NFL Fans Rage at Blurry Cameras During Steelers-Ravens Game

Camera Blur
Much of ESPN’s broadcast on Satuday looked like this. | ESPN/NFL

NFL fans watching the Steelers-Ravens game on Saturday were left unhappy after rain caused severe camera blur during the broadcast.

The game in Baltimore was affected by wet and cold conditions with players and fans inside the M&T Stadium having to deal with wind gusts and temperatures in the 30s.

Broadcaster ESPN also struggled to cope: its cameras were shrouded in water and fans at home complained that they couldn’t see the action clearly.

“Does ESPN not have good enough cameras that we had to watch most of the game on a blurry screen,” asks MLFootball on X.

Many were asking why ESPN didn’t have hoods to protect the cameras, or towels to wipe down the lenses. In all likelihood, the broadcast cameras do have hoods but if the conditions are wild enough then it can render them useless.

With wind gusts blowing the rain in the air, water can get onto the lens — hood or not. In that situation then the only thing left to do is to have a towel on hand to wipe the lens down. Some fans were calling for “wipers” but very few cameras have windshield-style wipers with the very odd exception.

For photographers, it is fairly easy to wipe their lenses in between photos but for ESPN who are constantly broadcasting getting the lens wiped down during play is more difficult. The camera operator can’t leave his station during the action and despite people joking that ESPN laid off all its camera wipers, it’s not a real job.

Fortunately for football fans, these conditions are relatively rare and the next game should come through clearly. But ESPN might want a back-up plan next time these weather conditions are forecast.