Aussies bring infrared tech to cricket coverage

The Nine Network has scored another technological first in sports broadcasting when it unveiled the Hot Spot during day one of play in the 3 Mobile Ashes Test Series at the Gabba.

The state-of-the-art invention, which is most commonly used by the military to track jet fighters and tanks, is 100 per cent accurate and shows whether the ball has hit the bat, pad, glove or ground by utilising infra-red technology.

Channel Nine have been the leaders in sports broadcasting innovation since television started in Australia and we continue to provide the fans with the latest technology to enhance the games and sports they love to watch, Nine s CEO, Mr Eddie McGuire, said.

We have a responsibility to give sports fans the best coverage and the Hot Spot is guaranteed to enhance the coverage of cricket this summer.

The Hot Spot uses two infra-red cameras positioned above the field of play at the southern and northern ends of the ground. They continually record play and spur into action if there is an umpiring incident.

We are making a huge leap forward in the way we broadcast sport. The Hot Spot is just another example of this and it is certain to be utilised by other sporting codes in the future, Crawley added.

These cameras sense and measure heat from friction generated by a collision, such as ball on pad, ball on bat, ball on ground, or ball on glove, enabling an exact decision for a snick, a bat-pad catch, or an LBW appeal in the strike zone.

A black and white negative image of the incident is then generated into a computer which shows the ball s precise point of contact.

It is a scientifically proven piece of technology that will end all speculation surrounding a dismissal.

If the ball has connected with a player s bat, pad, glove or the ground, it will be revealed by Nine s Hot Spot, Nine s Head of Sport, Steve Crawley, explained.

We have been exploring and trialling the use of this technology for the better part of a year.

It was only given the green light last Friday and we flew to Paris on Saturday to collect the equipment. It arrived in Australia yesterday and was installed in readiness for day one of the First Test.

Nine has long led the way for sports broadcasting innovations, particularly in cricket coverage since the days of World Series Cricket. Nine s major innovations have included Stump Cam in the eighties, the Snickometer and speed gun in 1999, and Hawkeye in 2002.