Drones aren't new tools for live sports production, but when the World Series begins this Friday, Fox Sports will use a fleet of three compact aircraft during the Fall Classic for the first time ever. Previously, the network used drones during baseball games for coverage of the All-Star and Field of Dreams games. Fox also employs drones for its broadcasts of USFL and first began using them for production in 2015.
For the World Series, Fox plans to use the trio of drones to capture moments like relief pitchers coming in from the bullpen, warm-ups between innings and pitchers leaving the mound. The network collaborated with Beverly Hills Aerials on the customized fleet and that company will operate them. While Fox says it will select the drone best-suited for what it's capturing, all three are FPV units (first-person view) and only one will be in the air at any given time. The pilot will be positioned in the outfield either behind or between the bullpens. While all three drones are equipped with 4K cameras, Fox says they'll transmit 1080p HDR footage that will also be available for use on jumbo screens inside the two stadiums.
Ump CAM of Corey Seager's solo blast 😍 pic.twitter.com/550hMN1Qcs
— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) October 20, 2023
The drone shots will join Fox's new UmpCam that it debuted during this year's ALDS. It's exactly what it sounds like: a camera that gives you the vantage point of the home plate umpire. The camera is installed in the top of the umpire's mask, getting viewers as close as they can get to what he sees. Fox uses UmpCam to show ball/strike calls and for an on-field perspective of big hits. The network will employ 52 cameras total during the World Series, including an overhead FlyCam, three DirtCams (near home plate, first base and second base), 13 Super Motion cameras and three RF cameras. To capture audio inside each ballpark, Fox will position over 100 microphones to bring fans at home every bit of sound from the game that it can.
The World Series begins Friday, October 27 at 8PM ET when the Texas Rangers host the Arizona Diamondbacks for Game 1.