Camera upgrade for media production at the Supercup 2021

24 August 2021 – The DFL has set new standards in live football reporting with the media production for the Supercup. The “Top Match Plus” concept with a total of 26 cameras including a drone, an aerial camera system and corner flag cameras was upgraded with various special cameras.

A compact and highly mobile wireless handheld camera, including a “cinematic look” upgrade, saw action for the first time. Because of the camera’s shallow depth of field, the foreground and background of the image are clearly distinct from each other. This creates a “cinematic look” that provides a clear focus on certain players and objects, rendering the match even more full of life and colour.

Handheld camera including a “cinematic look” (Photo: DFL/Getty Images/Boris Streubel)

The railcam was installed around four metres from the edge of the pitch between the manager’s bench and the corner flag. The camera can accelerate to speeds of five metres per second on a 30-metre rail, and allows low-angle shots, reverse tracking shots and dynamic images by moving in parallel with the players. One operator directs the camera’s movements (panning and tilting, zooming in and out), while another controls the dolly’s motion along the track. 

The Rail-Cam (Photo: DFL/Getty Images/Boris Streubel)
Photo: DFL/Getty Images/Boris Streubel

Outside of base signal production, a fully manoeuvrable mini drone was also used for the first time which, thanks to its compactness and manoeuvrability, allowed shots in the changing rooms and indoor areas of the stadium.

In addition, one star cam each was permanently installed in the stadium for the national and for the international media partners. The star cam is an automatically manoeuvrable camera that focuses on individual players and follows them around the entire pitch on the basis of live tracking data. In Germany, the signal was streamed live and continuously online on broadcasters ran and Sky.

The automatically manoeuvrable star cam (Photo: DFL/Getty Images/Boris Streubel)

The Supercup 2021 was also produced as an independent production in 9:16 aspect ratio. A total of nine cameras and a separate video production unit were used for this, making it the world’s biggest 9:16 production in professional football. The signal was broadcast on the ran TikTok channel in Germany, as well as by the OneFootball TikTok channel in Brazil. Via its own app, Sky Sports also offered its customers in Great Britain and Ireland the opportunity to watch the match in a format optimised for mobile applications.

Sportcast Managing Director Alexander Günther explained the extensive use of a wide range of camera systems: “We want to use technical advancements to make media production fit for the future while also continuing to delight the fans.”

Sportcast GmbH is a subsidiary of the DFL, for which it has acted as host broadcaster since the 2006-07 season and produced the TV base signal for all matches in the Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2, as well as the relegation play-offs and the Supercup, for the national and international rights holders. It is one of the largest producers of live sports broadcasts in HD.

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