Broadcasting technology has undergone a lot of changes over the years, and some of the most notable developments in the past decade have been about various overhead shots. From primary–angle SkyCam return–spotlighting SkyCam, and baseball SkyCam, to specific aerial views on MegaCasts and for certain tournaments, to drones on Hard Knocks, in USFL games and golf tournaments, and even in the Olympics, there have been more aerial views than before, and many of them have been received well. The latest that really spotlighted the power of an overhead angle was the shot NBC used on a replay of 80-1 longshot Rich Strike’s run through the field to win the Kentucky Derby Saturday:
— NBC Sports (@NBCSports) May 8, 2022
As of 1:15 p.m. Eastern Monday, that video had more than 12.7 million views, with that particular tweet amassing more than 26,000 retweets and more than 82,000 likes. And NBC also spotlighted that video in a few other tweets from their various accounts, further increasing the amount of people who saw it. (To say nothing of those who saw it on the broadcast.) For comparison, their tweet of the as-it-happened broadcast (which came more than an hour before the tweet of the overhead angle) has 569,000 views for the video, plus more than 1,100 retweets and more than 3,700 likes:
WHERE DID HE COME FROM!?
— NBC Sports (@NBCSports) May 7, 2022
So the overhead shot was definitely a lot more popular on Twitter. And it does show the power of those kinds of shots, as several sports media writers noted:
When we talk about technology enhancements as storytelling tools, this is Exhibit A. pic.twitter.com/uHL6FWbZ7N
— Brandon Costa (@SVG_Brandon) May 8, 2022
Approximately 12.6M views and counting.
This amazing overhead shot of Rich Strike's win at the Kentucky Derby was taken by an airplane. https://t.co/rIdrFyNBAB
— Michael McCarthy (@MMcCarthyREV) May 9, 2022
There are certainly advantages to the traditional view as well, maybe especially for races where the horses at the front throughout are the only ones in contention. But it was great that NBC had this full-field aerial shot available for the replay (one of the 50 cameras they used for the race), as it really showed how Rich Strike wove through so much traffic to make his run. And the way this angle has taken off on Twitter illustrates how well it told the story.
[NBC Sports on Twitter]