BOSTON (CBS) — NFL fans got a unique viewing experience on Sunday night after a dense fog enveloped much of Gillette Stadium, forcing NBC to broadcast most of the second half of Patriots-Falcons exclusively from its “SkyCam” perspective. The result was a rare opportunity for viewers to see the game play out from the point of view of the offense, as the seldom-used cameras became the primary angle for Sunday Night Football and drew plenty of positive reactions.
It’s also led to immediate calls for more of the so-called “Madden View” in regular NFL broadcasts, even when there’s no foggy weather to force it into action. But a rep for NBC has explained why fans shouldn’t expect more of it in the near future.
In an email to ESPN’s Kevin Seifert on Monday, SNF executive producer Fred Gaudelli said that he and his colleagues have “long talked about using SkyCam more in the live play-by-play coverage of the game,” but have not moved forward with such a plan due to “some of the system’s limitations.”
The restrictions of the SkyCam view are primarily in the camera’s movement, vantage points, and manner of operation, as Gaudelli explained. The football is “always moving away from the camera,” which makes it challenging both for operators to keep sight of it and for announcers to follow the game effectively. The camera is also limited in terms of how much of the field it can cover on a given play. The third issue is that there are two SkyCam operators as opposed to one.
Viewers who were excited by the novelty of seeing a game entirely from the SkyCam view will have to be patient if they’re expecting to see the technique employed regularly. It sounds like NBC has plenty of limitations to overcome before it can make any real changes.