First Innovation Game of SportsInnovation 2022 highlights the latest in media production

11.05.2022 – The first Innovation Game of SportsInnovation 2022 was dedicated to the topic of “Broadcast & Content”. On the pitch of the MERKUR SPIEL-ARENA in Düsseldorf, the women of 1. FC Köln took on Borussia Mönchengladbach, while experts explained live demonstrations of future technologies in broadcasting and the processing of digital content, direct from the pitch-side stage.

Tim Achberger, Head of Innovation & Technology Management at DFL subsidiary Sportcast, was first to present, giving an overview of innovative camera and production systems. During today’s showcase, 90 cameras were installed in the stadium; in the broadcast area, various special systems were used, such as:

  • a camera-equipped mini-drone that accompanied both teams onto the pitch before kick-off,
  • a Railcam, which travelled along the edge of the pitch at high speed at grass level,
  • the Rocketcam, which runs under the stadium roof parallel to the pitch,
  • two aerial camera systems operating in parallel, which were used for a short interview with a player on the pitch,
  • a camera that was controlled remotely from Hanover, as well as
  • a vertical video setup for the production of a 9:16 broadcast.

Furthermore, Achberger presented a 5G application with direct cloud transmission of a match. Delegates also saw a new augmented reality application, which provides information on individual players as part of the live image – with the displayed data moving around the pitch with the respective player. All these camera and production systems increase flexibility and diversity for live production.

Personalising the fan experience

The presentation by Yitav Topaz (Vice President of Strategic Partnerships) and Ido Ratzon (Business Development, EMEA) from WSC Sports who focus on the personalised game experience for fans. The Israeli-American company specialises in automating the video production process, and with its AI-based cloud technology, WSC Sports offers sports media rights owners new possibilities for individualising broadcasts. Based on match recordings, individual highlight clips can be generated according to rules created by the user.

New options through virtualisation

Mo Goyal (Senior Director International Business Development) and Sebastian Ruchti (Sales Engineer DACH) from Canadian provider Evertz Microsystems Ltd., which specialises in film production and broadcast systems, presented the virtualisation platform “DreamCatcher Bravo Studio”. With the “Virtual Camera” function, users can process a high-resolution signal (for example in 8K) in specific sections and thus follow a specific player or the ball in a concentrated way. Data-driven workflows, artificial intelligence and “storyboard” templates simplify content production, increase efficiency and reduce costs, Goyal explained.

For the medialisation of sport, the technologies shown at the Innovation Games opened up forward-facing possibilities and highlighted an array of options for the delegates in attendance.

During the showcase, 90 cameras were installed in the stadium, various special systems among them
Foto: DFL/Getty Images/Boris Streubel