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.