This Sunday's Super Bowl between the Seattle Seahawks and Denver Broncos will be different than previous matches. Fox Sports recently announced that it will film the Super Bowl with infrared cameras, showing viewers players' body temperatures along with in-game stats. But the network admits it's not really sure what audiences will really get out of the experience.
In-game infrared imaging is pretty cool, if nothing else
According to network COO Eric Shanks, one of the cameras was already tested during the NFC Championship game earlier this month. Shanks also said another device might be used to track how wind conditions affect players on the field. The techniques are halfway appropriate: New Jersey, where the game will be held, is currently in the midst of a polar vortex that has affected the region for the better part of January, bringing record cold temperatures with it. Still, pretty pictures are just pretty pictures, and Fox hasn't made any clear plans to add context to the footage. "I don't know what story that tells, but it might make for some pretty cool pictures," Shanks told the Television Critics Association.
That live TV broadcasts have morphed into flashy theater is nothing new. Only last year, Fox News' Shepard Smith debuted his outlandish, overwrought newsroom decked out in human-sized touchscreens — a move that looks just as bizarre now as it did then.