clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

NBC tests SkyCam as main angle for Titans vs. Steelers on ‘Thursday Night Football’

New, comments

What started off as a way to get away from fog has turned into networks rethinking how games are presented.

Did you notice that the camera angle for Thursday night’s game between the Titans and Steelers was different? You aren’t alone! It was announced that NBC would be using SkyCam as the main angle for the game a week ago.

It provides a view where you can see the routes being run, and what the quarterback is looking at:

Here’s Marcus Mariota throwing an interception — you could actually see it unfolding:

“We are excited to present a game with the majority of live-action coverage coming from SkyCam,” NBC executive producer Fred Gaudelli said in a press release. “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.”

You might be asking yourself how we got to this point.

This was all started by fog.

When the Patriots and Falcons played their Super Bowl LI rematch, a heavy fog interrupted the game’s normal broadcast, which was also on NBC.

The viewing experience was similar to that of what you see while playing Madden.

Because it drew mostly great reviews, it led to NBC deciding to experiment with it again this week.

Reviews were mixed Thursday night, but mostly good.

The good

The bad

So why wasn’t this done sooner?

Well, it’s not exactly easy to do. ESPN’s Kevin Seifert did some digging after the Falcons-Patriots game and listed these as the reasons why it hadn’t been done before:

  • There’s usually only one SkyCam.
  • The ball is always moving away from the camera at that angle, and there are limitations to its fly zone.
  • There are two people who operate the SkyCam system: a pilot, and an operator who controls the intricacies of the view, like pan and zoom.

There are risks involved.

You know, like if it falls:


Whether you’re a fan of the SkyCam view, it appears at the very least, it’s going to be used more frequently. The perspective it gives is better than the traditional view, and you can see more of what goes on out on the field.

But of course, some people hate change and won’t accept their football being presented in any way they aren’t used to.