LaLiga and MEDIAPRO have incorporated a new state-of-the-art pitch-side camera into match broadcasts, providing viewers with an ultra-realistic experience that brings them closer than ever to the players, as if they were next to them inside the stadium.
The match images, which are more commonly seen in the world of film of video gaming, are made possible thanks to a lightweight, mirrorless camera that is operated within the stadium and connected to the live broadcast via a wireless link.
This is the first time that this type of camera has been used for live football, demonstrating LaLiga’s commitment to develop new audiovisual technologies that enhance the user experience.
Having been tested for the first time during the Valencia CF vs CA Osasuna fixture on Matchday 19 and during FC Barcelona vs Athletic Club on Matchday 21, the initiative will be continued for select matches during the rest of the 2020-21 season.
The large-sensor, mirrorless camera has traditionally been used to capture additional match content such as the arrival of players into the stadium or shots of fans in the stands. Using a 35mm lens, it captures a very shallow depth of field resulting in very different images to those seen in typical sports broadcasting. The blurred background effect will be familiar to anyone who has used the ‘portrait mode’ to take photos on their mobile phone.
Featuring a stabiliser similar to steady-cam technology, the resulting visual experience is highly cinematic, comparable to the image quality seen on the latest films, series or video games.
“At LaLiga, we are constantly researching cutting-edge innovations and technological solutions that allow us to offer the best audiovisual product. To this end, we will continue developing and fine-tuning this new system to enhance the visual experience for our fans,” said Melcior Soler, Director of LaLiga’s Audiovisual Department.
Òscar Lago, responsible for LaLiga match production at MEDIAPRO, added: "We are committed to providing solutions that enhance our broadcasting quality and develop a product that is more visually appealing for LaLiga fans."
With fans still absent from stadiums due to the COVID-19 pandemic, LaLiga and MEDIAPRO have continued to introduce new innovations to improve the audiovisual broadcasting quality of the competition, among them new camera positions that achieve better angles and provide new shots that were not previously possible.
LaLiga already has more stadiums with aerial cameras – 14 in total – that offer a unique vision of the game, as well as drones for other aerial shots, 360º replays at 8 of its stadiums, among other cutting-edge audiovisual technologies that provide a unique television experience.