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Mariners, Root Sports deploy series of production enhancements

Major League Baseball’s Seattle Mariners and local television partner Root Sports have debuted a series of production enhancements typically reserved for national-level broadcasts.

In a first for local MLB game broadcasts, the Mariners and Root Sports on August 19 began use of Fly Cam, a remotely controlled camera installed on a cable stretched between the press box of T-Mobile Park in Seattle and the ballpark’s left field foul pole. By being able to glide along the third base line, the new vantage point will be able to show a variety of new camera angles, particularly of plays at second and third base, as well as aerial views of defensive alignments.

Fly Cam has previously been used in baseball only in national-level broadcasts, such as Fox Sports’ coverage of the All-Star Game and World Series, and ESPN’s coverage on Sunday Night Baseball. Cable-based overhead camera positions such as this have also become common in National Football League broadcasts, which all come from national-level networks.

The Mariners and Root Sports, meanwhile, are also installing a buried Diamond Cam in front of home plate, providing a unique low-angle view of batters. That camera position, also typically seen only in national MLB telecasts, will be deployed beginning next month. 

On the audio front, the club and Root Sports have also installed four microphones in the outfield walls of T-Mobile Park, and this week will also begin using microphones worn during play by select Mariners players in a move to enhance game broadcasts with more natural sounds of the game.

“Our production staff teamed up with the Mariners to push the envelope of innovation and bring something never before seen into our broadcasts,” said Jon Bradford, Root Sports executive producer. “I think we accomplished that goal. These broadcast enhancements will bring the game to life in a whole new way.”

The Mariners are the majority shareholder in Root Sports Northwest.