What you need to know about SuperSport’s Camera-Borne Drone for the NPFL
Sports should tell stories. How a sports-related story is told, is not only down to the action part of the game but also, the cameras used and the angle-shots.
Fans are fascinated by angle-shots: it portrays a clear picture of an action probably missed or not closely observed by fans on television. Throw into the mix, aerial coverage of a game; you definitely will stir the hornet’s nest of live television fan engagement. Aerial drones have been added to the mix of television broadcasting of sports.
Like its contemporaries across the world, Supersport Nigeria, has dared to awaken the proverbial “sleeping giant” by redefining how fans enjoy – and engage – sports while viewing on television. For this, the “World of Champions”, have been commended.
As Official Broadcast partner of the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL), Supersport has been commended for the launch of their first camera-borne Drone in the coverage of league matches.
Although it was put to use in the latter stage of the 2014-15 football season, that evolutionary effort was “brought forward” into the 2015-16 league season. This in particular, was witnessed with the Drone providing aerial shots of scenes at the Sani Abacha stadium ahead of the season's opening star match in Kano between Kano Pillars and Enugu Rangers FC. Fans watching from their homes got a chance to appreciate the stadium from above in its full glory.
At a dinner reception in honour of the Supersport live broadcast crew in Kano, the chairman of the League Management Company (LMC), Mallam Shehu Dikko, expressed the Company’s excitement with Supersport’s broadcast innovation.
“The LMC is excited with the innovation represented by the use of a Drone witnessed during the match between Pillars and Rangers,” Shehu Dikko enthused.
The reception organised in Kano after the game between Kano Pillars and Enugu Rangers, was a platform to engage the broadcast partners in a relaxed atmosphere devoid of the pressures of work.
Mallam Dikko did not mince words saying Supersport’s innovative offering on live TV, “is consistent with the LMC's vision and mission to continuously bring innovations in our management of the league for the good of the players, the clubs, the fans and our partners as well as every other stakeholder."
"It is no secret that our partnership has been a model for sponsorship and we hope it will keep improving.
So what is it about the Hurricane Mark 2 Racing Drone?
For Niyi Oyeleke, Supersport’s Productions Manager in Nigeria, deploying the Hurricane Mark 2 Racing Drone is not new to/in Africa. “Supersport has been using the Hurricane Mark 2 SuperSport Racing Drone in the RSA [South Africa] to cover Formula 1 previously deployed – and still deploys – the Drone in South Africa to cover Formula 1 and other car races with huge success,” said Mr Oyeleke.
The Hurricane Mark 2 Racing Drone is not your typical childhood toy. It’s a Racing Drone. The moment the throttle is fired up, it shoots into the distance like a tropical storm. And you don’t want to mess with a tropical storm.
The Drone is light and fast. It travels at a speed capacity of over 64 kmph (or 40 mph).
Oyeleke said beyond providing elegant aerial shots, "the wireless nature of the Drone offers limitless mobility capacity, eliminates the distraction caused by camera-borne aircrafts of any type flying over huge crowds and provides an advanced crowd monitoring option as it can discreetly focus on specific sections of interest inside the stadium"
Oyeleke expressing appreciation to the LMC, pointedly adds: “We have now introduced this to the NPFL to offer our viewers a richer experience of our world class broadcast services."
Shots from the Drone were spectacle to watch; with the Sani Abacha Stadium packed to the brim, different perspectives provided by the shots gave fans the feeling they were in the stadium. A further advantage of shots from the cameras in the drone is the provision of all-inclusive angles from all corners of the stadium.
The LMC Chairman commended Supersport for the record 70 games covered in the 2014/15 season but challenged them to build on that success by covering more games and wider locations this season.
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