Tottenham’s visit to Wolves will make Premier League history with bodycams used for the first time.
A player from each team will wear a bodycam during the warm-up in Molineux on Saturday afternoon, after TNT Sports and the Premier League struck a historic partnership.
Over 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 whole new perspective on a player’s pre-match routine .
IFAB laws do not allow the technology to be used in competitive matches, but TNT Sports hopes Saturday’s warm-up trial will offer viewers a unique perspective, with footage immediately uploaded from the player’s bodycam for broadcast.
MindFly, the Israeli start-up behind bodycams, has created a special AI-powered stabilization bodycam, which is attached to an ‘ultra-light’ vest.
Premier League history will be made this weekend when bodycams are used during warm-ups. (Photo: Youri Tielemans (left) and Bruno Guimaraes (right) with camera in preparation)
It gives fans a totally unique perspective – a player’s point of view – and players should like this
The camera is attached to a GPS vest under the shirt, with a small hole in the jersey at chest height
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The tiny camera is stitched onto a GPS vest under the shirt, with a small hole in the jersey at chest height to allow the lens to view the game.
It takes about two minutes to connect players and get them ready for use.
HOW DO THE BODYCAMS WORK?
Israeli startup MindFly is the market leader in sports with their AI bodycams.
It works by players wearing ‘ultra-light’ GPS vests with a built-in, wearable wide-angle camera.
Players are said to have described it as ‘invisible’ as undershirts and tracking vests are not uncommon.
The bodycam uses SteadiCam stabilization technology to ensure smooth images.
The footage is then uploaded in real time by AI editing software, making it quickly accessible to broadcasters.
They have had great success in basketball with EuroLeague, as well as in football matches in Spain and Germany.
A wide-angle view of the field is captured and later cropped using AI automatic detection to sharpen the action. The bodycam also uses SteadiCam stabilization technology to ensure smooth footage suitable for broadcast.
The camera has an unbreakable screen and is so light that it is marketed as ‘invisible’.
“Finding new ways to bring our fans closer to the action on the pitch is a key focus for us,” said Premier League Head of Media Operations and Innovation Rachael Nightingale.
“Following the success of the bodycam trials during the Premier League Summer Series, we look forward to seeing what results this trial will deliver for TNT and our audiences around the world.”
Footage is uploaded in real time by AI editing software, making it quickly accessible to broadcasters, with TNT Sports keen to show off the tool as part of their pre-match preparation at Molineux.
Sky Sports used body cameras from a different system in pre-match situations on two occasions last season, one involving Brentford in a match against Bournemouth and another involving Brighton when they took on Manchester United.
MindFly, which launched in 2021 and has raised more than £1.3 million through seed funding, has had great success in basketball with EuroLeague, as well as football matches in Spain and Germany.
“We’re excited to partner with the Premier League to develop innovative access, taking viewers to places and experiencing moments they wouldn’t otherwise experience,” Scott Young, Senior Vice President, Content and Production at Warner Bros. Discovery Sports, Europe, said.
“We are extremely excited about the opportunities this could bring to sports broadcasting in the future and we thank the Premier League and both Wolverhampton Wanderers and Tottenham Hotspur for their partnership in facilitating this activity.”
One Tottenham player and one Wolves player will wear the bodycam during warm-ups, with footage shared and broadcast by TNT Sports, which is broadcasting the match in Britain
IFAB currently prevents body cameras from being used in competitive matches, so TNT Sports’ trial is limited to warm-up for now, adding a unique vantage point to their reporting
The technology was not warmly received by all clubs during their summer US tours, but Newcastle were among those keen to make use of it.
They were the first to try out the technology at home on Tyneside, with goalkeeper Nick Pope and former favorite Shay Give popping around the club’s training pitches with the cameras on.
Manager Eddie Howe let several players have a go and they are now lining up to give it a try.
And so there will be many interested spectators across the league this weekend, not just TV viewers, wanting to see what Tottenham and Wolves’ warm-ups look like with the immersive technology.
Wolverhampton Wanderers vs Tottenham Hotspur will be broadcast live on TNT Sports 1 and Discovery+* in the UK and Ireland on Saturday 11 November.
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