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Volume 27 No. 5
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NBC Sports To Limit Gambling References On NFL Broadcasts

NBC Sports will continue to keep gambling references limited on its NFL broadcasts at the start of this season, but that could change as more states legalize sports books, NBC officials said. “I think there will be some type of alternate gambling feed perhaps sooner rather than later,” said "SNF" Exec Producer Fred Gaudelli. “But on the national broadcast, I think it’s still going to be somewhat isolated.” That terminology, “somewhat isolated,” gives play-by-play voice Al Michaels leeway for his occasional remarks about the point spread, while also keeping the door open for future changes. The NFL has begun to discuss gambling with its rights holders, but no new orders have been given. “We’ve had conversations with the league this year, and there really hasn’t been any certain course of direction, but we’re starting to have those conversations about what is possible going forward,” Gaudelli said. Michaels added, “I don’t know how it’s going to wind up at the end of the season, but we’ll go into it the same way we have in the past."

AIR TRAFFIC CONTROL: Gaudelli also said the network will not bring back its experimental “Sky High” camera angle on a full-time basis during the regular season. NBC Sports tried out the high angle during Sunday’s preseason Steelers-Titans tilt to generally negative reviews. Gaudelli said it will not go away entirely though. “The plan right now is try to do a series or two a game” during the season, he said. Gaudelli noted he liked how the camera was directly on the line of scrimmage for every play, but thought it robbed viewers of the intimacy the standard low angle provides. That could be solvable. "I’d like to see it again, with some modifications, like shooting tighter, and using the lens to move in more on the end of the play,” Gaudelli said. In '17, audiences also objected when "SNF" tried a primary camera angle from behind the offense -- the “video game view." But Gaudelli said he will continue to consider new ways of showing football action. "If we we were able to dial this in more, would it be better?” he said. "I don't know. I don’t know if you’re ever going to do anything that’s 100 percent applauded by everybody, but if you just sit back and do nothing without trying, that’s not a great option either."