- Week 11’s “Thursday Night Football” matchup will use the SkyCam as the primary camera for the entirety of the broadcast.
- The SkyCam became an essential part of NBC’s production after fog in New England was so think that the traditional cameras couldn’t see what was happening on the field.
- The SkyCam view of the game is often called the “Madden View” as it is the angle most often used during football video games.
Football fans are about to see some changes in their “Thursday Night Football” programming.
The obvious change comes this week as the broadcast switches from CBS to NBC. But the bigger change for football fans won’t come until Week 11. That is when the SkyCam will become the primary camera throughout the midweek matchup between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Tennessee Titans.
The SkyCam offers a lengthwise view of the football field from behind the offence, as opposed to the traditional view from one of the sidelines. Some refer to the view of the game from the SkyCam as the “Madden View” as it is the angle most often used during football video games, including the uber-popular “Madden” franchise.
The change in view became a noteworthy addition to NBC’s national coverage after fog rolled into New England during “Sunday Night Football” in Week 7, and the production team had to adjust to broadcasting from the SkyCam in real time. The coverage was widely praised for giving viewers a new perspective of the action on the field.
NBC employed the SkyCam again this past Sunday when smoke from halftime fireworks in Miami didn’t clear before the Dolphins and Raiders took the field for the second half.
The new perspective is not only a fun change of pace, it also offers football fans a more complete look at the field and an opportunity to follow plays as they develop in real time. More specifically it gives viewers the chance to follow receivers as they run routes and to see holes develop for running backs along the offensive line.
“We are excited to present a game with the majority of live-action coverage coming from SkyCam,” said Fred Gaudelli, Executive Producer of NBC’s football coverage.
His statement continued:
“After pivoting out of necessity to SkyCam in the New England fog, we’ve been aggressively planning and testing with the intent of utilising 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.”
For now, the change is just a one-off, but with the NFL looking to recapture eyeballs after weeks of disappointing ratings, and broadcasters working on new ways to innovate and improve viewers’ experience of the product, don’t be surprised if the SkyCam continues to be a more prominent aspect of NBC’s football coverage.
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