NBC to make viewing experience more like 'Madden' for Titans-Steelers game

Fog was one of the big storylines from the Week 7 matchup between the Falcons and Patriots. It dominated the second half (even more than the Pats) and had it been 30 years ago, television viewers would've been left looking at this:

Thankfully, NBC Sports had set up its dual Skycam technology in Gillette Stadium and was able to provide viewers an in-the-backfield experience similar to what Madden fans experience when playing the video game.

Here's an example of what it looked like:

A funny thing happened: Fans loved the new vantage point. But "Sunday Night Football" executive producer Fred Gaudelli told ESPN's Kevin Seifert the day after the game that he and his colleagues have "long talked about using SkyCam more in the live play-by-play coverage of the game," change has been hampered due to "some of the system's limitations."

NBC Sports apparently has sorted out the bugs because on Thursday they announced that it will use the dual Skycam system as a new primary-viewing angle for next Thursday's Titans-Steelers matchup, reports Titansonline.com's Jim Wyatt.

"We are excited to present a game with the majority of live-action coverage coming from SkyCam," Gaudelli said, adding: "After pivoting out of necessity to Skycam in the New England fog, we've been aggressively planning and testing with the intent of utilizing the system for a full game. ...

"We'll still have our full complement of cameras and will revert to traditional coverage when situations dictate, but the primary viewing experience of the game will come from the Skycam angle."

So why the aggressive push to realize the dual Skycam angle?

"Younger generations of NFL fans have grown accustomed to watching football from this angle through their love of video games," Gaudelli explained. "This telecast will have a look and feel akin to that experience."

The move comes amid concerns from the league about ratings. Ratings are down 5.5 percent through the first nine weeks of the 2017 season when compared to the first nine weeks of 2016, reports ESPN.com's Darren Rovell. A year ago, ratings recovered after the election. With no national election taking place, the league will need to find other ways to attract eyeballs. Intentional or otherwise, this could be one of those ways.

CBS Sports Writer

Ryan Wilson has been an NFL writer for CBS Sports since June 2011, and he's covered five Super Bowls in that time. Ryan previously worked at AOL's FanHouse from start to finish, and Football Outsiders... Full Bio

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