To mark the return of professional football in Spain, LaLiga has unveiled a number of broadcast innovations for fans who’ll be watching on TV instead of in stadiums.
As games are being played behind closed doors, LaLiga is virtualising stands and fan audio in order to help make the experience on TV as close to being in the stadium as possible.
Kicking off with tonight’s Grand Derbi between Sevilla and Real Betis, LaLiga has introduced new camera positions to bring fans closer to the action, with some being able to move to positions where they would have previously affected the sightline of fans in the stands.
The league is also modifying the flight path of its aerial camera to offer new shots, the bench camera is moving to the opposite stand, and robotic cameras are being employed in the tunnel for health and safety reasons.
The majority of production will be done on site, with most of the cameras within the stadiums being human operated.
“We’ve been highlighting the robotic ones in the tunnel, because of the particular health and safety concern of having people in that part of the stadium,” Keegan Pierce, delegate for LaLiga in UK and Ireland, tells TVBEurope.
“While we’re still respecting social distancing measures, we are making full use out the studio facilities at Mediapro in Barcelona. When you tune into LaLiga TV, and you’re watching Viva LaLiga or the LaLiga live programme which happens on match days, you’ll see as many as three guests. The desk is very big and it affords the opportunity to respect social distancing,” he explains.
Another innovation LaLiga is employing is around sound. Football fans who tuned into the resumption of Germany’s Bundesliga complained of no atmosphere. To stop that happening with LaLiga, the league is using audio obtained through a collaboration with EA SPORTS FIFA. It uses audio from real stadiums that has been digitally adapted so that it can be implemented in real time during the match.
There are five different versions of the crowd, for big chances, a miss, a foul, a goal etc. The audio is being manually controlled to coincide with the live action. According to LaLiga, the production has been tested extensively for weeks with Vizrt both with pre-recorded and live games.
Bringing the atmosphere of a full stadium to fans at home is a key initiative for LaLiga. Former Spain international, and LaLiga global ambassador, Luis Garcia says it’s something he believes helps fans enjoy the match from their sofa, “As a football fan, when you’re at home and able to hear the crowd it makes for more enjoyable football, you can hear them singing songs and it’s all about the atmosphere.
“LaLiga also has a fantastic project called Applause to Infinity, where they want to get supporters of all the teams to applaud and that will be played in every single stadium in Spain. In the end, it’s about creating an atmosphere, creating a show that we can enjoy from home.”