If you’ve watched any NFL games on television in the last few years, you’ve undoubtably seen the use of the cable-suspended SkyCam. The ability of networks to fly the camera around the field gives a bird’s eye view where stationary cameras can’t. For the most part, football fans have been the biggest winners of the SkyCam technology, while other sports have been unable to utilize it.
That will change on Tuesday when the 89th MLB All-Star Game is played at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C.
FOX Sports will be using SkyCam for the first time, ever, at MLB’s Midsummer Classic. According to the network, the design of Nationals Park allowed for the use of the camera technology where other ballparks have not.
There will be one “WildCat” system on-site with a flyspace that will run over left and center field. The camera will track outside the field of play, largely over the bullpens. By running the system as such, it avoids the possibility of the camera or cabling interfering with play.
Should there be any technical problems with the primary system, FOX Sports is deploying a backup that will be on-site.
As has been the case in the past, FOX Sports continues to push the envelope with technology at jewel events, such as the MLB All-Star Game. On top of the SkyCam, there will be an additional aerial camera; 35 HD game cameras; eight super slo-mo that run at 460 frames per second, and; two extra-slo-mo cameras at 2,000 frames per second will be used.
For audio, FOX Sports has increased the number of microphones being used including 78 embedded in the field to capture the sounds of the game.
All of it will be tied together with more than 250 strands of fiber, over three miles of fiber optic cable, and 1 Gbps of data connectivity.
To make it all come together, the FOX Sports will deploy a small army of more that 125 technicians and 24 support staff that will log more than 10,000 man hours over five days.
FOX Sports’ coverage of the MLB All-Star Game begins at 7:30 pm ET.