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AFL’s top performers revealed by Telstra Tracker

Entertainment

Posted on September 13, 2019

4 min read

The numbers on the scoreboard aren’t the only ones that matter in the AFL. Thanks to Telstra Tracker, we now have an array of data on the AFL’s distance kings, speedsters and the top distance teams overall from the 2019 home and away season.

We’re so excited to have technology like Telstra Tracker working for the biggest footy codes in the country. The ability to give fans an insight into the work-rate of a modern AFL footballer, for example, really puts in perspective what it takes to compete at the highest level – it gives a quantifiable look at what amazing athletes they really are.

Did you know that if you combine the running efforts of all players across the regular AFL season in 2019, the players would have travelled a combined total of 111,628 kilometres? That’s over a third of the way to the Moon! So of those total kilometres travelled, who’s the fastest?

AFL 2019 Round 03 - GWS v Richmond
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – APRIL 06: Oleg Markov of the Tigers looks to kick during the round three AFL match between the Greater Western Sydney Giants and the Richmond Tigers at GIANTS Stadium on April 6, 2019 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

Richmond Tiger Oleg Markov recorded the highest speed by any player in 2019 – a blistering 37.4km/h against Collingwood in Round 2. 40km/h might seem slow for those of us who get behind the wheel, but on foot it’s an incredible clip. Normal walking speed is just 5km/h on average, and a decent running speed for a normal person is around 24km/h – Markov was one and a half times faster at full sprint.

Humans are by no means the fastest creatures in the animal kingdom because of our physiology. We’re held back by the size and composition of muscles in our legs as well as how little our feet contact the ground to move us forward, but that won’t stop the Richmond Tiger. According to science, Markov’s efforts to run 37.4km/h in Round 2 take him close to the physical limit of human performance – world record sprinters top out at around 44km/h over a 100-metre distance. Not bad, Oleg!

West Coast’s Andrew Gaff can lay claim to covering the most ground in any single game, a whopping 17.6km against Adelaide in Round 10. North Melbourne’s Ben Brown was the player with the highest average distance covered per game across the entire season, moving 15.6km per game.

AFL 2019 First Elimination Final - West Coast v Essendon
PERTH, AUSTRALIA – SEPTEMBER 05: Andrew Gaff of the Eagles takes a mark during the 2019 AFL First Elimination Final match between the West Coast Eagles and the Essendon Bombers at Optus Stadium on September 05, 2019 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Daniel Carson/AFL Photos)

Doctors recommend that we do around 10,000 steps a day, which equates to around 8km. Most of us struggle to get this under their belt, so running at competition speed for over 17km for a sustained 100+ minutes is truly impressive.

As a team, the Sydney Swans covered the most distance in a single game – 306.3km against Melbourne in Round 4, well above the league average for the season of 281.9km.

AFL 2019 Round 23 - Sydney v St Kilda
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – AUGUST 24: Swans players sing their team song after winning the round 23 AFL match between the Sydney Swans and the St Kilda Saints at Sydney Cricket Ground on August 24, 2019 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images via AFL Photos)

How to stream AFL

Get free access to stream every match of the 2019 Toyota AFL Premiership Season live, fast and data-free in the AFL Live Official App.

Plus get:

  • On-demand full match replays from 2012 onwards
  • AFL TV for exclusive panel shows, highlight packages and more
  • Special coverage of the 2019 Charles Brownlow Medal and more
  • Premium stats – including live stats as the coaches see it
  • Real-time player and team insights on the Telstra Tracker
  • Worth $99.99

*Data accuracy may be impacted by factors including loss of match day connection to GPS, GPS positional inaccuracy, hard knocks to the player device and difference in live data rates at venues.

Exploring the Future of Footy with Telstra 5G

Entertainment

Posted on August 29, 2019

7 min read

The Future of Footy on 5G

Ahead of this year’s footy finals season, we’ve been speaking to AFL players, clubs, and fans to see how they imagine our 5G technology changing the future of the game. Thousands of fans from all around the country came forward with their ideas – everything from artificial intelligence for umpires to augmented reality goggles for players.

