New NBC camera offers overhead view of Preakness backstretch

Preakness viewers who did not brave the rain and mud at Pimlico Race Course will get to watch the race from a new angle this year, thanks to an overhead camera NBC debuted at the Kentucky Derby.

Dubbed the “Bat Cam,” the cable-operated device will follow action along the backstretch, far from the view of the standard play-by-play camera NBC has used in previous years.

“It feels like you’re hovering 18 feet above the horses, traveling at the same speed,” said NBC producer Rob Hyland, who’s supervising his 20th Triple Crown telecast. “It really feels like you’re a very tall jockey.”

Hyland said NBC originally used the camera to deliver an intimate, high-speed view of NASCAR races.

“I think every sports product is in search of ways to bring the viewer closer to the action,” he said.

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