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NFL to Put Cameras in Locker Rooms in 2013

Cameras Inside NFL  Locker Rooms
Donald Miralle, Getty Images

In a move that could give football fans unprecedented access — and nightmares of watching 300-pound men get undressed — the NFL will require all of its teams to install cameras in home locker rooms for the 2013 season.

Teams will then have the option of choosing to air the video inside the stadium during halftime and other breaks in the game action. Cameras will be installed in the home team’s locker room only (though everyone assumes the Patriots already have one in the visitors’ locker room at Gillette Stadium).

“The content will be available only in stadium, and the content will be available only of the home team,” NFL Executive Vice President Eric Grubman said. “You can show it or not show it.”

The decision to install the cameras was debated and approved by the NFL’s competition committee. The locker room cam feature was designed to improve the in-stadium experience for fans; the video will not be a part of the game’s telecast. It will also be offered within designated apps.

The cameras are an obvious attempt by the NFL to demonstrate the value of a game ticket and hedge against growing fan perception that NFL games are better experienced at home, rather than in-person. However, considering this is the era of immediate redistribution of media and event accounts, anything interesting or insightful; hilarious or horrifying seen on the locker room feed is sure to make its way outside the stadium.

The cameras could also record player-on-player or coach-on-player conflicts, as well as serve as a stage for the league’s more flamboyant personalities. While it’s doubtful the league will hire people like “Mean Gene” Okerlund and take a WWE-style approach to the all-access cams, there is a certain element that’s out of their hands once the stadium cast is live, meaning the league’s first full-frontal lineman is a near-inevitability.

You’ve been warned.

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