The 2020/21 season marks the 90th edition of LaLiga as a competition. In the world of entertainment, reaching a 90th season is a milestone that has not been achieved by even the most successful TV show.
The enduring success of LaLiga is down to the moments of drama, tension, tragedy and joy that are offered by the players on the pitch every week, but in its role as the organiser of the competition, LaLiga is responsible for ensuring that this excitement is shown to its fullest extent to the widest possible audience.
To achieve this, LaLiga has worked for many years to position the competition in the entertainment industry and invest in new technologies that enhance its televised matches, working alongside production partner Mediapro.
Ahead of the start of Season 90, a global launch event was held to present the range of entertainment that is on offer during 2020/21 and some of the latest innovations that fans will discover when watching LaLiga.
An entertainment product to rival Hollywood
In an online event attended virtually by hundreds of global media, LaLiga brought together a collection of global ambassadors to outline everything that was in store for the new season, from Real Madrid’s aim to defend its title to the introduction of newly-promoted sides SD Huesca, Cádiz CF and Elche CF.
LaLiga President Javier Tebas explained the league’s role in bringing these elements together and creating an entertainment product that keep winning new followers and can run for a further 90 seasons.
“We are working to ensure our international value keeps going up,” he said. “Reaching 90 seasons is a lot but we have to keep looking forward to the future. Every matchday we entertain millions of spectators around the world and to keep growing, we have to offer them something memorable. We are competing not just with other sports, but the world of TV, cinema or recreation for this audience’s attention.”
New augmented reality and real-time graphics
Continuing its commitment to industry-leading broadcast technology, which already includes Replay360, HDR broadcasting and aerial cameras, among others, LaLiga begins the new season with a new array of 3D graphics that use augmented reality, AI and real-time data to bring the viewer new insights during the match.
With a dozen new graphics created, LaLiga can now illustrate key moments such as corners, free-kicks or penalties to offer tactical insights about where the ball may be played, displaying on-pitch visuals that contribute to the broadcast.
“We want to be informative and take advantage of the data we can create during every match,” explained Roger Brosel, LaLiga’s head of content and programming. “The technology is not being used for the sake of it, but to tell the story of the match better and improve fan engagement.”
Using Mediacoach, the league’s real-time data platform that utilises 16 cameras positioned inside the ground, LaLiga is capturing precise data about where passes are played, distance travelled by individual players and their individual moments, plus much more.
While this information has been made available to coaches and technical teams for several years, it is playing an increasing role in the televised matches to increase entertainment value.
“These graphics help viewers to understand the game better and give the broadcasts a spectacular new dimension,” Brosel added. “Fans are showing a greater appetite for data and we’re able to provide this new information in a way that is not intrusive but complimentary to what they’re watching.”
Additional new features
With LaLiga continuing to work with Mediapro to create new broadcast experiences, further developments will likely be seen during the course of the 2020/21 season.
Among them could be the introduction of hologram interviews, whereby the player enters a green room in the stadium and appears virtually in the studio. The required technology is already in place and these interviews should be able to take place as soon as health restrictions allow.
In addition, LaLiga is adding to its collection of aerial cameras, already the largest of any major football league, with the aim of having 14 stadiums fully equipped during the season.
LaLiga Santander clubs including SD Huesca and Real Sociedad will soon be able to incorporate the technology, which sees an HD camera flying 20 metres above the action at speeds of ten metres per second.
“These types of developments contribute to our storytelling,” Brosel continued. “Broadcasting in football has seen many changes and it is important to stay at the forefront. We are not afraid to keep innovating.”