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NBC Sports, Cowboys partner on red zone view

 

BETH HARRIS,Associated Press


BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) — NBC Sports Group and the Dallas Cowboys are partnering on a new 360-degree look at red zone plays for TV viewers and fans attending the game at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, this season.

The network will use 24 high-speed cameras — 12 in each red zone on both sides of the field from the 20-yard line to the goal line and in the back of each end zone — to produce seamless views of the action.

"Sunday Night Football" producer Fred Gaudelli said the system will give fans a new perspective on big plays during games. The 360-degree view will debut on the Sept. 8 broadcast of the New York Giants-Cowboys game.

The Giants have yet to lose at newly christened AT&T Stadium.

The system, known as FreeD or free dimensional video, will be used for the Oct. 5 Notre Dame-Arizona State game, and the Oct. 13 Washington Redskins-Cowboys game at the stadium.

Fans in the stadium will see red zone replays on the scoreboard at all Cowboys home games, as well as on the team's local programming during the season.

"You can now move all the way around the play without changing the camera angle," Gaudelli told the Television Critics Association on Saturday.

He compared the view to what it's like playing a video game.

Gaudelli said it takes a month to install the system, so NBC had to put it at a stadium where the network knew it would televise at least twice during the NFL season.

He said the Cowboys wanted to partner on the replay system because the team is focused on cutting edge technology and innovation.

The FreeD system is from Replay Technologies Inc., which has worked on Olympic broadcasting and live telecasts of New York Yankees games.

In other "Sunday Night Football" news, NBC Sports Group said a new bus will travel the country during the season visiting the 17 cities where the games originate.

The bus will arrive two or three days before each game. Along for the ride will be four fans of the week chosen based on their social media activity, team pride and interest in "SNF." Besides the bus trip, they'll also receive game tickets.

Also debuting on Sept. 8 will be Carrie Underwood singing "Waiting All Day for Sunday Night," the show's theme song that opens the "SNF" telecast.

She replaces fellow country music star Faith Hill, who decided not to return for a seventh season.

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