We already know that 5G is ushering in a new era of connectivity – it’s not just smartphones and tablets anymore, but thousands of ‘things’ using the latest technology to transmit data.

Here are 10 of the most popular and our own favourite suggestions that we’ve received.

1. Goal line tech

The most popular suggestion we received – by far – was 5G-enhanced goal line technology. You’ve dreamed up a variety of different approaches to fixing the drama of the goal line, from posts that light up if touched by the ball, goal posts using lasers and reflectors, or the application of ultra high definition, high-speed cameras for umpires to review. Debbleswat told us it would be “Hawkeye for footy – just like tennis”.

https://www.instagram.com/p/B1JAu8DlXH_/

Crazier still is the fact that we’ve already been testing this out. We recently teamed up with the Sydney Swans to test some high definition and high frame rate goal line cameras – at 16K resolution and 1000 frames per second, that’s a lot of data. A lot of this technology already exists, but 5G will allow us to get those images to the people who see them quicker than ever – and so minimise disruption to the game.

2. A broadcast revolution

More of the most popular suggestions centred around taking the sports broadcasting media experience to the next level – like multi-camera streams where fans at the games broadcast from their own phones, giving fans at home the same stadium experience. Jackbrophyy said, “Imagine having multiple cameras set up around the ground, and you can change camera angle from your tablet live”.

https://www.instagram.com/p/B1s5wEDHXLv/

This is definitely something that 5G could enable in the future. Samsung has already successfully demonstrated this technology earlier in the year, and we’ve run a similar test with the West Coast Eagles.

3. Snicko and hotspot

Another fan favourite, those cricket-inspired ‘snicko’ and hotspot technologies – which let referees examine video using thermal imaging to check for touches and touch behinds – could use 5G technology to give this feedback to umpires nearly instantly.

4. A 360-degree experience

Plenty of fans put forward their ideas for a 360-degree video experience, designed to replicate the in-your-seat stadium feeling, through virtual reality. There were also suggestions – a little more wild – to turn these 360-degree images into holograms for your kitchen table!

In reality, virtual reality and 360-degree video broadcasts both benefit hugely from the low latency of 5G – the ‘lag’ between an action happening and it being reproduced on video – as well as 5G’s high capacity for data-heavy broadcasts. While those holograms might still be a little way off, we recently created some training videos for Port Adelaide using virtual reality, so a new dimension of footy broadcasts is not that far-fetched.

5. A ‘smart Sherrin’

_a_bay suggested “chips/sensors in the ball so you can determine whether the boot was the last thing to make contact” – and they were not alone. There were several suggestions for a smart ball that could alert umpires to when it has gone out of play, could provide stats for fans – or could even give advice to players.

We already have smart refrigerators and smart bulbs, so surely a smart Sherrin can’t be far off. Part of what 5G enables is the ‘internet of things’ where thousands of devices are interconnected and communicating, so it’s easy to imagine a future of footy where even more data is produced.

6. Smart player tracking

_mister_b_910_ was among a number of fans who were suggesting sensors or biometric clothing that continually monitor players’ vital signs, fluid levels and general wellbeing. Saints.afl said, “I’d love to see sensors on the player’s main muscles to prevent injuries, and to help teams with knowing who can stay out there the longest…”

https://www.instagram.com/p/B1pPhZ8Hko-/

Tracking player data is something that we can do right now. Look up the Telstra Tracker online and you can see some of the data that players, clubs and fans already have access to. What 5G means is that those trackers will have the potential to communicate even more data in even more detail – and that can absolutely contribute towards the game’s already excellent approach to player welfare.

7. Camera in your footy

A very popular, if somewhat surprising, choice from our fan suggestions is a camera mounted inside the footy. Michael.smithy15 wanted a different perspective “live from the Sherrin!”, annie.ireland thought that a camera in the ball would help “determine if a free kick or a goal should be paid”, and tom-rendle wanted it “so every time it’s kicked, we have the opportunity to see it clunked by big Ben King.” We can’t argue with that!

