NBC plans SkyCam-heavy broadcast but will still show some plays from traditional angle

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Thursday night’s Steelers-Titans game will mark a fundamental shift in the way NBC presents the broadcast, as the SkyCam angle from behind the offense will be the primary camera angle. But it won’t be the only camera angle.

NBC’s Fred Gaudelli, the executive producer of the network’s NFL broadcasts, said today that some plays will be shown from the traditional camera angle, particularly when the down and distance calls for it.

“Third downs, we’re going to show it from the conventional camera because that’s the most important down in football,” Gaudelli said. “Once we’re inside the red zone we’re going to show it from the conventional camera. . . . We want to try to be smart about it and not just say ‘Here’s SkyCam come hell or high water.’ It’s ‘Here’s SkyCam in the most advantageous places.'”

The pros of the SkyCam are that it allows viewers at home to see what the quarterback is seeing downfield, and that it allows fans to get a better look at line play. But the major con is that it’s harder to tell how many yards are gained, which is particularly important on third down. So it won’t be a SkyCam-only broadcast, just a SkyCam-mostly broadcast.

NBC got the idea to rely on SkyCam for a full game when fog in New England made it difficult to see the field from the traditional camera angle, and SkyCam was used out of necessity. But Gaudelli said the feedback to that “was overwhelmingly positive.” Now NBC will test how fans like it when the traditional angle is also an option.

62 responses to “NBC plans SkyCam-heavy broadcast but will still show some plays from traditional angle

  1. I’m really excited for this. I saw a preview of it last week with the Seattle bs Arizona game, and it was weird… but it was a good weird! I think it’ll be interesting to see a game like this!

  2. About time. I’ve been saying for years that the game would be far better from that angle. You can see the holes, the routes, the blitzes. The sideline camera is just stare at the QB until he wings the ball to an unknown area off camera. You have no idea who’s where until the camera pans. The next step would be putting a camera right on the QBs helmet. Although that would be less broadcast and more for a thing like field pass where it’s a special camera you can select like the NHL currently does with ref cam for some games.

  3. You know what you won’t see is thew views of the half empty stadiums. I’ve never seen so many pictures of empty NFL stadiums. Secondary ticket market is also getting crushed.

  4. Sky Cam is awesome! I have a 109″ projector/screen and it looks fantastic on it. Feels like I’m playing Madden. All they need to do is back it out a little bit more. They are trying to get a bit too close to the action. Sky Cam team – if you read this, please consider zooming out so you can see just about full sideline to sideline. It’s ok we can’t see the QB’s neck hairs. We want to see the WR’s. We want to see it like we’re playing Madden. Zoom out just a bit and you are golden!

  5. I bet everyone saying they hate this is the 1st person at their place of employment to groan over the slightest changes…even if those changes are for the better.

  6. In the Seattle game the SkyCam was way too close to the action, so it didn’t work as well as the Patriots game.

    It also seems obvious to me that as soon as the QB throws the ball they need to swap to the traditional angle to get a better view and perspective of the action. It no longer makes sense to be behind the line of scrimmage at that point.

  7. It seems to me that the best option is to show the traditional view “live” and use the SkyCam to give another perspective during replays.

  8. This is where the league should be using their digital partners. If you’re watching on one of the apps (Fox Sports Go, NBC Sports Live, Amazon, etc) you should be able to choose which camera angle(s) you want to see, and ideally which broadcast team you want to hear (national, home, visiting team). I haven’t screwed around with the NBC Sports app for a while but they definitely did experiment with this in the past.

  9. didn’t like it during the Patriots\Seahawks game. tough to follow unless it’s a run straight up the middle. can’t see down the field. So, it doesn’t work for me.

  10. Watched it last week and was very disappointed
    The sky cam moves too much and too erratically for me to enjoy watching the game.
    And the overhead camera dictates too much what I have to watch….what if I want to watch the linebackers dogging instead of the quarterback handing off?
    If it’s foggy, then I suppose you have to use what ever cameras you must in order to see anything; but I like the sideline angles best

  11. Those of us who have end zone season tickets are accustomed to judging distance from this view. As the article says, the QB’s view is interesting to see, and should cut down on second-guessing in some instances.

  12. its good for a couple of minutes, after that its very annoying, and im sure there will be complaints about people getting nauseous

  13. weepingjebus says:
    November 14, 2017 at 3:46 pm
    Must.. hide.. empty.. seats.

