A Bird’s Eye View is really exhilarating
It’s always been amazing to me that sports leagues and their broadcasters have a hard time listening to what fans want. For instance, the WWE consistently goes against what would make the fans happy, though that’s partially done by design. In that sense, the WWE can get by doing this because Vince McMahon’s insistence on “not giving a damn what you people want” helps draw more fans in. In another example like the NFL, this doesn’t work out too well.
The league continues to do nothing to improve its referees, who are cut down on a weekly basis by pundits for egregious mistakes that they’ve made over the course of the previous Sunday’s games. As for broadcasts, there’s little innovation and the innovation that is there isn’t always well-received (i.e. Booger McFarland’s moving sideline chair on Monday Night Football that lasted one season). However, FOX may have found one that should be used more: the SkyCam.
Now, the SkyCam is nothing new. In fact, it’s been around for at least a decade in many sports. However, it’s rarely used for in-game moments. Well, that changed yesterday during the Saints-Bears tilt when the Bears’ Cordarrelle Patterson returned a kickoff 102 yards for a touchdown. The exhilarating part of it all is that fans watching on TV saw it from the SkyCam. As a result, everyone’s now talking about it, calling it “a thrill ride” and saying that it’s a game changer. I agree completely.
Every industry needs to innovate on a constant basis. There is zero room for stagnation. One that doesn’t really take this to heart, however, is the sports television industry, which is why it’s so nice to see a great moment like a kickoff return TD presented from a bird’s eye view. Granted, this won’t happen too often, but it gives a sense of what could be presented. Also, I want to clarify that this isn’t new. The SkyCam is always filming, but what is sort of new is that it’s rarely used as the primary angle in a live broadcast. Most times viewers see big plays from the SkyCam is during replays, so to see it live adds excitement to the viewing experience.
Hopefully, TV executives realize that SkyCam angles need to be used for the live picture more often and in more sports. I’m sure viewers will enjoy it.