals Spotlight in Wildcard Game B-Roll

Article excerpt

If there were a clear winner of the past two National Football League games held at Heinz Field on the North Shore, it was Pittsburgh. The city got the star treatment on television.

The place that used to roll up and close at 5 p.m. became a jewel in the night for the NBC broadcasts' B-roll - the term for those panoramic shots that are shown before and after commercials.

Al Michaels, NBC's announcer, described each of the scenes - the skaters at the Rink at PPG, the light show at Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens - and the broadcast also dropped the name of the Sen. John Heinz History Center in the Strip while showing the statue of Franco Harris catching the Immaculate Reception that's also on display at Pittsburgh International Airport.

"It was a gift," said Craig Davis, president and CEO of VisitPittsburgh, which is in the business of promoting tourism to the city. "People who work at those establishments - they let out a cheer as soon as [the broadcasters] said it."

Along with the less-than-pretty picture of the collapse of the Steelers offensive line, the national television audience on Saturday saw glowing pictures of the city's skyline at night and a clip of the Duquesne Incline carrying riders down the track.

In calculating the value of such free publicity, Mr. Davis said, "You can equate it to the cost they charge for national advertisements."

He noted that the announcers tend to like to mention the rivers by name. "I watch a lot of 'Monday Night Football' and 'Thursday Night Football,' " Mr. Davis said.

In his view, other cities do not boast the vistas at their stadiums that Pittsburgh does. The Steel City gets that, he said, because the stadiums are snug up against the skyline. When broadcasts show the stadiums, the shots are, essentially, photo- bombed by Downtown.

Many cities built their stadiums away from their downtowns. …

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