NBC Sports' Kentucky Derby overhead shot.

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 primaryangle SkyCam  returnspotlighting 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:

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:

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:

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]

About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz has been covering sports media for Awful Announcing since 2012. He is also a staff writer for The Comeback. His previous work includes time at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.