Wide-angle camera shot. Screengrab via ABC.

It’s a bizarre situation unfolding in Tampa, and not just because USF and Alabama are currently locked in a 3-3 game as of the writing of this article. The game was paused by a lengthy weather delay with lightning in the area in the first half. When the game returned from the delay, fans watching on ABC would have noticed one of the stranger sports telecasts seen in a long time.

ABC was forced to use only stationary wide-angle shots because with lightning still in the area, camera operators were not allowed to return to their positions.

It certainly created a unique viewing experience where it seemed like you were in one of the corners of the stadium watching the game versus anything resembling a normal broadcast.

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Bob Wischusen explained the situation to viewers hoping that the broadcast would look a bit more normal in the second half.

“There was a lightning strike close enough to the stadium not long ago where our cameramen have not been cleared to return to their positions in spite of the fact that the game resumed,” Wischusen said. “That’s why you’re seeing these wide-angle shots. We’re expecting, certainly by the time the second half that the lightning will be far enough away that everyone can go back to work and we’ll bring you the rest of the game the way you’re used to seeing it.”

Why a football game could take place in a stadium full of people and yet camera operators can’t be in place could be brought into question, but safety first for them given their positioning and equipment is probably a wise idea.