Aviva Premiership coaches will be asked to consider divulging their tactics to television commentators before matches as part of the English top flight’s new broadcasting deal with British Telecom, according to reports.
A Sunday newspaper reported BT will propose that commentators are given information by team coaches and then sworn to secrecy until the match is under way, while the broadcaster is also reported to be keen on interviewing players at half-time and on placing a camera in the pitch to give a “worm’s eye view” of the scrum.
Premiership Rugby confirmed that its representatives were visiting top-flight clubs with BT Sport, “exchanging ideas and thoughts”. It is understood the process will be concluded by the middle of next month.
BT Vision will take over from Sky and ESPN next term as sole broadcasters of the Premiership after agreeing a £152 million, four-year deal. They will also show European games for three years from 2014.
A Premiership Rugby spokesman said: “From the start of the 2013-14 season, Aviva Premiership rugby and the JP Morgan Asset Management Premiership rugby sevens will be shown live on BT Sport. As part of this game-changing deal, we want to create unique TV coverage which is the envy of the world and will bring Aviva Premiership rugby to a new audience, while respecting the values and traditions of our current and valued supporters. Any innovations will be introduced as a partnership between BT Sport, Premiership Rugby and its clubs.
“To ensure that happens, Premiership Rugby and BT Sport are visiting all clubs, exchanging ideas and thoughts. We are about to enter into a new, exciting and innovative era for club rugby. This process is part of our new partnership, and BT Sport is keen to hear how our clubs would innovate the TV coverage. Our aim is to capture the excitement and drama, giving viewers the best seat in the house.
“From next season, coverage will be exclusively shown on BT Sport and so it’s an opportunity to explore new innovative formats.”