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New Sky Sports studio set for debut on Monday Night Football

The new studio features a virtual canopy roof and LED floor to present a more immersive, data-rich experience for viewers

Sky Sports is unveiling a new studio for tonight’s Monday Night Football (MNF) show featuring live coverage of the Premier League tie between Manchester United and Wolverhampton Wanderers, plus analysis of the weekend’s fixtures.

The studio features a super wide high-res screen, a virtual canopy roof and an LED floor which will allow pundits and presenters to “better use the wealth of data available from live match action, giving audiences a better understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of players and teams across sports”.

“Sky Sports has been at the forefront of broadcasting innovation since our inception over 30 years ago,” said Jonathan Licht, Sky Sports managing director. “The new studio unveiled today demonstrates our commitment to continuing to give sports fans the most entertaining viewing experience possible of the biggest and most-loved events in the sporting calendar.”

In addition to being used for MNF, the studio will also host coverage of the US Open Tennis tournament, the final tennis major of the season which gets underway from 28th August. According to Sky, the scale and flexibility of the space will allow more of the biggest sporting events live on Sky Sports to benefit from the innovative technology available in the future.

“We wanted to create a modular space that brings the latest technology to our customer, allows us to showcase the joy of sport, and capture the huge advances in technology that are happening rapidly,” added Ben Wickham, Sky Sports director of creative output. “As well as sport, it takes inspiration from cinema and entertainment, with the tech involved allowing us to be brave and add an entire new dimension to our output. The options are endless for future content presented from this studio.”

The studio is arena-shaped surrounded by high resolution screens and immersive AR graphics; an AR stadium canopy above and a “fourth wall” that conceals camera positions to create a 360-degree filming environment. There are an array of Grass Valley cameras, a jib and a wire cam, Mo-Sys Star Trackers, Vizrt graphics playout system, with a graphics rendering system from Unreal and Vizrt, and adapted football analysis tools from Rezzil. an enhanced touchscreen featuring 3D virtual game reconstructions, and an LED floor that gives presenters a “canvas to explain tactics and team formations”. Further analytical innovations are being planned for tennis and Formula 1 coverage.

The studio was designed in-house by Sky Creative, Sky’s in-house creative team. The project started in early 2022, with a close-knit collaboration between design, production and technology teams in both the UK and Italy.

Set construction was carried out by ScenaPro, with AV from WhiteLight. LED features include ROE Ruby 1.9mm and 2.3mm LED tiles and ROE ‘Black Marble’ LED floor tiles.