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SBD Global/August 30, 2013/Leagues and Governing Bodies

Rugby Pemiership To Use Television Match Official At All Games This Season

The new Aviva Premiership season "is to see use of the Television Match Official extended to all six matches played in the league each weekend," according to Mick Cleary of the London TELEGRAPH. Last season, the video referee "was in operation only at the three ­televised matches, thereby undermining the integrity and universality of the ­system." The 12 Premiership clubs have invested close to £500,000 ($775,000) "to ensure that there are eight cameras at each ground, the minimum required to facilitate the TMO." The Premiership "pioneered the enhanced TMO system last season when the match referee could refer to the video referee matters of foul play in any part of the field as well as possible infringements in the build-up to a try." In contrast to the DRS third-umpire technology used in cricket, the trial in the English league "was deemed a success and other countries have ­followed suit." There "is one other significant change: a new broadcaster." Cameras in dressing rooms, in-match conversations with directors of rugby and halftime player interviews "will be an integral part of the new-look approach taken by BT Sport" as it begins its £152M ($235M), four-year association with English rugby (TELEGRAPH, 8/29).
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