What's a snap? Fox faces challenges of airing game from London

If FOX producer Barry Landis instructs a colleague to "take the replay back to the snap" during Sunday's game between the New York Giants and Miami Dolphins, he might be out of luck.

You need to know what a snap is to take the replay back to it.

With the NFL playing its first regular-season game outside North America, Landis' crew faces several challenges in televising the action from London.

FOX will hire about 20 local technicians to help with the broadcast, and they might not know many of the nuances of American football. Landis' task is to put them through a crash course on the terminology and rules of the sport.

"Historically, they're very eager to learn," Landis said in a phone interview from London. "Sometimes it's almost better that way. They don't get to overthinking it."

Landis will lean on his experience of many years working NFL Europe games. Those were done with an all-local crew. This time, he will enjoy the luxury of flying over eight core members of the production team and another 20 or so technicians.

Still, this is a much bigger stage.

On Saturday, Landis will hold a run-through for announcers Thom Brennaman, Daryl Johnston and Tony Siragusa, which they normally wouldn't do in the United States.

In another country, though, the tiniest details can make a big impact.

The commentators must get used to differences in equipment, such as the buttons on their headsets not being in the same place. They're also not accustomed to an open-air booth, which they'll have in Wembley Stadium.

"We still don't know how things like the telestrator will differ," Landis said.

Other considerations include the fact that England's high-definition TV is slightly different. The signal will be sent to Los Angeles to be converted to American standards before it is beamed into homes around the United States.

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press

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