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If you are wondering what camera has made the shots at the NBC-hosted Winter Classic games so interesting to watch, NBC has decided to share its secret. Turns out the outdoor game is boosted by shots from an airplane, which flies overhead and captures images from a “macro” point of view, rather than the “micro” camera angles viewers get at indoor games.

The airplane camera shots have been going on since the first Winter Classic matchup back in 2008. In an interview with NHL.com, NBC executive producer Sam Flood, the man explains the network is always looking to use the bigger, better equipment, like airplane camera angles, to give people the feeling the Winter Classic isn’t your average hockey game.
”We never want to lose the fact that it's outdoors. It's big - bigger than life - and it's an event. That's the headline and that's what our focus is. It's more than a hockey game."

It seems to be working. During the first Winter Classic game in Buffalo, NBC was actually able to use the airplane camera to show a replay of a goal for the first time. This year, instead of the usual 14 cameras used for broadcasts from inside hockey rinks, the Winter Classic will implement 30 cameras. This year’s matchup, between the Philadelphia Flyers and the New York Rangers, will be held on January 2. Like always, Flood wants this year’s game to both showcase the glories of new technology, but to also remind people why outdoor hockey owns.
"The goal is to make people fall in love with the game of hockey the way it first began, which is outdoors, under the open sky.”

NBC’s coverage of the NHL Winter Classic begins Monday, January 2 at 1 p.m. ET.