Video, as per my last post, is becoming even more prevalent YouTube is pushing the production of unique content of a professional quality with it’s ‘Originals’ programme. This article may not be about social media but it’s certainly a digital advancement.
Broadcasters know the power of this medium but it can be difficult to offer much more to fans than has already been done. We see new innovations in how fans can join in with live broadcasts, the likes of Mass Relevance and Pulse have been at the forefront of this.
But in Australia they have taken things a step further. Last month Fox Sports took the brave step of bringing fans a new angle they probably never thought they would have during a Super League Game between the Reds and Waratahs. A referee’s point of view! This is also a REALLY brave move from the referee’s as they are really opening themselves up with no hiding place.
Not only has it happened in Australia but, in a world first, the RFU and SkySports led the way by pinning a camera on the refs shirt for a Premiership game between Newcastle Falcons and London Irish. That was in December was certainly an exciting development. The Head of Professional Referee Development Ed Morrison said;
“This is an exciting development and one that we’re excited to trial. Not only will it offer a new perspective for viewers but it will also provide us with an additional tool which can be utilised within the on-going development of our referees.”
It takes place within rugby union, a sport which has given broadcasters access to what the referee’s have been saying for some time now. The language used by the officials and players a like is very cordial and a swear word is a rarity – shame we can’t the say within football.
From the dawn of time, or so it seems like, us fans have been critical of refereeing decisions. ”How did he miss that!” is something we regularly utter and hear on the terraces and at home watching on the TV. Well, now you can get that very view and find the reasons why he gave the decisions he has.
I can’t really see this happening in football. The test with microphoning referees during a match many years ago was a disaster. The language from all sides would be unbroadcastable! But other sports may benefit if it could be of benefit to fans watching. Rugby is the perfect one to start with.
Which other sports would you like to see it used in?
Here is a video demonstrating the technology being used. It’s a real eye-opener and great to watch. Hopefully we’ll be seeing more of Ref Cam in the coming months and years.