NBC will make SkyCam the primary camera angle for Steelers-Titans next Thursday

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When dense fog in New England blocked made the standard camera angles unusable for this year’s Falcons-Patriots game, NBC switched to SkyCam as the primary camera angle. Some fans considered that an improvement.

Now fans will see a full game with the SkyCam angle: NBC announced today that next Thursday’s Steelers-Titans game will be shown primarily with the SkyCam — or SkyCams, plural, as NBC will have two of them above the field.

“We are excited to present a game with the majority of live-action coverage coming from SkyCam,” said executive producer Fred Gaudelli. “After pivoting out of necessity to SkyCam in the New England fog, we’ve been aggressively planning and testing with the intent of utilizing the system for a full game. Younger generations of NFL fans have grown accustomed to watching football from this angle through their love of video games. This telecast will have a look and feel akin to that experience. We’ll still have our full complement of cameras and will revert to traditional coverage when situations dictate, but the primary viewing experience of the game will come from the SkyCam angle.”

The league and the networks will surely monitor feedback from fans closely, and if it’s a hit, we may see more live action from the sky.

89 responses to “NBC will make SkyCam the primary camera angle for Steelers-Titans next Thursday

  1. Heck yeah – have been hoping for this for a while. The side angle we’ve been using back since the 70’s needs to go. Within 1 second we lose sight of the WR’s and secondary. On run plays, it’s hard to see if the RB had good vision or not. This SkyCam view is the future of football. Fans will be able to see it all now. Can’t wait and thank you, NBC!

  2. The switch to the skycam in the NE game was awesome – very enjoyable view. But why one extreme or another? Myself, I would like if the NFL balanced the camera views between field view and skycam equally versus one primary over another.

  3. Means we get to see the tantrums from the usual whining Steeelrs Wr’s and Bell, when they don’t get ball each play, instead of them being out of the screen with the normal camera setup.

  4. I’m interested to see how well this is pulled off. NBC will likely have their best camera operators on it, since panning in and out of shots is sometimes difficult from the Sky Cam angles with the fast pace of the games. If it’s a hit, you’ll probably see fewer camera men along the sidelines in the future, but at least it will open up jobs for camera operators. Can’t wait for the NFL to implement drones, to open up all kinds of new possibilities.

  5. It was a novelty for that game. A full game with this being the only angle, with its somewhat restricted views of everything else going on, is going to become annoying. Once again, the NFL misunderstands its fan base.

  6. i liked the sky cam. i also like the side view. sky cam is way better for running plays, but passing plays the side view is better. maybe obvious passing downs switch to side view?

  7. NBC needs to figure out their pixalization issues while they are at it. I have seen it on Dish, Direct TV, and over the air on 3 different HD/4k TV’s. It has been an issue for years and they obviously don’t care to fix it. But hey lets worry about other stuff first. At least bring in Madden to do the commentary since they are using his camera view.

  8. It is fantastic on passing plays. Seeing the WRs run out and the QB firing the ball is great. Really get a sense of what the QB needs to read in a short amount of time.

  9. This looks like something that people who don’t drink alcohol during games would enjoy….

  10. LyinRogerMustGo says:November 9, 2017 at 11:42 am
    I miss the XFL.

    I went to the first XFL game and was amazed they had a cameraman on the field wearing pads and a helmet. The angles from field level were pretty cool to watch. Then I saw the cameraman get taken out by a linebacker and the whole crowd was laughing their arses off.

  11. I won’t watch a game through the skycam unless it shows enough of the field.

    Close-up skycam shots should only be used for replays, not for live plays.

  12. lgbarn says:
    November 9, 2017 at 12:17 pm
    krm62015 says:
    November 9, 2017 at 12:06 pm

    NBC may not be great but your main problem is Dish, Direct TV

    You missed where I said Over the Air too. Heck I see it in bars as well.

  13. Just another gimmick from NBC. I’m old enough to remember when they thought it would be a good idea to not have any announcers for a game and that didn’t go over very well.

    Actually…. considering the quality of announcers that yammer on and on and on for today’s games, that might be an idea worth revisiting.

    If the NFL wants to increase ratings, try simulcasting the game on 3 channels – one channel each has the radio feed for each team sync’d up to the game and the other channel with the regular announcers.

  14. I hate how they act like people like it because it makes it look like madden, that’s not at all the reason. People like it because they can actually see the details of what happens. They can see the window the QB throws the ball through, the hole the RB cuts through. It’s because it makes the game more interesting and cerebral to watch, not because all the young stupid people go “Oh cool madden”

  15. The old WLAF helmet-cam was great too – though partly because they didn’t overuse it. Wish they could bring that back.

  16. Imagine all the penalties that should have been called that we will see and this won’t reflect well on the penalty fabricators, Hockuli, Boogers, and Triplette.

  17. Excellent, we’ll have a front row seat when Tuitt buries Mariota and Lewan starts crying about it.

  18. It needs to be a balance. Maybe use the sideline views before the snap to show formations and matchups, then switch to skycam a few moments before the snap to capture the QBs vision and the HBs running lanes.

