Now tech-savvy Bundesliga trials mobile-friendly game production
The Bundesliga, German soccer's top-tier, has continued its innovative approach to technology and broadcasting, trialling the production of a game in 9:16, the format primarily intended for use on smart phones and in social media.
VfL Wolfsburg versus SV Werder Bremen game on Sunday was selected for the trial, which the DFL, the German football league, said was a response to "the changed media usage behaviour and the increasing consumption of videos on mobile devices."
During the test transmission in Wolfsburg, the special 9:16 feed was produced with additional technology independent of the base signal. While the spectators in front of the screens did not notice a change, five additional cameras were used in the stadium for the 9:16 production, all of which were tilted using a special tripod, while in a separate control room the monitors were also rotated 90 degrees.
The test was implemented by the DFL subsidiaries DFL Digital Sports and Sportcast, and there are no immediate plans to roll it out for wider use.
Andreas Heyden, executive vice-president of digital innovations at the DFL, said: “As always, we develop innovations by adopting the fan’s perspective. We see that vertical videos in social media on mobile devices are better received than ones in horizontal orientation. The successful test in Wolfsburg provides us with a good basis for further considerations as to how we can do even better justice to this usage behaviour in the future.”
Wolfsburg's Volkswagen Arena was also the site for the Bundesliga trial of 5G in a live match, back in September, which was the result of a two-year partnership between the DFL and Vodafone, the international telecoms operator.
Via an augmented reality phone app, users could select any particular player and access individual statistics and facts, including distance covered, speed of runs, shots taken, number of games played this season and other detailed information during the live stream of the game.
Bundesliga matches are produced with up to 25 cameras, with the likes of aerial camera systems, drones, the corner flag camera and mini ultra-slow motion cameras having been introduced in recent seasons.
A look at the Bundesliga's role as a technology leader and that 5G trial appears in the latest edition of Sportcal Insight, available here.