Part of the appeal of 5G is its big jump in capacity, meaning more devices can be connected simultaneously and transmitting large quantities of data. And that means that along with all the other experiences we’ve imagined, a footy’s-eye view of the game would definitely be possible.

8. AI-powered umpires

Umpires made it to number eight on our list, with suggestions such as: “AI umpires” (nicholasalexanderfrancis), and virtual umpiring to be carried out by a team behind the scenes using an increased amount of camera angles (sam.raff) – a further development of the TV umpires we’re already used to in other sports.

Cgibbs even told us that “it would love to see the umpires as drones instead of people as people get in the way of the play, would be cool in ball-ups to see them swoop in, pick up the ball, and drop it into play so every ruck contest was fair.” (Cgibb)

9. Instant stats on your favourite players

It seems like there are a lot of fantasy football fans out there with ideas for the future because late on our list of top ten suggestions was one fan’s idea of instant stats appearing through our sporting apps, or a “stat bar floating at the top of their head” during the broadcast. (maxy_harris)

Well, Telstra Tracker already has the data – we just need to find an AR app to show it off. 5G will help with that, so… watch this space!

10. Player-coach communication

Rounding out our top ten, Max_Cowburn suggested that we make earpieces for the players, so coaches can get their messages across faster and clearer than a runner. He was not alone as ear-pieces, augmented reality goggles and contact lenses, as well as other player-worn, tech rounds out our most popular top ten.

https://www.instagram.com/p/B1Kh3XTg6wt/

The influence of technology on our sport has come a long way in the last ten years – from the way teams train to the way fans engage with the sport – and we are constantly looking to the future. So while you probably won’t see drone delivered pies at your ground next matchday, some of the future of footy ideas we’ve dreamed up together may not be all that far away.

These ideas for the future of footy are just a bit of fun for now, but there is a very real technological innovation that exists behind these ideas. 5G has the potential to revolutionise many aspects of our day-to-day lives, and footy is no exception.

We are already partnered with a host of different companies and organisations to look at how 5G can contribute to areas like player welfare, your own in-stadium experience as a fan, and all new broadcast techniques to bring you more footy every minute.

https://www.instagram.com/p/B1ajWHGnyJh/

Telstra Tracker’s AFL mid-year report card

Entertainment

Posted on July 11, 2019

3 min read

Ever wanted to know if you had it in your legs to compete at the highest level of AFL? Well thanks to the Telstra Tracker, you have a few key benchmarks to aspire to after the first 16 rounds of this year’s premiership.

Thanks to the Telstra Tracker, fans can now get an array of insights that show how much distance their favourite team and players cover, and the speed at which they do it at.

Xavier Duursma is the Power’s running man. Copyright: AFL Photos

By club

When it comes to outright pace, 2017 Premiers Richmond are streets ahead of their competition rivals. Richmond has both the highest number of sprints (4,237) and the longest distance covered at high speed (623.7km) in the competition.

In terms of total distance covered by a team on the paddock to-date, the Sydney Swans lead all comers, clocking up over 4,360kms this season.

Despite coming second-to-last on the competition ladder, no one can question Carlton’s work rate. The Blues are among the best runners in the AFL. They rank second in the League for both total distance covered, and for distance covered at high speed, while they’re seventh for the most sprints.

By player

With the quickest team in this year’s competition, its little wonder the game’s current fastest player hails from Richmond. Half-back flanker Oleg Markov has kept defenders and cameramen alike guessing in 2019, recording a blistering top-speed of 37.40km/h v Collingwood, round two.

Oleg Markov is the AFL’s fastest player. Copyright: AFL Photos

As one of only two players across the competition to top 36km/h, Western Bulldog’s Jason Johannisen has been the second-fastest man in the AFL during the 2019 season, followed in third by West Coast Eagle Jack Petruccelle.

Both the Geelong Cats and West Coast Eagles are well represented at the pointy-end of the game’s fast-men, with three each in the top-ten.