  19. This will be interesting. And it is a good matchup, despite what everyone here says. It could be a matchup between a 7-2 team and a 6-3 team, which is much better than most of the TNF matchups.

  20. It’s the angle that the players and coaches watch, which is why video games are presented that way. This is fantastic. If they were smart they’d go with internet streaming options that let you change to whatever angle you want. Defense can see behind defense, offense can see behind offense. This is a slam dunk great decision.

  21. the line of sight for developing passing routes is unmatched! You get to see what the QB sees.
    same goes for running plays… looking ‘downhill’ like a runner, one can see openings develop that side views simply cannot reveal.

  22. lanman11 says:
    November 9, 2017 at 11:58 am

    It was a novelty for that game. A full game with this being the only angle, with its somewhat restricted views of everything else going on, is going to become annoying. Once again, the NFL misunderstands its fan base.

    Exactly. Another knee-jerk reaction by the clueless NFL people who are responsible for this. A mix of “regular” coverage with some Skycam would be OK, but an over-emphasis of the Skycam angle would be REALLY annoying.

  23. Terrible idea. Nothing I hate worse than a crummy camera angle on an important play. Like rear punter view on punts, and face-view on kick returns. it’s maddening. Stick to the side view, and consider sky cam for replay analysis only. You don’t seen enough of the field, and I don’t want an experience like I’m playing a nintendo game, thank you.

  24. I buy the Gamepass subscription so I can see the All-22 angle. As soon as Roger finds out that the NFL might lose a few subscriptions, he won’t allow this to happen again.

    More seriously, I love the idea of an experiment. I’d like to see another announcerless game like they tried 35 years ago on a Saturday game.

  25. The SkyCam makes me dizzy!! I can’t watch a moving camera like that all the time!!

  26. I remember watching the announcer-less game between the Jets and Dolphins in 1980.

    Now THAT would be an improvement over most of the dolts in the booth today.

  27. I’ve never played Madden, but we were watching that Patriots Fog Bowl game and the Skycam view was great. You really got a sense for what the QB sees and how he has to lead the receiver. You saw what the RBs were looking at too when they made their decisions.

    I don’t know about this whole idea of making SkyCam “primary” though. What does that mean? I wish they’d just leave it up to the producer to pick the shots to show. Isn’t that the whole point of having a producer for the game?

  28. NBC should be more worried about the quality of their feed than what camera angle they are using. Blurry and choppy look bad in 2017. The Dolphins Raiders game was terrible.

  29. Will NBC show the players who kneel? I hope they do so that I know who not to root for. IMO kneeling before the anthem is a cop-out b/c they are still supporting the same misguided cause and using their workplace to do so.

  30. I don’t mind the Sky Cam angle, but maybe they should consider using some of the conventional angle too. I’m sure that some people will want to watch the way they always have.

  31. I want the on field audio feed. I’ll pay every game for it. I want to hear the jawing and smack talking. I want to hear the coach yelling at the ref. Give me what I want! I dont need to hear about the turkey hole or whatever crap the announcers are blithering about. Give it to me!!

  32. “Younger generations of NFL fans have grown accustomed to watching football from this angle through their love of video games.”

    So maybe in the future I can call an audible for when Adam Gase decides to run on every 1st and 10?

  33. I’m counting down the days to being able to watch a game legally online with the ability to choose from any of the camera angles myself.

  34. Football is becoming increasingly unwatchable due to what I call the “Singletary Eyes effect”. Ever since that iconic closeup many years ago, broadcasts have increasingly used closeups before and after every play cutting back to the wide shot at the last second. As someone who enjoys the strategic aspects of the game, including formations on offense and defense, substitutions, action away from the ball, ball placement, etc., I can no longer tolerate the closeup of the backs of players heads, butt shots, helmets and face masks and all of the other unwatchable tight shots. So now I record the Red Zone and fast forward past closeups. But I am finding that to be very annoying.

    Regular football broadcasts with the aforementioned problems and all the commercials means that they are also only watchable by recording and fast forwarding past the twaddle. And college football broadcasts have the same issues.

    Regarding the camera angles, SkyCams work great for running plays, seeing line gaps and those kind of things. However, for things like kickoffs, pass plays, etc., it is much more difficult to determine field position and forward progress from behind. And they could do a better job of goal line and first down forward progress and turnover replays by repurposing the closeup cameras. I put much of this on the directors who thing that they are being artsy cute. However, their production formula is a tired cliche. Like officials, from my perspective, their best work occurs when they go unnoticed.

    I will give it a chance, but if it is primarily SkyCam and closeups, I will be among the growing numbers of people who are no longer watching the NFL. Instead, I will enjoy watching local high school football on TV and in person for my football fix. And I will have a lot more time for more purposeful and enjoyable activities.

  35. can we bring in lendale white to the sidelines for this game and tape the terrible towels to the bottom of his shoes. let him scream at pit all night long.

  36. Now put the announcers in a truck outside stadium and we would maybe like Thursday Night games.

  37. With skycam you can’t see the ball snap, especially the shotgun. You can’t tell where they are on the field. At this point I can’t watch.

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