LaLiga, the organising body for the top two tiers of Spanish football, has partnered with the Mediapro agency on a new pitch-side camera initiative that will look to recreate the stadium experience for fans watching on television.
The cameras will provide viewers with an image quality similar to that of a film or video game, with the “ultra-realistic” shots making them feel like they are actually in the stands at the stadium or just a few metres away from the players.
LaLiga becomes the first major football league to integrate a camera with these features into its live broadcasts by using a wireless link. The cameras are normally used to record content such as the pre-match arrival of players and fans at the stadium, but this marks the first time they will broadcast live match action.
The cameras feature a 35mm sensor to ensure a very shallow depth of field, resulting in a blurred background video effect. A stabiliser support will also be used to create a highly cinematic visual experience.
The technology was tested during the recent Valencia v Osasuna and Barcelona v Athletic Club matches. The initiative will be continued in selected match days during the remainder of the 2020-21 season.
Melcior Soler, director of LaLiga’s audiovisual department, said: “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.”
With matches still going ahead without spectators, LaLiga and Mediapro have sought ways to enhance the viewing experience for fans watching at home. A number of LaLiga stadiums are fitted with aerial cameras that offer unique perspectives of the game, while drones are used for other aerial shots and 360-degree replays are offered at eight venues.