We applaud any effort by the NFL, or any of the various media companies it owns, to embrace technology when it comes to getting calls right and/or enhancing the viewing experience. And so, at first blush, we welcomed the idea of tiny cameras in the pylons for the Thursday Night Football games to be televised by NFL Network.
But here’s the thing. As good as the idea sounds in theory, it’s not likely to yield many valuable images in practice.
Monday Night Football experimented with pylon cameras in the early 2000s. But testing during the preseason resulted in zero enhancement of the viewing experience.
Because the pylon cameras can’t move, everything would have to fall perfectly into the frame. As a result, the handheld cameras were deemed to be far more useful.
That’s likely what will happen here — unless the NFL has designed tiny cameras that are capable of panning, zooming, and tilting.