Aviva Premiership
'Kicking tee cam' set for Premiership debut
ESPN Staff
August 29, 2013
Cameras are set to be placed in kicking tees during this season's Premiership © Getty Images

The Aviva Premiership is set to break new ground this season with a series of technical innovations.

Broadcaster BT Sport, which has an exclusive four-year contract with Premiership Rugby worth up to £152million, plan to install cameras into kicking tees, introduce 'lineout cam' to give viewers 'unique angles' and also offer interviews with players during their warm-up and coaches during the game. TV coverage is also set to include some more familiar features including dressing room cameras and half-time interviews with players.

In related news, English rugby's top flight is also set to install Television Match Officials at all games this season with referees previously only allowed to call for replays during televised fixtures.

After a six-month consultation period that involved all 12 directors of rugby, chief executives and media managers, Premiership Rugby has unveiled a new TV strategy. "We are trying to bring Aviva Premiership Rugby fans closer to the game and increase the number of people who watch club rugby in England," said chief executive Mark McCafferty.

"As a League we pride ourselves on being innovative and progressive and we believe the coverage of Aviva Premiership Rugby will be compelling and supportive of the values of club rugby. There are some hugely engaging and articulate players, coaches and directors of rugby in Aviva Premiership Rugby - through some of these innovations we hope to bring club rugby union to a new audience while embracing our loyal supporters."

Former England captain and British & Irish Lions star Lawrence Dallaglio has previously been unveiled as BT Sport's rugby expert. The live coverage will be presented by Craig Doyle and ex-England internationals Matt Dawson, Ben Kay and Austin Healey will be expert pundits. Sarra Elgan and ex-England star Martin Bayfield will be reporters.

"We will cover Aviva Premiership Rugby in a supportive way, " said Grant Best, senior channel executive producer, "We want to open up areas of the game previously unseen to our audiences we also want to attract a brand new audience and promote rugby union - our coverage will be innovative, entertaining, honest, professional and respectful with high editorial standards."

Kick off times will remain largely constant throughout the season with a typical having three live games - on Friday at 7.45pm, Saturday at 3.15pm and Sunday at 2pm. While BT Sport will be the exclusive broadcaster of live games, ITV will continue to offer a weekly highlights package.

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