1 Sep 2021

Fans brought closer to the game with real time data

Super League (SLE) has teamed up with official partners Sky Sports and Catapult to break new ground with a UK first in delivering real-time player GPS statistics direct to the viewer at home.

This is a significant milestone for the sport as it will be the first time this information has been broadcast live in the UK. This follows on from other notable innovations by Sky Sports and Super League with video referee and dressing room cameras being introduced before any other sport.

This latest announcement, on the back of the recent partnership extension, between Sky Sports and Super League, further emphasises the 25-year relationship and drive to bring fans closer to the action. This relationship continues to flourish with Super League viewing figures up 10% on 2020 and 25% on 2017.

Whilst players at all twelve Betfred Super League clubs wear the Catapult GPS devices on a weekly basis, Dacia Magic Weekend will be the first time this information will go direct to the broadcaster via Catapult’s API.

Elite athletes rely on Catapult's wearable solution, Vector, for the most accurate and efficient data to empower critical decisions about performance, risk, and return to play. Vector is the world's smallest Global Navigation Satellite System/Local Positioning System device, delivering live algorithms, communications, and enhanced functionality. Indoors and outdoors, Vector combines advanced GNSS capability with Catapult's ClearSky LPS to set new standards for tracking accuracy and reliability.

The insights will focus on three key metrics, distance covered by each player (metres), top speeds achieved (km/h) and game intensity, measured by how many metres a player runs each minute (m/min).

The data will be delivered in real-time to Sky Sports and broadcast direct to viewers during the game.

Dacia Magic Weekend is the perfect opportunity to showcase this technology given that all six matches in Round 23 of Betfred Super League will be played at St James’ Park, Newcastle. These statistics will showcase the outstanding athleticism of Super League players and highlight stand out individual performances.

The development will give Sky Sports’ Super League commentators immediate access to intricate tracking detail, meaning already comprehensive analysis can be even more exhaustive, showcasing to viewers the extreme athleticism of the players on the pitch.

Super League chief commercial officer, Rhodri Jones said “We’re really excited to add live GPS data to the Sky Sports broadcast for Dacia Magic Weekend. It has been a massive effort by all parties to make this happen, but this first in the UK will allow the Sky Sports viewers to get even closer to the action.”

“It will give everyone watching a greater understanding of what it takes to play rugby league at the top level.”

Sky Sports Director of Multi-Sports Helen Falkus said “Sky Sports aims to take fans as close to the heart of the action on the pitch as possible, so we’re thrilled that we will be able to share this detailed statistical information with Super League fans tuning in to the Dacia Magic Weekend.”

“Super League is an exciting league with a track-record of innovation,” says Will Lopes, CEO of Catapult. “We’re excited to show fans the performance analytics that empower their athletes and coaches with actionable insights regarding player performance, health, and wellness with our data.”