Champions’ League Final TV Coverage

So Porto beat Monaco in a pretty average Champions’ League final last night, in what was Mourinho’s last match before he joins Chelsea.
But much more entertaining for the home viewer was the “matrix-stylee” bullet time effects. Known as “Eye-vision“, it was first used, I believe, for the 2001 Superbowl (The Matrix was released in 1999, and the effect existed before then used on BBC wildlife documentaries and in some experimental films). Since CBS covered this year’s Superbowl, which I didn’t see, they used it again.
UEFA or their German TV partners who would have been providing the coverage last night, must have got very excited about this, and invested in the cameras you have to be-deck the stadium with. The problem is that aside from looking flash, it really adds nothing to the coverage. Most of the decent camera positions are already covered, and because they have to use so many cameras, the quality of them is pretty poor. From crysal clear (although not widescreen) coverage, we jump to something that looks like it’s using CCTV cameras.
The BBC were using their gyroscopic camera at the FA Cup which runs on wires and can travel around the pitch – good for those kickoff shots, but otherwise you’ve really got to hope that the camera’s in the right place to follow a mazey run leading to a fabulous goal before you can be sure it’s giving good value. ESPN call this SkyCam I believe. At the rugby, the Beeb also have post-cam, which certainly makes you feel close to the action, even if the coverage is limited (it can revolve around the post above the crash pads). And then there’s that camera that runs along tracks for things like the 100m, which was also employed at the Rugby European Cup Final on Sunday – a gyroscope keeps the camera very smooth depsite it running along rails.
Some of these devices are good while others add nothing but look cool.