An agreement between ASX lists sports technology company Catapult (ASX: CAT), Channel 9 and Cricket Australia is bringing data on players’ performance – including total distance run, top speed and hard running efforts – to our TV screens.
The feature started with Channel 9’s broadcast of the recent fifth test of the Ashes series between Australia and England, and will continue for the Gillette ODI and T20 series.
Catapult supplies GPS-enabled wearable devices, communications systems and analytics software that enable sporting teams to capture and analyse data on player performance. The company has more than 300 staff based across 16 countries and works with more than 1520 elite sport teams from 35 different sports. It has also recently expanded its operations to focus on the ‘prosumer’ market, with an initial focus on soccer players.
For Channel 9, information from the Catapult technology is being integrated into the broadcast by television sports graphics provider Alston Elliot. The service is being sponsored by sports-drink brand Gatorade and is branded the “Gatorade Tracker”.
Information from the Catapult technology is also made available to the coaches, enabling them to analyse, and hopefully improve, the performance of individual players.
Nine Network Australia’s director of sport, Tom Malone foreshadowed expanding the range of information provided, before the current season ends. “This is just the beginning,” he said. “We look forward to continuing to work with Catapult on greater statistical analysis as the summer progresses.”
Channel Nine Head of Creative and Innovation, Sport, Alex Rolls said data and analytics would “form an increasing part of our broadcast here on Wide World of Sports.”
The deal with Cricket Australia and Channel 9 is Catapult’s fourth for the provision of live data to sports broadcasters in Australia. It has previously broadcast player data from its wearable devices during the National Rugby League (NRL) during its 2017 State of Origin Series, the 2017 Australian Football League (AFL) finals series, and with the National Basketball League (NBL) during its 2017-18 season.