Live From Final Four: Turner Sports, CBS Sports Experiment With New ‘Rail Cam’ System

CBS Sports and Turner Sports are innovating in their joint coverage of this weekend’s Final Four with deployment of a new camera system they have dubbed “Rail Cam.”

The robotic-camera fixture provides a smooth track for the camera to run at floor level along the south out-of-bounds line and can reach speeds of up to 25 mph. The system is the product of two years of brainstorming by Turner and CBS and is owned by All Mobile Video.

More from the 2015 NCAA Men’s Basketball Final Four:

The Rail Cam system requires the court to be on a raised floor.

The Rail Cam system requires the court to be on a raised floor.

“This has been a request from both sides of the production world looking at what we can do to raise the level of the coverage of these games,” says Tom Sahara, VP, operations and technology, Turner Sports. “We’re really excited to see what it’s going to look like this week. It’s spectacular.”

It debuted at the Houston Regional Final last weekend and, after a successful run, received a few small modifications. The system requires the court to be on a raised floor, which is rarely seen in the NBA, the reason Turner hasn’t had the chance to try it out before.

According to CBS Sports SVP, Operations and Administration, Patty Power, the CBS production teams, including director Bob Fishman, have embraced the angles provided by the technology.

Turner Sports SVP, Production/Executive Creative Director Craig Barry is also on board.

“I believe in access,” he says. ”The more access, the closer you bring the fan; it’s one of my primary philosophies regarding sports production. [Rail Cam] will give viewers a ground-[level] look at the entire court, very different from anything they have seen.”

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