Premier League to play VAR audio and unseen referee footage in new TV show
In a bid to improve transparency when it comes to officiating, they're putting the viewers in the refs' shoes.
The Premier League is set to reveal unseen referee footage and exclusive audio during VAR incidents in a brand-new TV show covering the weekly football fixtures.
With coaches, players, and fans alike all crying-out for better transparency and communication when it comes to refereeing decisions – especially during controversial VAR moments that still seem to happen week in, week out – this regular broadcast will aim to address that issue.
Set up by the PGMOL (Professional Game Match Officials Limited) and the Premier League, the new show entitled, Match Officials: Mic’d Up, will share never-before-seen or heard video and audio clips from various fixtures, explaining how referees came to their decisions.
Due to be broadcast across both Sky Sports and TNT Sports (formerly BT Sport), the show will feature former referee Howard Webb and ex-professional Michael Owen – who will discuss top-flight games and how they were officiated.
With the first episode of the new programme set to air this Wednesday (6 September) on Sky at 8pm, there is currently no confirmation as to what ‘controversial’ incidents will be examined, but many will be expecting to see why Manchester City’s second goal wasn’t ruled offside and why Manchester United’s was this past weekend.
This comes after a hugely-popular and successful trial and guest appearance by chief refereeing officer back in May – with Webb appearing on a special edition of Monday Night Football and giving an eye-opening look at how VAR decisions are made during games.
VAR itself isn’t present at individual games, and adjudication is carried out from a central hub at Stockley Park in West London.
As such, communication between those in the booth, and on-pitch officials during Premier League fixtures, has always been a point of interest for fans and professionals alike.
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Although the show is set to be rolled out on a monthly basis at first, depending on its reception and whether it provides the level of clarification people want, it could become a more frequent occurrence. Nevertheless, countless fans are still asking for live audio and explanations from refs on-field as VAR decisions are being made, which we already saw work successfully at the 2023 Women’s World Cup.
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Featured Image – Sky Sports/Michael Owen (via Instagram)