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.