In-game Locker Room Video Still Rare Around NFL

NFL Locker Room.

( from Sports Business Journal, September 30, 2013)

The National Football League (NFL) has recently made it a requirement for all 32 teams to have locker room cameras during halftime and other points during the game.  The NFL has done this because they believe it will enhance the stadium experience for the fans that come to the game.  The fans are supposed to be able to see their teams in the locker room huddled around their coach getting a motivating halftime speech.  However, it has not worked this way so far; only two teams have provided this coverage.

Most teams are torn between using footage from the pregame and not using any footage at all.  Senior Vice President Sean Rabinowitz of the New York Jets said, “We don’t believe in using our best content at halftime.”  This is echoed throughout the league by players and coaches who believe that if the halftime speeches are able to be viewed, other teams may be able to use it against them.  Many teams also find it logistically difficult to edit and use video while the game is still being played.  The St. Louis Rams, one of the two teams that use footage, even say that it is a game-to-game decision on whether or not they use footage.  An NFL representative has gone on record saying that the cameras were mandated to be installed, but not how or when they must be used.

Many teams are taking advantage of the lack of specification on how to use the cameras by playing footage during the pregame.  The Kansas City Chiefs have found a way to use the cameras that the fans seem to enjoy; they use live video without audio and use some edited video with audio during the game and player announcements. The NFL has been striving to make the experience better with mandated replays, and some teams have mobile applications that allow you to see replays from multiple angles.  There has been great hesitation by many teams to integrate these new cameras to enhance the fan experience, and until the NFL mandates how they use the cameras, many teams will avoid using them all together.