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Volume 24 No. 180
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NBC Receives Mixed Reviews For Use Of SkyCam As Primary Angle On "TNF"

NBC last night on "TNF" "used its Skycam technology heavily" for Titans-Steelers, and fans on social media were "pretty divided in their opinions," according to Adam Bittner of the PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE. A majority of live plays "were shown from behind the line of scrimmage, rather than from the traditional sideline angle." For viewers who are a fan of "watching the play develop downfield, it’s a dream." However, gains and distance from the first down line are "tougher to discern than they are from the sideline." Additionally, the "further down field the action goes, the more difficult it can be to see what’s happening" (PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE, 11/17). YAHOO SPORTS' Frank Schwab noted the SkyCam angle is "great for fans who want to watch plays develop." On the Titans’ first drive, viewers "could see much more easily" that QB Marcus Mariota was "going over the middle to an open receiver, and that when he threw the ball too high it was going to be picked off by the safety." It was also "much easier to see" Steelers WR Antonio Brown’s deep route "from beginning to end on his long touchdown catch" in the first quarter. It is "hard to see football networks ditching the normal view that has been used for decades, but it was a fun new way to watch an NFL game" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 11/16). In DC, Travis Andrews writes if the NFL "decides to use SkyCam as a primary angle more often, it will be one of the bigger developments in the sport’s presentation -- but probably not the last" (WASHINGTON POST, 11/17).

TWITTER REAX: NFL Network's Ian Rapoport tweeted, "Feel like I’m watching a video game... which is cool. Like it so far." ESPN's Damien Woody: "You’re literally getting to see how players are reading things with this camera angle." Pro Football Talk's Michael David Smith: "I liked the SkyCam look at that Mariota overthrow interception. Also looked like Mariota might have been able to run for the first down." The Ringer's Michael Lombardi: "This camera angle allows you to determine what the QB must do on every play. Middle of the field open or closed." NBCSN's Ross Tucker: "Skycam makes it so much better to evaluate OL play. Very close to 'high end zone' which is only angle OL really watch." Cleveland-based WKRK-FM's Keith Britton: "Don't get me wrong, I like SkyCam view sprinkled in, but there's a reason we all enjoy watching games on TV like we're sitting at 50-yd line. No one's sitting there clamoring for an end zone seat when you can have 50-yd line view." Royals VP/Communications & Broadcasting Mike Swanson: "And the NFL thought their ratings were struggling before? I just dumped @nbc coverage of Steelers/Titans game two minutes in thanks to the entire thing done by sky cam. Guess it’s a good thing I’m not a Nielsen home." Denver-based KDCO-AM's Benjamin Allbright: "Early straw poll results: football guys love the skycam, casual fan prefers regular broadcast angle."

SECOND VERSE: NBC and NFL Net last night, in NBC's second "TNF" this year, drew a 9.4 overnight rating for the Steelers' 40-17 win over the Titans, up slightly from a 9.3 for Saints-Panthers in Week 11 last year. NBC's second "TNF" in '16 was Cowboys-Vikings in Week 13, which drew a 14.1 overnight for the best "TNF" figure on record. Titans-Steelers last night delivered NBC a primetime win among all nets. The game peaked at a 10.5 overnight from 9:30-10:00pm ET. Pittsburgh led all markets with a 36.7 local rating, followed by Nashville at a 22.3. Rounding out the top five were Richmond (14.7), New Orleans (13.6) and Norfolk (12.9) (Austin Karp, Assistant Managing Editor).