David Bolton and his Santa Barbara company scores their seventh consecutive telecast of Sunday’s big game
On Sunday, David Bolton will be rooting for the Los Angeles Rams to win Super Bowl LVI. But for him, the big game is more than a chance to kick back, eat loads of wings and watch some football.
Mr. Bolton and his Santa Barbara-based Cultural Global Media team will be spending Sunday tackling the Spanish production of the Super Bowl for Fox Sports Latin America — their seventh consecutive Super Bowl production.
“It’s considered by many to be the biggest sporting event that originates in the U.S.,” Mr. Bolton told the News-Press in an interview Friday ahead of the big game. “It’s an honor and is definitely a highlight of my career and is just something I’m very thankful to have had the opportunity on so many occasions to have participated in.”
It takes countless hours of planning and negotiating the logistics — from the crew to the trucks and satellites to fiber technology — to bring the Super Bowl into the homes of so many people across the country. But Mr. Bolton has a “solid crew,” which he said is crucial for the operation.
“Your productions are only as good as the team you’re able to assemble for the production, everything from cameramen to replay specialists to audio engineers,” Mr. Bolton said. “And in our case, everyone has to be bilingual. That just really helps when you have a group that’s dedicated, very experienced, and really takes a lot of the nerves away.”
Mr. Bolton said his team puts on a similar production every year so he already has a solid understanding of just how many cameras and how much audio they will need. He did a walkthrough of So-Fi Stadium with the NFL in December to get a feel for the setup and truly visualize the production.
“You have to really spend time with the details in the early stages of the planning because if you don’t, it’s going to be a disaster on game day,” Mr. Bolton said.
The Cultural Global Media team will be on-site at So-Fi Stadium all weekend, broadcasting for nine straight hours on Sunday.
Mr. Bolton is an avid sports fan, walking into the News-Press newsroom at just 16 years old to convince the sports editor to let him write. And at 19, Mr. Bolton began to work for KEYT-TV, where he created “Friday Football Focus,” a popular high school football highlights show that just completed its 36th season and is something he is still particularly proud of.
When Mr. Bolton left the Santa Barbara TV station to begin his career in professional soccer, he spent many nights sleeping in his car in parking lots — a level of dedication and tenaciousness that propelled his career.
“Doing that allowed me to meet the owners of pro teams and make the contacts, which ended up setting me up for what I’ve been able to do for the past 32 years,” he said. “It’s never easy.”
Mr. Bolton has covered iconic sporting events, broadcast Major League Soccer games and international matches for the Fox Soccer Channel. And he served as a vice president of operations for the Los Angeles Galaxy at the Rose Bowl.
But throughout all of his work with professional teams, Mr. Bolton continued to do television, often working long days just to hop on a redeye flight out of Los Angeles to travel to the East Coast for live broadcasts for Fox.
Mr. Bolton founded Cultural Global Media (then called Cultural Videos and Sports Communications) in 1992. Based in Santa Barbara, the television production company offers an array of services from live broadcasts to taped programs all over the world in English and Spanish.
“We are honored that the NFL and Fox Sports have again selected us for this important game,” Mr. Bolton said. “The Super Bowl is the most-watched U.S.-based sporting event, and to have the chance to again produce the Spanish-language broadcast is truly an honor.”
As Mr. Bolton said, although many southern Californians have favorite teams from outside of the Golden State, “we all really respect the teams in Los Angeles.”
“You’ve got to pull for the Rams. With all that’s happening with the stadium, with the return to L.A., we’ve all got to support the Rams,” Mr. Bolton said. “I’m really looking forward to Sunday. I think it’s going to be an exciting game.”
The Los Angeles Rams take on the Cincinnati Bengals at 3 p.m.