Virtual advertising boards: approval for the first software-based system in the Bundesliga

29 March 2022 – International live broadcasts of the Bundesliga can be adapted to regional target groups even more flexibly. The use of virtual advertising boards, which allow the image of the physical boards to be altered individually using digital overlays in the transmission signal, is now possible with a purely software-based solution. This reduces the implementation cost considerably.

While hardware-based systems for implementing virtual advertising have already been in use in the Bundesliga since the 2018-19 season, a purely software-based system has now been approved for the first time in the form of “Supponor AIR” from the British provider Supponor. It does not require any dedicated board technology, camera systems or specific personnel in the stadium. Rather, it can be implemented entirely from the central production location where the DFL generates the international transmission signals for all Bundesliga games.

For clubs, virtual advertising boards are an option in their foreign marketing. Spectators and TV viewers in German-speaking countries will not notice any changes, but it is possible to individually alter the image of the physical advertising boards in other regions of the world by means of digital overlays in the transmission signal. The decision on whether to use such a system and the costs associated with it will be made by the clubs individually. In recent years, virtual advertising has already been used for selected Bundesliga matches as well as the Supercup.

Virtual advertising boards were introduced in the 2018-19 season to address regional target groups individually.

Due to the interface with the transmission signal for the live match, the DFL subsidiary Sportcast, which is responsible for the production of the TV signal, continually tests systems from numerous providers of virtual advertising boards. They are assessed in respect of image quality, reliability and technical integration and also tested in a live production environment. In the area of hardware-based virtual advertising boards, systems from the providers Supponor and AIM have been approved since these tests began in 2015.