Sky's the Limit

1 decade 1 month 1 week ago October 30, 2006 Oct 30, 2006 Monday, October 30 2006 Monday, October 30, 2006 10:14:28 PM CST in Sports

It hovered over them, observing the Tigers' and Sooners' every move. Every pass, tackle, and touchdown, it saw every play. But what was it?

It was a camera, Skycam to be exact. And what makes Skycam so special?

"It's the shot everybody wants, the shot that puts you right over the field, it's completely unique, and we're doing it live for three and a half hours every week, and no other camera can provide that kind of look," said Clint Goldwater.

Goldwater is the pilot for the airborne camera. Skycam is held up by four cables about 25 feet in the air. The cables are attached to bases, in this case, the light towers at the corners of Faurot Field. The process starts on Tuesday before the game, when crews arrive to work on the wires.

"They'll go around, they'll figure out how to get the truss and the pulleys and the points up in the air. The other thing we do is we run the fiber optic cable that controls our reels, from the reels themselves to the central control location," he explained.

Now it costs about $10,000 to set the Skycam camera up for a game, but the camera itself costs about $100,000.

Crew chief Denny Graham has worked with Skycam for four years, and this is his first year working for college football. After covering the NFL for three years, Graham prefers the college crowd to the pros.

"This is my first year in college, and I like that a lot better. The crowd is a lot more into it, you know, the students. You don't get to see that in the NFL, it's a lot more fun here in the college atmosphere," he said.

Whether it's college football or the NFL, don't be afraid if you look up, and see the eye in the sky.

ABC and ESPN have a four year contract with Skycam, so they are the only networks able to use the Skycam technology.

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