NASCAR bans broadcast networks from using cable-held aerial cameras
ESPN will not use the overhead cable-supported camera it has used in past broadcasts at Indianapolis Motor Speedway as NASCAR will continue a moratorium on their use after a cable snapped and injured fans in May at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
During the May 26 race, a rope that worked on a pulley system that allowed a remote camera to slide on the cables above the track snapped. As the cables dangled with at least one was in the grandstands, cars hit them and in return, that yanked the cable in the grandstands and injured 10 fans. The camera did not fall. The cable was made of Dyneema, an ultra-strong synthetic rope that has the same approximate strength of a steel wire.
CAMCAT, which developed the system, has not determined the cause of the malfunction, according to FOX Sports.
With those questions unanswered, NASCAR announced Friday it will not allow the use of overhead cable-supported cameras. ESPN typically had used its own system at Indianapolis, the site of the Sprint Cup race next week.
“Pending further investigation of the cable camera system incident during the NASCAR race in Concord, North Carolina in May, NASCAR has decided, in collaboration with its broadcast partners, to suspend all media partner usage of aerial camera systems that hang over race tracks during its sanctioned events,” the NASCAR statement said.
“The safety of our competitors and our fans remains NASCAR’s No. 1 priority and until total evaluation and analysis have been completed, usage of this particular technology enhancement and any similar enhancements, has been suspended.”
ESPN had planned to use its system (called “Batcam,” which comes from a different vendor) at Indianapolis and Watkins Glen this year.
“We have an excellent working relationship with NASCAR and totally understand their position,” said ESPN vice president of motorsports production Rich Feinberg in a statement. “ We look forward to beginning our NASCAR Sprint Cup schedule at Indianapolis and televising 17 great weeks of racing.” Sporting News