    ****************************

    There are tons of seats on the reseller sites available for as little as $40 for this game. A “primetime” game in a city that’s sold out games for decades as is currently battling for the #1 overall seed…

  14. During the recent Patriots game that was played in heavy fog the broadcaster had to use the shot looking downfield from behind the offense. It was an excellent view. You got a better idea of what the QB was seeing, how small the windows they throw into are and how fast the ball is moving. All the time? Probably not. The MLBs point of view would be interesting to see as well or a kick returners.

  15. Will it be able to capture the players kneeling during the anthem? Oh, wait, the anthem doesn’t exist in the NFL anymore. Never mind. We patriotic simpletons out here in fan-land think everything is A-OK now in the NFL, now that the networks aren’t covering the anthem.

    NFL = No Fans League

  16. HATE IT… I stopped watching the fog game because I hated the angles… I turned on a chick flick instead. Seriously I will not watch the games. I would rather watch the game cast version and draw my own visualization

  17. I cant wait to see this. No doubt it will be a major improvement from the current angle. Guessing all of the people opposed to this never played Madden in their lives

  18. Fun Fact: In the last 16 regular season games, only the Patriots and Steelers have a better record than the Titans (11-5).

    These are literally two of the better teams in the NFL going against each other. Why is everyone so eager to say they aren’t watching it?

  19. During the recent Patriots game that was played in heavy fog the broadcaster had to use the shot looking downfield from behind the offense. It was an excellent view. You got a better idea of what the QB was seeing, how small the windows they throw into are and how fast the ball is moving. All the time? Probably not. The MLBs point of view would be interesting to see as well or a kick returners.

    Whats next all players wear GoPRos’s?

  20. Gimmick. That ought to say something about viewership, no? Cater to the Madden crowd and hope they like it. I don’t mind that angle occasionally but I don’t want to watch most of the game that way. I would rather them use an elevated shot from the side that covers sideline to sideline. At least then you could see the routes and whether or not the gain nets a first down without waiting for an announcer or replay.

  21. Its there brain scheme to make sure we dont get camera angels of all the empty seats. They have been hell bent to make us think the stadiums are full and the world is wonderful. There recent headline was ‘ vets stay home thousands rush to fill those seats. As in its only disgrunted vets who arent attnding,no loss.

  22. If you cant figure out if the ball carrier got the first down from the sky cam angle then you are a legit dummy. For everyone who says this is just so they dont show the stands, who cares? Do you really tune in to games to see the attendance?

  23. dwoofer says:
    November 14, 2017 at 4:40 pm
    Will it be able to capture the players kneeling during the anthem? Oh, wait, the anthem doesn’t exist in the NFL anymore. Never mind. We patriotic simpletons out here in fan-land think everything is A-OK now in the NFL, now that the networks aren’t covering the anthem.

    NFL = No Fans League

    5 2 Rate This
    —————————————————————————-

    If you think the decision to kneel during the anthem is the result of a lack of patriotism, you are in fact a simpleton.

  24. Hey trump trolls. The president has moved on already, mostly because he never really cared. You can now move on to other types of sites as the distractions is no longer nfl and protests. Thanks signed every real football fan in America.

  25. That was one of the most irritating things about last Thursday’s game.

    Not only can you not tell where they are on the field but you can’t really tell how many yards exactly a running back just got right in front of you. You can’t tell how far they need to get to get the first down it is just a very bad angle and I don’t like it at all. The game is all about yards and the proposed view makes it impossible to really know exactly how many yards a guy got and if the spot was a good one or not.

    The other huge negative for me is the “Blair Witch Project affect” where it’s just constant movement. Very distracting. I want to be sitting on the line of scrimmage looking down the line at the hike slightly elevated. NOT MOVING.

    The guy in charge also kept zooming in on like two players FROM ABOVE so you can’t see what the heck’s going on around them or even what they are doing because it’s blurry and you are above them… they need to at least stay back and let us see the action, stop zooming in and making the resolution grainy and fuzzy.

    Whose idea was this. Some film school graduate that never liked watching football?

  26. I’ve always been into watching the interior line play. Whenever I go to a live game, I’ve always got a kick out of offensive and defensive linemen fight like gladiators. You only get a glimpse of that during a televised broadcast because of the side view we’ve grown up watching. The skycam gives you a more panoramic view of the action from behind the quarterback. We’re going to see almost everything the quarterback sees….including the pass rush. I think it’s going to be awesome. I wasn’t going to watch the game until now. I’m looking forward to the day where drones give us even better angles to view the game.

