NBC Sports Statement: Skycam Cables Were Not in Play for Derek Carr’s Wobbly Pass on TNF

A fourth-quarter play during NBC’s Thursday Night Football AFC West showdown between the Kansas City Chiefs and Oakland Raiders is eliciting plenty of debate on social media this morning. With 9:20 remaining in the fourth quarter, Raiders quarterback Derek Carr’s downfield pass seemed to suddenly die in midair just before reaching receiver Amari Cooper, raising questions as to whether the ball had hit one of the wires running the Skycam aerial camera system. However, there seems to be no definitive evidence in the video replay to confirm whether the ball did or did not hit the wire.

When reached for comment, NBC Sports spokesman Dan Masonson said, “The overhead camera is positioned behind the line of scrimmage, so the cables would not be in play.”

Following the play, no players or coaches complained or raised an issue with the officials (although Cooper seemed miffed about what had occurred). In addition, in the replay shown from behind the quarterback, the camera did not appear to shake. The Chiefs went on to win the game 21-13. For more in-depth analysis of the play, check out Awful Announcing’s full breakdown.

UPDATE: Fred Gaudelli, executive producer of NBC’s Sunday Night Football and Thursday Night Football, also responded to Deadspin’s Barry Petchesky via email regarding the play in question: “No way Barry – the camera is always behind the play and cables are really high over the surface. Look at the replay we showed from sky cam – if anything hits the wire it would effect a bump in the camera and you would see that on the air. Also look at the replay after the commercial – look how the ball comes off of Carr’s hand and his follow through – not his normal delivery.”


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