NFL Network plans to put cameras in the pylons


As the TV networks continue their efforts to bring football fans closer to the game, NFL Network is working on something that could make fans feel like touchdowns are being scored right in front of them.

The league-owned network says it’s working on putting tiny cameras in the pylons at the ends of each goal line, giving an up-close look at scoring plays. The logistics of getting the cameras in the pylon are still being worked on but could be in place as soon as Thursday night’s Bears-Packers game.

“We’ve added a couple extra cameras in a couple of spots,” NFL Network Senior V.P. of production and programming Mark Quenzel said in a conference call promoting Thursday Night Football. “We’re playing around with a camera, believe it or not, that’s going to be in the pylon. I don’t know if we’re going to have it this week. We’re still working out some kinks on the pylons, that allow us to see goal line stands, those types of things, and we’re going to add a couple of cameras for isolating players.”

A camera in the pylon could provide a great view to fans at home, and it could also provide a great view to the referee reviewing a play near the goal line and trying to determine whether a runner’s knee was down before the ball broke the plane. If the technology works, this is a development that would improve officiating, and should be adopted for every NFL game.

49 responses to “NFL Network plans to put cameras in the pylons

  1. I know they have keyhole cameras that are small enough that they could be embedded in the player’s helmets. Put it at the crown where the facemask meets the helmet.

    I’d love to see the field as the QB see’s it. How about the view of the RB as he’s about to get pancaked.

  2. There should be a second camera in the pylon facing parallel to the sideline toward the 10 yd line to see if a player stays in bound the last 10 yards or so too.

  3. Thanks for enhancing my in-home viewing of games. I really enjoy being given additonal reasons not to spend 1000 bucks to take my family to a football game.

  4. It’s about time. I’m tired of the lack of real innovation in NFL television production with regards to camera usage. Other than the cable cam, there hasn’t been much in the way of innovation, which is ridiculous considering how far camera technology has come. How often have we had to deal with the lack of a true goal line camera that isn’t actually set up on the goal line, skewing the angle? It’s pretty ridiculous. This will be nothing more than a gimmick, but I like gimmicks, so it’s fine with me.

  5. Wow imagine that a camera actually on the goal line. What genius to tell if a TD is actually scored! It doesn’t even need to be in the pylon just get one on the goal line. Might have made a difference in Super Bowl XL! Why wasn’t this done 20 yrs ago?

  6. Been wondering for years why they didn’t do this. Don’t just face them down the goaline either. Put some along the back and sides too.

  7. @eagleswin

    The camera in the players’ helmet? Been done. But it was done in the XFL, and it got ridiculed by most because the NFL didn’t come up with it first.

    Oh, and that big camera that flies over the field? First used in football in the…XFL.

    I’ve been pushing for these pylon cameras for years because of replay. Also, if there’s gonna be instant replay, especially in this expanded version this year, then every stadium should have stationary cameras at each end of the stadium on each side of the field capturing both angles looking down the endlines, goal lines and sidelines.

  8. voiceofreasonsays says: Sep 11, 2012 2:55 PM

    It’s a trap…this is a ploy by the team in New England to bend the rules again.

    No they put camera’s in the opposing teams league provided

  9. Finally, someone has actually figured out how to get a goal line shot. It has always baffled my mind how they can get camera shots from almost every conceivable angle…except for the goal line.

    Kudos NFL Network!

  10. It’s a good idea, kind of surprised no one thought of it before. They better buy the cameras in bulk though, those things are going to be annihilated weekly.

  11. To agree with an above poster, it would be awesome to have a qb camera so we could see what they see. It would also probably force a lot of armchair quarterbacks into retirement.

  12. On another note, the owners must secretly despise the NFL network for trying to find ways to improve the viewing experience outside of the stadium…but probably not since the more viewers they gain, the more money the owners make.

  13. No matter what cameras are implemented, on a controversial scoring play the networks will still immediately go to commercial and then come back with 3 terrible angles, followed by one good angle that cuts off right before you can see what actually happened.

