Amazon to feature camera innovations for England's Autumn Nations Cup games
Amazon, the online retail giant, will roll out several broadcast innovations for its coverage of England’s games in the upcoming Autumn Nations Cup, the eight-team rugby union competition which gets underway today, to enhance the viewing experience for fans.
The broadcaster’s key innovation will be 'PostCam', with eight cameras to be installed inside the posts at the national Twickenham stadium, which will also be moved to Parc y Scarlets stadium in Llanelli for England’s clash with Wales, their only away game in the competition.
Additionally, two 3G mini-cams will also be placed at the in-goal side of each post just below the crossbar.
With all games to be played behind closed doors, Amazon is seeking to provide viewers with new angles of tight goal-line action, with the cameras to be used both as part of the live coverage and in replays.
The television match official will also be able to use PostCam footage when making decisions.
Amazon will launch the new technology for England's opening game against Georgia tomorrow.
Alex Green, managing director of Prime Video Sport Europe, said: “With fans unable to get into the stadium, we are delighted to be able to offer a new way to bring them closer to the action.
“PostCam will give rugby fans a brand-new perspective on the game that they love and we think the Autumn Nations Cup is the perfect launchpad for it.”
In addition, Amazon will also give fans the option to use artificial crowd noise over their broadcasts, which will be particular to each stadium.
Amazon picked up the rights in September and will be showing 14 of the 16 games to be played over four weekends, from 13 November to 6 December, on subscription service Amazon Prime Video in the UK, in what represents the platform’s first venture into live rugby.
Free-to-air commercial broadcaster Channel 4 will televise Ireland’s three home games, including the opener against Wales, plus the England-Ireland match at Twickenham on 21 November.
The eight-team Autumn Nations Cup has been created, as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, to replace the traditional autumn internationals contested by European and southern hemisphere teams.
Meanwhile, New Zealand Rugby and Rugby Australia, the respective national governing bodies, have today unveiled a new trans-Tansman Super Rugby competition to take place in May 2021.
The tournament will be staged over six weeks following the conclusion of the country's respective Super Rugby competitions, with the New Zealand franchises playing each Australian team once before a final between the top two teams in June.
It was announced earlier this week that the Super Rugby AU, an Australia-only version of the southern hemisphere clubs competition, will return as a five-team affair next year, while NZ Rugby also announced its domestic five-team Super Rugby Aotearoa competition would start in February, and run for 10 weeks.
The format of the trans-Tansman Super Rugby tournament will see each side play two home games and two away games in the round-robin stage, while their fifth will be part of a ‘Super Round’ featuring all round three matches being played at one location, over one weekend.
The final will be played between at the home ground of the team that finishes top of the ladder.
However, the competition will rely on teams being able to travel without having to adhere to quarantine measures currently in place because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
This announcement eases a tense stand-off between NZ Rugby and RA as they have been at loggerheads for months over the future of Super Rugby and the hosting of The Rugby Championship.