ESPN’s FollowCam will let the network track participants in snowboarding and skiing events at speeds of up to 40 miles per hour. Photo courtesy of ESPN.
ESPN will once again use several specialized cameras to cover the Winter X Games Nine, which will air live from Aspen, CO, on ESPN and ABC Jan. 29-Feb.1.
Winter X Games Nine is an action sports showcase that features the world’s best athletes in snowboard, ski, snowmobile and Moto X events. In all, ABC and ESPN will combine for 15 hours of live coverage, while ESPN2 will present nightly late-night highlight programs. ESPN International will distribute the Games worldwide and EXPN.com will offer extensive online coverage.
As part of its coverage, ESPN will use creative camera angles and technologies to bring viewers closer to the fast-paced action. FlyCam, FollowCam and TowerCam will highlight the telecasts.
Flycam is mounted more than 20ft above the ground and will travel at speeds up to 75 miles per hour over two different spans of cable to capture moving overhead views of racing events, including Snowboarder X, Skier X and UltraCross (Snowboard/Ski relay).
ESPN also will use live digital FollowCams for SuperPipe and Slopestyle disciplines in snowboarding and skiing. Expert skiers, who are also trained camera operators, follow competitors as they complete their runs, providing a tracking shot of the athletes.
FollowCams are mounted on a rack system carried at waist level by the operator, who skis at speeds of up to 40 miles per hour. To accommodate the live component, digital RF technology will be used to transmit live shots.
The sports network will use TowerCam from a position in the parking lot of Buttermilk Mountain, the main Winter X Games venue. A crane with a cameraman at the top will rise 130ft in the air to provide overhead shots of the courses from beginning to end and “beauty shots” of the mountain.