An overview of the project
Covid 19 gave the BATCAM team a challenge. How to cover the coin toss without a camera operator being able to enter the field of play. BATCAM Drive reporter was born!
BATCAM Drive has been adapted to include a full foldback speaker system and onboard monitor and is providing shots and capturing sound on the outfield where handheld cameras, reporters and presenters are not allowed as part of the health and safety regulations.
On Day 1 it was used to cover the coin toss at the beginning of the match and for the subsequent interviews with the two captains. The screen on the front of the vehicle allowed the players to interact with the interviewer. The audio was outputted from speakers onboard the system so they could converse openly.
The idea came from the experience of doing video conference calls, as Batcam founder and chief executive Jon Hurndall explains.
“In the height of lockdown with zero bookings in our diaries, we took the time to have a think about how the future of sporting events would look from a broadcast perspective in this new COVID-19 world. It quickly became apparent that the usual norms, even simple things like a player interview, could become problematic for broadcasters.
“So we started thinking about how people’s habits have changed and a 2-way video chat was suddenly the norm. What better way to interview a player than using this type of technology but with a broadcast upgrade? We put down on paper how we thought we could achieve it and showed the team at Sky Cricket a mock-up of how it would look.
“In essence, it is a remote control vehicle with a riser to raise the level of the camera to eye level with a remote control camera gimbal onboard. They were immediately interested to learn more and it’s a testament to Bryan and his team that they are always open to pushing boundaries and testing new ideas.”