  14. Its about freaking time! I’ve been calling for this for a couple of years. It makes sense.

    Now if they would only follow the college overtime rules. But, they should move back 10 yards after ea. OT.

  15. Why stop there? How about putting cameras in the field like they have imbedded in tracks for NASCAR races? Or maybe a camera on water bottles so we can get up-close views of our favorite players dental work?

  16. This actually points out a flaw in the overall TV presentation. Only the “big games” get the most cameras (NBC SNF, ESPN MNF, NFLN, CBS/Fox A-teams) – but replay is one of the rules of the game. A pair of 2-8 teams playing each other on a Sunday afternoon in November don’t get the same number of cameras as the NBC game that night, thus denying the lesser teams access to what could be a game-changing replay review.

    In the last TV deal, the NFL should have mandated that all regular season games have the same number of cameras in the same positions, no matter how bad the teams are. And when innovations like this pylon camera come out, they have to be spread to all 5 networks as soon as possible.

  17. There is no reason to not have a helmet cam.The World Football League did it, the XFL did it, why can’t the NFL do it?

    Want to take things a step further? There can be sensors placed on the football itself that would be the size of a sticker to determine if the ball crosses the goal line at what time indicator corresponding with video evidence.
    Ditto there can be sensors placed in knee pads to determine when the pad makes contact with the ground corresponding to the time indicator in video footage.

  18. Just got one of those 3D capable TV’s and saw the Florida State / Clemson game in 3D (really cool!). More cameras on the field will make this even better.

  19. Belichick has been calling for this for years in his press conferences whenever games are decided by those few inches near the goalline.

  20. “It’s a trap…this is a ploy by the team in New England to bend the rules again.”

    Actually, what you refer to as new England cheating was never actually illegal until AFTER the pats were fined and penalized. Up until then it was a fairly common practice in the league. Bellichick did not attempt to cover up his actions because it was not illegal. he told exactly what they did and it was made illegal after the fact.

  21. Great, another excuse for refs to run clear across the field to don headphones and crawl under the tarp to look at more replays.

    When will the NFL realize a man in the booth could do the same job in 20 seconds!

  22. Give it a few years, cam will be in nose of ball; now that would be wild. There is a think tank out there trying to figure out where they can stick more cam’s & mic’s, forcing me to go out and drop $10,000 on a TV

  23. they should have light up sensors on the goal lines and chips in the ends of the football to even make the refs job easier for touchdowns and safeties

  24. @roadtrip3500 – you are completely correct. Big games get big coverage, while crap games end up with replays that make the Zapruder film look like an IMAX presentation.

  25. I’ve always wondered why they don’t use a sensor in the ball and tell its location on the field … it would take away the guessing at TD’s and in the scrums/piles when a QB sneaks it for a couple of inches … no more guessing or questionable spots.

  26. wacco4flacco says:Sep 11, 2012 4:41 PM

    I’ve always wondered why they don’t use a sensor in the ball and tell its location on the field … it would take away the guessing at TD’s and in the scrums/piles when a QB sneaks it for a couple of inches … no more guessing or questionable spots.


    Always thought about that, too. However, since the football is so long (much bigger than a tennis ball) you’d have to make the entire ball the sensor because any part of the ball could break the plane.

  27. Put cameras everywhere and eliminate the Refs completely, thats what they’re trying to do. I heard they are going to put them on the O-line mens gloves so they see if the hold.

  28. Nothing that new. Belicheat already has video cameras in the Gillette stadium pylons, among other places.

  29. Dumb idea. The angle would have to be so wide that unless the action is right in front of it the appearances of where things are in relation to the goal line would be distorted.

    Better idea. 12 mini sensers weighing less than 1/25 of a pound at the points and middle and mid middle points of the football. Use to figure out 1) Did it cross the goal goal line would have sensers 2) where exactly did that punt go out of bounds 3) in the pile of 8 football players exactly where did the ball go down in relation to the first down 4) forward progess.

    I am also for grass fields and more research on air compression if football pads

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