A shot of the Skycam during Falcons-Patriots. FOXBORO, MA – OCTOBER 22: Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots throws as fog falls on the field during the fourth quarter of a game against the Atlanta Falcons at Gillette Stadium on October 22, 2017 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Billie Weiss/Getty Images)

After the surprising success of NBC’s Skycam look during two games this season, the network is going back to the angle a third time, per John Ourand of Sports Business Journal.

Ourand reports that NBC will use Skycam as its primary angle for next week’s Broncos-Colts Thursday Night Football game. Producer Fred Gaudelli told Ourand that NBC will use the angle on more than half of all plays, cutting to a traditional view for third downs, plays in the red zone and two-minute drills.

“Every down other than those, we decided that we were going to be on the SkyCam,” Gaudelli said. “We were going to commit to the SkyCam to those other plays. It’s probably about 60% of the plays.”

NBC first emphasized the Skycam view, by necessity, in a foggy October 22 Patriots-Falcons game, during which there was no other way to get a clean view of the action. The network went back to the Skycam a few weeks later, utilizing it for the November 16 Titans-Steelers Thursday-night game.

The Skycam clearly comes with pros and cons. It can be visually stunning, it offers a small sense of how difficult and complex the game is, and it’s a nice little change of pace from the sideline angle we’re used to. On the other hand, the Skycam look is not optimal for actually seeing what’s happening in the game. Distance can be hard to gauge, players leave the picture and flags are invisible. Public opinion has been decidedly mixed:


As our Brad Gagnon wrote last month, “the live Skycam is ideal for those who just want to analyze the game of football, while the classic sideline view is probably better for those who just want to see if Antonio Brown got enough yardage for the first down.”

The Skycam is not likely to take over football broadcasting anytime soon, but it’s apparently not going away. How it is received next Thursday could help determine how often we see it in the future.

[Sports Business Journal]

About Alex Putterman

Alex is a writer and editor for The Comeback and Awful Announcing. He has written for The Atlantic, VICE Sports, MLB.com, SI.com and more. He is a proud alum of Northwestern University and The Daily Northwestern. You can find him on Twitter @AlexPutterman.