Tottenham’s trip to Wolves will make Premier League history with bodycams to be used for the first time.
A player from each side will wear a bodycam during the warm-ups at Molineux at Saturday lunchtime after TNT Sports and the Premier League struck an historic partnership.
During the summer Aston Villa and Newcastle trialled bodycams during a match on their US tour, but their use at Molineux is a first on a Premier League pitch, giving fans a brand new perspective of a player’s pre-match routine.
IFAB laws do not allow for the technology to be used in competitive matches, but TNT Sports hope Saturday’s trial during the warm-up offers viewers a unique perspective, with footage uploaded from the player’s bodycam instantaneously for broadcast.
MindFly, the Israeli start-up company behind the bodycams, have created a special AI-powered stabilisation bodycam, which is attached to an ‘ultralight’ vest.
Premier League history will be made this weekend when bodycams are used in the warm-ups. (Pictured: Youri Tielemans (left) and Bruno Guimaraes (right) using camera in pre-season)
It gives fans a totally unique perspective – a player’s point of view – and players are said to like it
The cam is fitted to a GPS vest under the shirt, with a small hole cut in the jersey at chest height
The miniscule camera is stitched to a GPS vest under the shirt, with a small hole cut in the jersey at chest level to give the lens sight of the game.
It takes around two minutes to get players wired up and ready to go.
HOW WILL THE BODYCAMS WORK?
Israeli startup MindFly is a market leader in sports with their AI bodycams.
It works by players wearing ‘ultralight’ GPS vests which have a built in, wide-angle wearable camera.
Players are said to have described it as ‘invisible’ given undershirts and tracking vests are not uncommon.
The bodycam uses SteadiCam stablisation technology to ensure smooth footage.
Footage is then uploaded in real time by AI editing software that makes it quickly accessible for broadcasters.
They have had great success in basketball with EuroLeague, as well as trials across football in Spain and Germany.
A wide angle view of the pitch is captured and later cropped using AI auto-detection to hone in on the action. The bodycam also uses SteadiCam stablisation technology to ensure smooth footage fit for broadcast.
The camera has a shatter-proof screen and is so lightweight to the point of being marketed as ‘invisible’.
‘Finding new ways to bring our fans closer to the action on the pitch is a key focus for us,’ Premier League Head of Media Operations and Innovation, Rachael Nightingale, said.
‘After the success of the bodycam trials at the Premier League Summer Series, we are looking forward to seeing what results this test will deliver for TNT and our audiences around the world.’
Footage is uploaded in real time by AI editing software that makes it quickly accessible for broadcasters, with TNT Sports eager to show off the tool as part of their pre-match build-up at Molineux.
MindFly, which launched in 2021 and has secured more than £1.3million through seed funding, have had great success in basketball with EuroLeague, as well as trials across football in Spain and Germany.
‘We are thrilled to partner with the Premier League to develop innovative access, taking viewers to places, and experiencing moments, they would not otherwise experience,’ Scott Young, Senior Vice President, Content and Production at Warner Bros. Discovery Sports, Europe, said.
‘We are particularly excited for what opportunities this may present for sports broadcasting in the future and we thank the Premier League and both Wolverhampton Wanderers and Tottenham Hotspur for their co-operation in facilitating this activity.’
One Tottenham player and one Wolves player will wear the bodycam during the warm-ups, with footage shared and broadcast by TNT Sports, who are broadcasting the game in the UK
IFAB currently prevents the bodycameras being used in competitive matches and so for now TNT Sports’ trial is limited to the warm-up, adding a unique viewpoint for their coverage
The technology was not warmly received by all clubs during their summer tours in the US – but Newcastle were among those eager to use it.
They were the first to trial the technology at home on Tyneside, with goalkeeper Nick Pope and former favourite Shay Given diving around the club’s training pitches with the cameras on.
Manager Eddie Howe allowed several players to try it and they are now queuing up to give it a go.
And so there will be plenty of interested spectators across the league this weekend, not just TV viewers, of how Tottenham and Wolves’ warm-ups look with the immersive technology.
Wolverhampton Wanderers versus Tottenham Hotspur will be broadcast live on TNT Sports 1 and discovery+* in the United Kingdom and Ireland on Saturday, November 11.
Jules Breach will present Early Kick-Off from 11am before handing over to Lynsey Hipgrave, Joleon Lescott and Joe Cole for the pre-match show.
*discovery+ is not available in the Republic of Ireland
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