UK Men's Basketball

Barnhart bans the 'skycam,' part of ESPN's innovation week

For Kentucky fans who did not enjoy the overhead camera ESPN used for its telecast of Tuesday's UK-Mississippi State game, here's the good news: You probably won't have to watch another game from the vantage point high above center court.

UK Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart announced on Twitter Wednesday what amounted to a ban on the use of the overhead angle. "We have expressed the concerns with the new overhead camera use at future games & will no longer approve the camera location in the future," Barnhart said.

UK spokesman DeWayne Peevy noted that the school cannot control how a network televises a game, but the school can control where cameras are positioned.

Even without UK granting approval, ESPN did not sound eager to return to the overhead view.

ESPN spokesman Michael Humes said Wednesday that the unusual camera placement was part of a week of "innovative" television by the network. "Wasn't something we're going to implement season-long," he wrote in an e-mail message.

ESPN sought to give fans different perspectives through innovative production techniques and other enhancements this week. "We consistently strive to balance our use of these elements with fan feedback," Humes wrote.

For instance, Thursday's DePaul-Providence game will feature an all-female announcing team with Beth Mowins doing play-by-play and Doris Burke providing analysis.

Judging by e-mails received from UK fans, the overhead camera angle was an innovation that blew up in the face of ESPN's Thomas Edisons.

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