Plans to successfully play the remaining 57 Gallagher Premiership matches – nine rounds of regular season fixtures along with the semi-finals and final – could herald a broadcasting revolution. Top-flight clubs in England remain determined to bring the 2019/20 campaign to a conclusion on the pitch. There are variations on how long this might take amid fluid schedules which vary from games being played every day of a five-week period from the end of June to alternatively extending the season into late autumn.
However, what is apparently more certain is host broadcaster BT Sport are poised to push back the boundaries of how it usually films rugby matches. Cognisant of the social distancing measures likely to surround the restart of the league, it is reported the company have a contingency plan that would see them fit-out stadiums with upwards of 15 remotely controlled cameras to remove the need for film crews to be present at a stadium.
Twickenham and the Ricoh Arena have been speculated as the prime venues under consideration to host games due to them having an adjacent hotel, but broadband connectivity is now another important consideration as the league looks to organise its much-awaited restart.
“One of the things that have been worked on with BT is not having to deploy camera crews,” said a source to the Telegraph. “They will rig up the stadium with around 12 to 15 remote control cameras and then run the whole production from their master control room in Stratford. It requires a lot of broadband connectivity. Sometimes crises lead to technology jumps. BT seem keen to make it happen.”
It’s believed the absence of spectators at these behind closed doors matches will also result in the possible use of new camera angles to enhance the viewing at home.
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