  27. The game is broken, so they try the dumbest thing possible to fix it. You can tell the people making these decisions have never had a real job.

  28. A great way to lose even more viewers. I saw a lot of this last week and it sucked. If that is how much of this week’s game is shown, I won’t be watching for long.

  29. internetcommenter7 says:
    November 14, 2017 at 5:47 pm
    dwoofer says:
    November 14, 2017 at 4:40 pm
    Will it be able to capture the players kneeling during the anthem? Oh, wait, the anthem doesn’t exist in the NFL anymore. Never mind. We patriotic simpletons out here in fan-land think everything is A-OK now in the NFL, now that the networks aren’t covering the anthem.

    NFL = No Fans League

    5 2 Rate This
    —————————————————————————-

    If you think the decision to kneel during the anthem is the result of a lack of patriotism, you are in fact a simpleton.

    ——————————

    The people kneeling hate America. Hating America is about as unpatriotic as it gets. Vets think they’re being unpatriotic too. You, like them, are out of touch with reality.

  30. “Will it be able to capture the players kneeling during the anthem?”.

    Are you aware that Trump got LiAngelo Ball freed from China? Ball and the other two UCLA players are landing in Los Angeles at 4:09 PST. Oh, by the way, all three players are black. Guess that means Trump is no longer your hero.

  31. slick50kc says:
    November 14, 2017 at 6:36 pm
    internetcommenter7 says:
    November 14, 2017 at 5:47 pm
    dwoofer says:
    November 14, 2017 at 4:40 pm
    Will it be able to capture the players kneeling during the anthem? Oh, wait, the anthem doesn’t exist in the NFL anymore. Never mind. We patriotic simpletons out here in fan-land think everything is A-OK now in the NFL, now that the networks aren’t covering the anthem.

    NFL = No Fans League

    5 2 Rate This
    —————————————————————————-

    If you think the decision to kneel during the anthem is the result of a lack of patriotism, you are in fact a simpleton.

    ——————————

    The people kneeling hate America. Hating America is about as unpatriotic as it gets. Vets think they’re being unpatriotic too. You, like them, are out of touch with reality.

    0 2 Rate This
    cardinealsfan20 says:
    November 14, 2017 at 6:41 pm
    “Will it be able to capture the players kneeling during the anthem?”.

    Are you aware that Trump got LiAngelo Ball freed from China? Ball and the other two UCLA players are landing in Los Angeles at 4:09 PST. Oh, by the way, all three players are black. Guess that means Trump is no longer your hero.

    ———————-
    Hey I know!! Why dont you guys just give it a rest.

  32. I wasn’t going to watch the game until now.

    _____

    Define yourself as a football non-fan why don’t you.

    This decision is for the fantasy football people who don’t know anything about the game and need something to look at.

    Ex defensive lineman here and I appreciate your interest in the trench battles but it doesn’t help me understand the flow of the game in real time. Down and distance.

    I would even counter to say that the only view to see which line is controlling the other is from the side not moving. The surge forward or backward(Seahawk fan here lol) isn’t as noticable from behind.

  33. As a one-time novelty, sure, it’s a good idea. I’ll tune in to see what it’s like and how well they can make it work.

    As a regular thing, no. The traditional way to view each down plus replay closeups is the best way to see the game.

  34. As a former videographer, I hate it when a producer focuses in on a unimportant zoom shot to show me a player’s facial impression, and then misses the play that I tuned into watch. Skycam is great every now and then, but it doesn’t give the fans the information they can glean from a field-wide shot. And of course, the zoom-happy producers will probably zoom too much and miss important parts of the action.

    As far as I’m concerned, this is just NBC’s version of the “Turkey Hole.” Man, we talking about turkey hole.

  35. who wants to bet belichick will be behind the footage?
    ————————–
    actually you can thank the Pats for this innovation since it was stumbled on during the fog game in Foxboro this year. Of course we all know that Bill was behind that fog since he is God.

    Now if the idiots would just listen to him on goal line cameras like they finally did on extra point conversion we’d be better off. Better yet, give him half of Goodell’s $50 million, keep the private jet and let him run the league.

  36. As much as I love the sky cam angle, I can see it being bad for the league. It shows the routes developing and it will expose lower tier QBs on their misreads. Guaranteed at least once in Thursday you’ll see a WR break free on a post route and the QB will check it down or force it somewhere else.

  37. if I wanted a skycam heavy view I’d buy a ticket for the last row in the upper level of these new mega stadiums.

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