Technology is dramatically improving the home entertainment experience. Changes in TVs, video, audio and live streaming make viewing events at home more attractive. These changes are affecting attendance at live events, including NFL games. To compete with home viewing, the NFL is also making huge technology changes to make attending games more exciting.
Video Display Improvements
When you attend an NFL game, the most obvious technology change is the size and video quality of the video displays. The New York Times points out that Jacksonville, FL has two screens the length of a football field. Each screen was recently installed in the end zones at the city’s NFL stadium.
Daktronics is a manufacturer of these massive screens. The Co-Founder explains that the living room is the firm’s biggest competitor. The video screens are designed to keep the fan at the live venue interested and engaged. In addition to the sheer size, the graphics and general look of the content on screen has vastly improved. The video displays now operate in HD.
How the Living Room Experience is Improving
The NFL’s stadium attendance competes with TV viewing. The home TV experience is also changing rapidly. A fan who is interested in the 2015 – 2016 NFL weekly schedule may be drawn to tech innovations that keep them viewing at home.
The NFL Sunday Ticket allows fans to view every NFL game, regardless of the games that are being shown in their local market. If a viewer doesn’t like the NFL matchups shown on their local affiliate, they get access to any game that looks interesting. Sunday Ticket also helps fans follow their favorite teams from any location.
Another feature that keeps a viewer’s attention is the Red Zone Channel. This channel lets a fan view every NFL play inside the 20-yard line. A viewer can see all of the scoring from every game.
The Red Zone Channel is a big draw for a fantasy football fan. If you have fantasy team players involved in 3 different games, you can watch all three games, or just the scoring plays from those games. This
allows the fantasy participant to watch their player score- whether passing, receiving, kicking or running.
Under pressure from fans and the broadcasters, the NFL is starting to make Coaches Film available to viewers. Until recently, this footage was only to be used by coaches, scouts and game officials.
The film refers to two camera angles that are not used in normal NFL broadcasts:
This is a view from a high stadium location. The view shows all 22 players (11 offense and 11 defense) in one camera shot. The All-22 view shows the field from a sideline.
High End Zone:
This is a view taken from high up in each end zone. From this angle, you can
see the action moving toward or away from the end zone camera.
Grantland explains that in the fall of 2012, the NFL started to make a game’s All-22 view available after the game had been played. Fans could pay a fee to access these camera views.
ESPN’s 2015 college football broadcasts are experimenting with Pylon Cam. This is a group of cameras placed in the pylons at the corners of each end zone. The purpose is to show viewers more
camera views at the goal line. As the technology is developed, the NFL is considering added these cameras to their games.
Increasingly, all of these camera shots are shown in the NFL stadiums, particularly after plays. The fan at the venue sees the same great camera angles that viewers see at home.
All of these changes are good news for the NFL fan. Going to an NFL game is becoming more engaging to fans. For those who stay home, watching the games is developing into a better experience.