It’s no surprise best and fairest Cat Mark Blicavs is their best runner. Copyright: AFL Photos

When it comes to the game’s marathon-men, West Coast’s Andrew Gaff’s effort against the Crows is the most territory covered in a match by any player this season, logging 17.6kms. It’s Gaff’s teammate Josh Smith however that tops the mid-year report card for most distance covered on average per game, running 15.63kms, and edging North Melbourne’s Ben Brown by just 100 metres!

Smith has only played twice this year, which could inflate his numbers a touch, but there is no denying the ex-Pie is the Eagles’ aerobic king after winning the time trial and Yo-Yo tests pre-season.

Stream AFL

Get free access to stream every match of the 2019 Toyota AFL Premiership Season live, fast and data-free in the AFL Live Official App.

Plus get:

  • On-demand full match replays from 2012 onwards
  • AFL TV for exclusive panel shows, highlight packages and more
  • Special coverage of the 2019 Charles Brownlow Medal and more
  • Premium stats – including live stats as the coaches see it
  • Real-time player and team insights on the Telstra Tracker
  • Worth $99.99

*Data accuracy may be impacted by factors including loss of match day connection to GPS, GPS positional inaccuracy, hard knocks to the player device and difference in live data rates at venues.

26 games, four sports, one massive week of streaming

Entertainment

Posted on April 24, 2019

4 min read

Our biggest ever year of sports streaming is off and running, and for the first time we have matches from the AFL, NRL, Netball and Hyundai A-League playing over one chock-a-block week of sporting goodness.

Until now, the AFL, NRL, Netball and Hyundai A-League seasons hadn’t overlapped, but with the commencement of the Suncorp Super Netball season this week, we finally have all four up and running (and jumping and kicking and passing!) thanks to Telstra Live Pass.

Beginning with Wednesday’s match between Richmond and Melbourne in the AFL, and ending with the final match of the A-League home-and-away season between Perth and Wellington on Sunday the 28th, Telstra will for the first time stream all four sports via the Live Pass and official apps. That’s a total of 26 matches, with total plays across our four official apps expected to top 5 million views.

Telstra TV customers who download the official Netball Live app have even more reason to celebrate, with two live and exclusive matches streamed each week from the Suncorp Super Netball series.

We all lead busy lives, so sometimes getting out to a game or gaining control of the family TV remote control can be pretty difficult, that’s why we’re committed to bringing you the very best of Australian sport live, fast, and data-free wherever you may be.

A wide brown land deserves a wide choice in sports, so if Australia’s premier men’s and women’s domestic football and netball on your mobile isn’t enough, then Kayo has you covered. Just tell Kayo your favourite teams and you’ll get a never-ending stream of live and on-demand action on any device in your house, and of course on Telstra TV. There’s over 50 sports including AFL, NRL, Cricket, Football, Rugby Union, Motorsports, Basketball, Tennis and much more live or on-demand.

Exclusive to Telstra, you can even get up close and personal with your favourite sports with 2 months of Kayo Basic for just $5.* If you’re an existing Telstra customer, you can add it to your Telstra bill.

Throughout this year, every match of the AFL Premiership, Hyundai A-League, Suncorp Super Netball Series and NRL Telstra Premiership (excluding Grand Final) plus a number of other selected tournaments and matches will be streamed on the sporting apps over our network for those with a Live Pass subscription, giving you access to an unprecedented number of premier men’s and women’s international and domestic sport.

Last year, we streamed 670 matches to fans hungry to keep on top of the action; this year, we plan on bringing fans around 850 matches. You’re welcome – just don’t forget to charge your phone!

Since 2012, we’ve used world-class technology to go beyond just sponsorship, streaming our first ever match over Australia’s largest mobile network to become a genuine technology partner of the AFL, NRL, Netball Australia, and Football Federation Australia – and we streamed over 700 million minutes of sport during the 2018 season.

Eligible Telstra customers can use the official mobile apps of the AFL, NRL, Netball Australia and FFA to stream their favourite matches live, fast and data-free, unlocking $329 in value from their service. Non-Telstra customers can still get in on the action, with a number of subscriptions beginning at $2.99 a week, and other options available for monthly or annual passes.

