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Football Tech That's More Than a Laser and Light Show


Executives from the U.S.F.L. and Fox have confirmed that they are in discussions to implement a first-down laser line (above) in all their televised games next season.

Credit: First Down Laser Line

The new United States Football League, which debuted last weekend, is betting that fans want more pro football in the lull before the N.F.L. season begins. To win that bet, the league is experimenting with technology to make games move quickly, make officiating as accurate as possible, improve player performance and safety tracking and enhance the TV broadcast for fans (Fox is an investor in the league).

U.S.F.L. executives and the makers of that technology are hoping that the N.F.L. will also take notice, and maybe adopt it. The big brother league is typically tight-lipped regarding its business partnerships and future technology plans, and would not confirm any formal relationship with the upstart league.

But Natara Holloway, the N.F.L.'s vice president of business operations and strategy, said the league would have an eye on the U.S.F.L.'s development. "We lean on any entity that is promoting the game of football," she said. "We will learn from them and observe how they're playing the game. Part of our innovation strategy is thinking not all answers are coming from the N.F.L."

From The New York Times
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