Australia’s Fox Sports is introducing “ref-cam” to their coverage of the Super 15 rugby competition this season.
Kiwi referee Chris Pollock will be the first to don the mini-camera that will transmit pictures from the field through to Fox Sports live coverage.
The 75-gram camera, which will be built into Pollock’s earpiece, is similar to those used by the San Jose police force in California.
“We are delighted Fox Sports have been proactive in seeking to expand and deepen the experience for rugby fans around the country,” said ARU chief executive Bill Pulver.
“To have an unprecedented view from the thick of the action, whether the referee is preparing to bring two massive packs together or he’s just centimetres from the ball as a pass is fired across the backline …. this is an exciting step forward in terms of general sports coverage.”
“We are very supportive of the trial of this new technology,” said SANZAR chief executive Greg Peters.
“We are always keen to work with our broadcast partners on initiatives that enhance their coverage of the game and deliver an even better fan experience.”
Fox Sports are no strangers to using on-field technology with a number of devices used during their cricket coverage this summer.
Here’s some footage from a ref-cam trial during a pre-season match in Australia: