New View Not Well Incorporated
September 09 2002
By Bryan Hersh of 49ers Paradise
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The 49ers first game of the season had more to it than met the eye. Yes, it was the debut of the 2002-3 NFL season, it had the party in Times Square, and of course it was the first time the NFL played its first game on a Thursday. Still there was more. The ESPN broad cast debuted a new viewing technology, an overhead camera.
The camera, suspended on wires attached at the corners of the field, is controlled by remote and can travel at speeds of up to 30 miles per hour. The camera can move North, South, East, and West, as well as up down ranging from 10 to 60 feet.
The camera is typically stationed behind the quarterback and is supposed to provide a ‘video game view’ of the action. The camera can be a hazard during punts, and if it is hits, teams will be allowed to re-kick the ball.
All this sounds pretty impressive, and when the camera was used in the 49ers opening game, the view was really cool. Unfortunately the producers used it as more of a gimmick than to provide a real alternative view to the game. The overhead view is far superior to the typical sideline shot of the action. Unfortunately ESPN opted to only use the camera for brief moments, and not even for one entire play.
The new technology is a huge improvement, the NFL and the television networks need to realize this and adopt the technology. They should be using the camera to enhance their broadcast, not as a gimmick as they did during the debut of the season, and the new technology.