NBC Sports to use new overhead camera angle for Sunday night NFL games

NBC Sports it will deploy a new and immersive overhead camera angle for its production of Sunday Night Football during the 2020 National Football League season.

The new camera, dubbed C360, will be attached to the bottom of the existing, cable-based SkyCam and is aimed at providing up-close replays of lineman play, which has typically been harder to capture fully in traditional broadcast production approaches for football but has significant influence on the outcome of each game.

In addition to looking straight down on line play, the C360 camera will also be able to deploy its 8K resolution and 180-degree field of view to zoom in on debated sideline plays, such as whether a wide receiver was able to get both feet in bounds on a catch.

“We are excited to provide some of the most compelling overhead replays that football fans have seen, and look forward to working with C360 Technologies on this presentation,” Fred Gaudelli, Sunday Night Football executive producer.

The C360 camera angle, developed with the aid of Pennsylvania-based broadcast video solutions company C360 Technologies Inc., was previously deployed in NBC Sports’ Nascar coverage.

“As a secondary camera on SkyCam, we anticipate capturing a fresh perspective of the game over the trenches,” said Evan Wimer, C360 technologies co-founder.

The C360 angle will debut on for football on the season-opening game of Sunday Night Football on September 10, a special Thursday game opening the 2020 NFL schedule with defending Super Bowl LIV champions Kansas City hosting Houston.

Sunday Night Football perennially is the top-rated program in all of American prime-time television. And given the lack of in-person attendance in most NFL markets and significantly delayed production schedules for most prime-time entertainment series due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, the NFL’s Sunday night showcase will be even more than ever to the league and across the entire TV industry.

NBC Sports has also taped a new opening segment for Sunday Night Football featuring singer Carrie Underwood and incorporating user-generated content from fans.

The introduction of this camera angle follows a somewhat similar overhead camera angle NBC Sports is now using for its coverage of National Hockey League playoff games.