ESPN Misses the Mark Using Spidercam For College Basketball Broadcast

Spidercam, spidercam
Spidercam, spidercam /

Despite the looming threat of coronavirus, college basketball conference tournaments are underway -- with fans in attendance. To whit, Miami and Clemson faced off in the second round of the ACC Tournament on Wednesday afternoon on ESPN. The broadcast team decided to something different this time around: use a spidercam for a basketball game.

Thanks, I hate it.

This is not the first time a spidercam has been used to film a basketball game, but to my knowledge, no network has used the angle in an actual broadcast yet. It's just a weird angle to watch a basketball game. I mean, would you rather watch from the perspective of someone sitting in the upper level or someone sitting courtside?

Trying something different shouldn't be criticized, but this was a whiff. Spidercams are cool for other sports, and NFL broadcasts often feature it as a pre-snap angle. But using it to film the action on the floor as it happens isn't a better viewing experience than the standard angle. It's harder to keep track of the ball when it goes up and the flatter camera angle makes it easier to lose the ball-handler once he drives into the paint, especially if that ball-handler is on the shorter side. Plus, you can't really tell if a shot is going in or not.

Innovation is fun and cool, but bring back the regular camera shot, please.