The Sky New Zealand team has spent the last few weeks in lockdown planning for the best way to bring domestic premier sport back with a difference, and this Sunday will introduce some of the innovations they’ve been working on with all the key codes. Sunday’s Investec Super Rugby Aotearoa match between the Blues and Hurricanes will see the first trial of some new ideas.
Tex Teixeira, Sky’s Chief Content Officer says, “‘Never waste a crisis’ has been front and centre of our planning for a couple of months. We’ve been working with our key sports partners on using the extraordinary circumstances to freshen up the way we deliver our favourite sports, on top of some of the great stuff we’d already introduced before the pandemic hit town.
“While we’re going to launch some new ideas this weekend with the Investec Super Rugby Aotearoa, there will be more down the track as more codes get back up, including the ANZ Premiership Netball and Sal’s NBL Showdown.
“One of the first things we’re introducing is ‘Sky Sport Player Cam’. Often a feature in football overseas, Player Cam means dedicating a specific camera to a key playmaker for the duration of the match – highlighting their workrate and skill as they move around the field or court. Viewers can follow their player on a separate Sky Sport channel and have a unique perspective and commentary for the game.
“For our first run at this we’ll be training the lens on a key player from the Blues. Imagine the excitement of having a bird’s eye view of a player like Beauden Barrett, should he be selected for long-awaited debut for the Blues this weekend. This is one of the most anticipated events for 2020, made even more exciting by the fact we’ve been deprived of live sport for a couple of months.”
If successful, the team will then look to roll out Sky Sport Player Cam at other Investec Super Rugby Aotearoa fixtures and trial the initiative at ANZ Premiership and Sal’s NBL matches.
“Other initiatives the Sky and Super Rugby teams have been working on include mic’ing up side-lined players or coaches so we can talk to them during broadcast, in game interviews with assistant coaches and introducing a new MVP award – for the player who changes the match in a fundamental way, in addition to the MOTM award.
“We’ve had plenty of ideas percolating here at Sky for a while so, as we’ve had to look at changing the way we do things to get the competitions back on air, we really encouraged the codes to take a look at how we could do things differently. There are some things we need to observe as rights holders, and we also need to respect the integrity of the game and the needs of our viewers, but if we don’t try we’ll never know,” says Teixeira.
Investec Super Rugby Aotearoa kicks off at 7.05pm, Saturday 13 June with the Highlanders at home to the Chiefs at Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin, while the Blues take on the Hurricanes at Eden Park, with kick off at 3.35pm on Sunday.
How to watch Player Cam
Sky Sport Player Cam will be made available on the new Sky Sport Select Channel – Sky Sport 50. (Channel 50) and will follow one player for the duration of the match with accompanying referee and match audio. For the best viewing experience, Sky recommends tuning into the Player Cam on a second device via Sky Go.
Sky Sport Select will host a wide variety of sports content including Player Cam, Sky Sport News bulletins and updates, Sky Sport Highlights, the Sky Sport Quiz and LIVE and delayed sport which does not have a natural home elsewhere in the Sky Sport eco-system.