Pylon cameras coming to Thursday nights and Sunday afternoons

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In August, ESPN used pylon cameras in their broadcast of a preseason game between the Bills and Browns.

Unlike many of the players in that game, the cameras have made the cut for the regular season. CBS announced that they will be using the cameras on some of their broadcasts this year. In addition to their slate of Sunday games, CBS will televise nine Thursday night games in concert with NFL Network.

In the release about using the cameras, CBS says they may also be used during the playoffs and during Super Bowl 50 from Santa Clara.

While CBS touts the cameras as a way to give “NFL viewers the most field-level view of critical plays,” the application may go beyond a cool view of a player diving into the end zone. Those cameras could be used as part of the replay review process to determine whether a touchdown has been scored, assuming that no players are blocking the camera’s view and that they can also capture if a runner’s knees are down before the ball crosses into the end zone.

Those issues could limit the cameras’ effectiveness for reviews, but that’s hardly a reason not to see if they make the replay process better in addition to offering networks another angle to use for an entertaining broadcast. If they prove useful this year, it probably won’t be long before the pylon camera is a fixture on all NFL broadcasts.

18 responses to “Pylon cameras coming to Thursday nights and Sunday afternoons

  1. So Belichick was right again, in an area that’s not even part of his job. No wonder ESPN hates him, he’s better at this than they are, and without even trying.

  2. NFL said too expensive, than turned around and blew 3-5Mil. on the Wells Report??? Belichick also wanted the extra point attempt moved back. His ideas are better than most.

  3. So the networks can afford them but the league can’t? Guess the league must have left a few crumb$ on the table during the last broadcast rights negotiations. How could that have happened?

  4. Sorry to break the string of Belichick posts…

    My gut says the pylon cam will be MUCH less effective than everyone is expecting – especially on the “did-he-break-the-plane?” question on inside run plays.

    My reasoning: On goal line plays, the offense and defense both bring in big bodies. Every player on both sides of the line will try to push their opponent backward. That means the camera’s view of the runner will likely be “eclipsed” by at least 4 linemen, a linebacker or 2, the tight end, and the occasional blitzing DB.

    The pylon cam WILL be interesting on plays like the Dez Bryant catch/no-catch, and will be very useful on determining whether a punt is downed inside the one or simply a touchback.

    And now, back to Belichick.

  5. gr365 says:
    Sep 2, 2015 2:37 PM
    NFL said too expensive, than turned around and blew 3-5Mil. on the Wells Report?
    ~~~~~~~~~~
    They said it was too expensive but they meant that they did not want to spend their own money. They knew the networks would spend the money once competition kicked in. One network (ESPN) wanted to be innovative and the rest did not want to look inferior.

  6. I HATE the inequity that exists in available replay angles between primetime and other nationally televised games vs. the regional/small market games who get the minimal set.

    And the “have nots” are left with deal way more inconclusive/”ruling on the field stands” replay results. It’s ridiculous that the league doesn’t enforce consistency across all games, somehow.

  7. Sounds like someone must have had the car wash or bake sale to raise money for this as BB suggested when league said it would cost to much.

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