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Hiestand on Media

September 4, 2008

By Michael Hiestand

Inside the Internet

Today, NFL viewers can choose their own camera angle, via the first U.S. live online NFL game.

That’s been available outside the USA. But this season, NBC’s Sunday prime-time games — and NBC’s Washington Redskins-New York Giants game tonight — will simulcast free at NFL.com and NBCSports.com. Viewers can also choose between four angles — end zone, sideline, the overhead cable-cam and a camera isolated on one player — taken by NBC’s 22 TV cameras.

TV coverage won’t change. But an online producer in an NBC production truck will pick the shots — switching, say, from NBC’s shot of one sideline to the other — for Web coverage, allowing users to choose how many shots they want simultaneously. Online coverage will have slightly fewer ads than TV does, NFL digital director Noah Fischbach says, which will allow for a few online-only elements such as extra highlights. And, he says, NBC analyst Cris Collinsworth and reporter Andrea Kremer and an NFL Network analyst will contribute to a real-time blog.

For now, ESPN isn’t keen on putting its Monday games online — its cable operators wouldn’t be thrilled — and putting CBS’ and Fox’s Sunday games online wouldn’t sit well with DirecTV, which has a pricy TV package of out-of-market games. But tonight, Fischbach says, viewers’ shot choices can affect what shots they keep getting — “it’s instant feedback.” (c) Copyright 2008 USA TODAY, a division of Gannett Co. Inc. <>




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