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Volume 24 No. 216
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NBC To Use SkyCam As Primary Viewing Angle For Titans-Steelers "TNF" Broadcast

NBC will use the Nov. 16 Titans-Steelers "TNF" game to "utilize its 'dual' SkyCam system to present a new primary-viewing angle for its coverage," according to Chris Adamski of the PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW. Viewers have become "familiar with the SkyCam angle for about a decade, but its use typically was limited only to replays or establishing shots before the snap." With ratings down league-wide this season, NBC "apparently believes trying to make it a broadcast's primary viewing angle -- one that video gamers have used for decades on the popular 'Madden NFL' series -- is worth the experiment." Viewers "responded positively when it was used over a long stretch" of the Falcons-Patriots "SNF" matchup last month. "SNF" Exec Producer Fred Gaudelli said NBC will maintain its more traditional camera angles and pledges to use them "when situations dictate" (TRIBLIVE.com, 11/9). In Pittsburgh, Sean Gentille writes one of SkyCam's "biggest draws" is that it gives viewers a "better idea of the sorts of decisions" quarterbacks have to make. It is a "gimmick that'll make the broadcast more interesting and serve as an actual differentiation point." This "doesn’t solve all of the Thursday night problems," but it is "worth a try" (PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE, 11/10).

TOO MUCH OF A GOOD THING? ESPN’s Michael Wilbon said he would not be comfortable watching the entire "TNF" game from Skycam, saying, "I’m not 10-years-old. ... I'm used to watching football a certain way." He said the NFL and its broadcast partners "better be careful" with catering to millennials. Wilbon: "Are they buying the products? Are they supporting the advertisers? Are they going to the NFL telecast in droves in the same numbers that old people like you and me, the way we've gone to the TV? Do they even have TV's? They better be careful about this.” ESPN's Tony Kornheiser said it was interesting NBC is using this on a "TNF" game. He said, "Sunday night -- that's the No. 1 show in American television every Sunday night. No genius is going to mess with Sunday night. On Thursday night, when you try to attract viewers, you change the color of the uniforms, which they've done. You got to do all this stuff because on Thursday night most of these games are mutts, and nobody wants to see them.” Wilbon: “They're chasing numbers, they’re chasing younger viewers” (“PTI,” ESPN, 11/9).

STRONG OUT OF THE GATE: NBC and NFL Network combined for a 9.4 overnight rating last night for the Seahawks' 22-16 win over the Cardinals to start Week 10, which was NBC's first "TNF" telecast for '17. That figure is up slightly from a 9.3 for NBC's first "TNF" game last year, which was Saints-Panthers in Week 11, Seahawks-Cardinals peaked at a 10.1 overnight from 9:30-10:00pm ET. Seattle-Tacoma led all markets with a 38.9 local rating, while Phoenix drew a 21.6 local rating. Rounding out the top five markets were New Orleans (15.8), Richmond (14.8) and Portland (13.6) (NBC).