We know that the thrill of cheering on from the stands can’t be replicated, too; that’s why with Telstra Thanks, we give customers access to discounted tickets to all these sports, from as little as $8 for juniors and $20 for adults, with other offers available from time to time like 2 for 1 tickets.

If you’re looking for something to do with friends or family this week, we have 26 reasons why you should choose to watch Australia’s best athletes, with thanks to Australia’s best network. If that doesn’t fill up time over the Easter break, then we don’t know what will.

* Monthly subscription, $25/mth after offer period.

A new partnership with AFL players to grow the game

Telstra News Entertainment

Posted on June 4, 2018

4 min read

Today, we held a joint press conference with the AFL Players’ Association, in partnership with the AFL, to announce a new player agreement to cross-promote the national competition and Telstra’s services that enhance fans’ access to AFL content.

The landmark deal, believed to be the first of its kind involving a sports league, players’ association and commercial partner, covers the entire AFL playing group and forms part of the AFL and Telstra’s digital rights agreement, which runs to 2022.

Telstra and the AFL will work with the players to generate digital content and facilitate player appearances to give fans more insight and access to their favourite players. This will include hosting AFL player content onto the combined, official AFL and Telstra digital network.

Gillon McLachlan, AFL CEO, said: “We’re always exploring new ways to innovate our game with Telstra. Footy fans want to connect with the game, their clubs and, most importantly, with the players. We want to bring fans and players closer together.” said Mr McLachlan.

Paul Marsh, AFL Players’ Association CEO, said: “This partnership demonstrates the players’ commitment to working with the AFL and its partners to identify new ways to strengthen the industry and grow the game. Over the next five years, AFL players aim to enhance the fan experience by creating new, interesting and engaging content for everyone to enjoy.”

“Every AFL player will benefit from the partnership, including through greater contributions into the player retirement scheme.” Mr Marsh said.

In addition to Telstra customers enjoying mobile streaming of every AFL game live, fast and data-free, the new agreement with the AFL Players’ Association ensures:

  • Every AFL player is available to create digital content that will be shared with footy fans.
  • 50 star players from all AFL clubs across Australia will be selected based on their profile and influence, to become Telstra Ambassadors. The 50 players will appear throughout the year at new, local Telstra store openings and participate in community events, such as coaching clinics, and exclusive meet and greet opportunities with fans.

We’ll work closely with the AFL, AFL Players’ Association and AFL players to create engaging social media content for fans and exclusive moments for Telstra customers to connect with their AFL heroes in the virtual, and real world.

We already play a big role in bringing Australians closer to the game through the AFL Live Official App. This new agreement takes our involvement and commitment to the AFL to a new level.

We want to open a new door to give our customers the chance to get to know the personalities involved in our great game so they can build deeper connections with their favourite players, and understand and experience the hard work, dedication and fun these incredible athletes have in their lives on and off the field.

Telstra’s close and successful partnership with the AFL since 2002 has seen the creation of the AFL Live Official App, which has grown to become Australia’s leading digital sports app and the Telstra Media AFL Digital Network.

According to the latest April 2018 Nielsen Digital Ratings, the AFL Network has set a new record for unique audience (UA) reach. The network audience is up 11 per cent on March 2018 to 4.24 million UAs. April’s result is also up 4 per cent on the 2017 season and 2 per cent greater than the previous record set back in August 2017.

Driving this growth is the AFL Live Official App, while the AFL Club Network also had a great month and continues to drive growth. The AFL Live Official App for Apple and Android devices maintains the #1 sports app ranking and overall, Telstra Media AFL Digital Network maintains the #1 ranked sports entity in Australia.


L to R: Paul Marsh, CEO AFL Players’ Association; Joe Pollard, Group Executive Media and Chief Marketing Officer, Telstra; Gill McLachlan, CEO AFL; Sam Docherty, Carlton player and Vice President AFL Players’ Association.

Tags: AFL, sport,