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NFL now mandating cameras in home locker rooms

The NFL continues to look for ways to make the in-stadium experience more valuable for fans. The next wrinkle: Letting fans see inside the locker room.

SportsBusiness Journal reported Wednesday that next season, the NFL will mandate that teams install cameras in home locker rooms. Video content from the locker rooms then can be used on team apps, and during halftime and other breaks in the game at the stadium. It's important to note the use of locker-room footage is optional, even if the cameras are mandated.

"The content will be available only in-stadium, and the content will be available only of the home team," NFL Executive VP/Business Ventures Eric Grubman told SBJ on Wednesday. "You can show it or not show it." 

The NFL Competition Committee debated this topic extensively, settling on the compromise that a team doesn't have to use the locker-room footage. (Frankly, I'm not sure I want to see a Bill Belichick pregame speech. Some things should be left to the imagination.)

While teams don't have to use the locker-room footage, home teams will be made to show important replays in the stadium even if that replay doesn't necessarily help the home team's cause.

Grubman said, "We're going to mandate replays, not just after a disputed call but after a whole series of important plays, fumbles, out of bounds. Now it doesn't matter if you want your technician to favor the home team. You're not going to have a choice. Why? Just listen to the fans." 

In the past, home teams often didn't show replays that are anti-home team. Now teams will be required to show all big plays. Teams are fighting an uphill battle to get fans off their couch. After all, you'll see the best replays by watching at home.

Follow Gregg Rosenthal on Twitter @greggrosenthal.

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