‘Sunday Night Football’ open filmed on Industrial Light & Magic XR stage

This season’s open for “Sunday Night Football,” with singer Carrie Underwood, was produced using one of the hottest production techniques currently employed across broadcast television and film production. 

Known as extended reality production, or XR for short, the technique combines 3D rendering, advanced camera tracking and LED screens to create unique environments on camera without having to leave a sound stage.

For the open, NBC Sports collaborated with Industrial Light & Magic to utilize its StageCraft LED virtual production solution which has been heavily utilized for shows like “The Mandalorian.”

This same technology will feature a virtual football tailgate for Underwood’s performance of “Waiting All Day For Sunday Night.”

“Shooting the new show open for ‘Sunday Night Football’ is one of the highlights of my year,” said Underwood.

“I just love the fact that we get to reinvent it every year.  The team behind these shoots is incredible and it’s always a really fun day, especially this year getting to work with such amazing state-of-the-art technology.”

“We are excited about this year’s new collaboration with Carrie, which utilizes virtual production technology to generate real-time environments for Carrie’s performance, including a ‘tailgate’ to salute this game’s great fans, who have been ‘waiting all day for Sunday night’ and will be incorporated with their own user-generated tailgate videos,” said Tripp Dixon, NBC Sports creative director of the ‘SNF’ show open.