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NBC did the Super Bowl XLVI broadcast in 2012 — the game is the same, but technology has surely improved how fans watch football. (Photo via Ben Cohen/NBC Sports Group)

TAYLOR’S TAKE ON THE WEEK IN SPORTS TECH: From startups to streaming, sports tech innovation will be front-and-center at the Super Bowl on Feb. 4.

NBC announced this week that it will use 106 cameras to broadcast Super Bowl LII at the high-tech U.S. Bank Stadium, including 20 pylon cameras and two “SkyCams,” which provides a Madden-like view from above. NBC used it earlier this season and this is the first time dual SkyCams will be used during a Super Bowl broadcast.

NBC, which will bring more than 500 staff on site for the big game next week in Minneapolis, is also using 264,000 feet of camera and microphone cable and seven 4K UHD cameras this year.

You can stream the game for free at NBCSports.com; at NBC.com, and with the NBC Sports app. The live stream will also include 10-plus hours of pre- and post-game coverage.

Yahoo is also streaming the Super Bowl for free via the Yahoo Sports app thanks to Verizon’s new deal with the NFL.

Mobile Virtual Player CEO John Currier (second from right) and Dartmouth head football coach Buddy Teevens (far right), chairman of MVP, won money at the NFL’s 1st and Future event at last year’s Super Bowl (Photos via MVP).

Next week the NFL is also hosting its third annual “1st and Future” event, which gives sports tech startups a chance to pitch their ideas in front of a panel of judges that this year includes NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, NBC Broadcasting & Sports Chairman Mark Lazarus, Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, Mayo Clinic CEO John Noseworthy, and others.

The winning company will receive $50,000 and two Super Bowl tickets. You can watch the pitches live online starting at 7 a.m. PT on Feb. 3. Read about last year’s winners here.

Here are this year’s participating startups in their respective categories:

Advancements in Protective Equipment

Exero Labs — Chagrin Falls, Ohio
Impressio Inc. — Denver, Co.
VyaTek Sports, Inc. — Cave Creek, Az.

New Therapies to Speed Recovery

Cartilage Repair Systems LLC — New York, NY
EyeGuide, Inc.— Philadelphia, Penn.
RecoverX — Mountain View, Calif.

Technology to Improve Athletic Performance

Aladdin Dreamer, Inc.— Paradise Valley, Ariz.
Curv.ai — Toronto, Canada
Xensr, Inc. — Green Bay, Wis.

By the way, I’m headed to Pittsburgh for a month. Expect some sports tech coverage — there is concussion research going on at the University of Pittsburgh, as well as some local startups doing cool sports-related innovation. I’ll also check out my first NHL game — go Penguins?

Highlights from the week in sports tech

Gates tennis
Roger Federer and Bill Gates celebrate during their doubles match against John Isner and Mike McCready at Key Arena on Saturday in Seattle at the Match for Africa 4, which supports the Roger Federer Foundation. (GeekWire photos / Kevin Lisota)

What to watch this weekend: Pro Bowl is Sunday at noon PT on ESPN; Warriors vs. Celtics, Saturday at 5:30 p.m. on ABC; No. 2 Virginia at No. 4 Duke, Saturday at 11 a.m. on CBS; Tiger Woods at the Farmers Insurance Open on CBS (if he makes the cut); and the Australian Open wraps up this weekend on ESPN.

Thanks for tuning in, everyone!  — Taylor Soper

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