Although you probably won’t be seeing video drones at an NFL stadium near you anytime soon, the league will use UAVs – specifically remote-controlled hovercraft – to film team practice sessions for a series of NFL Network programs.
NBC’s ProFootballTalk is reporting that the National Football League Network (NFLN) will use the drones to film Inside Training Camp. There has been no official statement about deploying the aircraft at games.
ProFootballTalk journalist Mike Florio writes that the use of drones by League officials raises some interesting possibilities.
“This, however, will open all types of windows, like how closely will the league be looking at the amount of contact and illegal tactics at training camp practices while sitting in their New York offices? And will teams somehow try to get their hands on this drone-produced practice film owner by the league?”
Currently, the NFL uses Cablecam devices during games, basically a camera strung on a stadium-long cable — a technological high-wire act.
The technology has intriguing possibilities. Presumably far cheaper and easier to manage than the Cablecam device, hovering aircraft could capture images that could be used for coaching, enhancing the in-stadium viewing experience, and/or watching the game from home.
Sports commentators point out that drones could offer an enhanced viewing experience for fans, getting a variety of angles not possible with Cablecam.
Other writers see a darker yet humorous side to the emerging trend. NJ.com writer Jordan Raanan points out:
“Surely paranoid coaches won’t like this idea. I can almost see it now. Patriots coach Bill Belichick in his camo hunting hat, rifle in hand, shooting down drones like Elmer Fudd. In that case, maybe Big Brother (or the NFL ) won’t be watching for long.”
Not all coaches are paranoid, though. UCLA football head coach Jim Mora says there is real benefit to having a drone above your practice field. “Its not a gimmick,” he told ESPN’s Outside the Lines last month, “at the end of the day there is an added value to having that contraption hovering around our field.”
Jason is a longstanding contributor to DroneLife with an avid interest in all things tech. He focuses on anti-drone technologies and the public safety sector; police, fire, and search and rescue.
Beginning his career as a journalist in 1996, Jason has since written and edited thousands of engaging news articles, blog posts, press releases and online content.
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