Sky apologises for rogue All Blacks ads

Players were disappearing when the ads were used on the live broadcast. Images via NZME
Players were disappearing when the ads were used on the live broadcast. Images via NZME
Sky TV has copped a barrage of criticism online tonight after the Japanese host broadcaster of the All Blacks and Wallabies Test begun digitally projecting ads onto the field.

Ad graphics for AIG Insurance and Canon had been temporarily appearing on the field of play during the first half of tonight's final Bledisloe Cup test in Yokohama, Japan.

After an outcry from fans, SKY New Zealand tweeted: "The host broadcaster heard the fans feedback and turned them off. Hope you enjoy rest of the game. Go the ABs."

However, the ads - which in some cases saw players almost vanish from the screen - were not removed before fans, and even Sky Sports commentators, expressed their extreme distaste for the ads.

"Seriously those super imposed graphics make it almost unwatchable. Please switch them off until technology is good enough. I don't pay for HD for that low quality picture," one fan tweeted.

"Please turn it off Sky, its so distracting!" another viewer pleaded.

Sky TV Sports commentator Scotty Stevenson even expressed his distaste.

"This ground signage needs to beat it," Stevenson tweeted.

The host broadcaster of the All Blacks test is J Sports - a group of four sports satellite TV channels in Japan produced and broadcast by Jupiter Sports.

The adverts are known as 'virtual advertising'.

They have previously featured on our screens during local rugby broadcasts, but not to the same degree.

And they previously have appeared on New Zealand screens during Black Caps matches on their most-recent tour of India - in footage provided by the host broadcaster.

Internationally, the virtual on-field billboards allow for adverts to be tailored to various individual countries the footage is being viewed in.

Fox Sports Net widely use the technology, placing virtual adverts on the turf being soccer goals – while virtual ads are also placed on the grass or run-off areas alongside Formula One tracks.


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