As LaLiga action resumes on Thursday, June 11, the teams will play in empty stadiums. There was no other options but to keep fans away to deal with the COVID-19 virus threat. But that might not affect the experience of watching the games on television.
LaLiga and production partners Mediapro will be going high tech with new camera positions and a whole lot of new offerings for the remaining match days of the season.
Due to the unprecedented situation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, LaLiga Santander and LaLiga SmartBank matches will look and sound different than they did before the league was postponed.
The innovations have been implemented in two main areas: virtualisation of stands and fan audio as well as new camera positions and the images they will offer to viewers. Both will be carried out with the help of partners and implemented by Mediapro, the official production partner of LaLiga, LaLiga stated in a media release.
“We have made these broadcasting changes so fans can enjoy LaLiga,” said LaLiga President Javier Tebas. “We work with global partners to offer a great viewer experience. We are in an exceptional situation, but for us it has been important to be able to adapt and offer a compelling, cutting-edge broadcast to our fans.”
Virtualised stands, fan audio for broadcasts
The biggest change for the return of the competition is the virtualised broadcasting that LaLiga will offer to international broadcast partners, which will allow matches to be seen in an attractive way that closely resembles how they looked and sounded before the competition was postponed.
For these broadcasts, the stands will be virtualised and will always offer to-scale images of seated fans wearing the colours of the home club. To develop this digital experience, LaLiga collaborated with Norwegian company VIZRT, which also works with other European leagues.
In moments when the game is stopped, this image of fans can be transformed into a canvas that matches the colour of the home team and will carry institutional messages among other offerings.
This innovative broadcast will also feature virtual sound, which has been obtained through collaboration with EA SPORTS FIFA, in a project called Sounds of the Stands. Through this, the audio library of LaLiga official sponsor EA, which was recorded in real stadiums, has been used and has been digitally adapted so that it can be implemented in real time during the match. It will be adapted to the flow of the game as certain situations occur, such as a goal or a foul, creating what is known as Atmospheric Audio.
Cameras: New angles to bring action closer to fans
The match itself will also be seen differently due to new camera positions.
Some cameras will shift their location to positions where they would previously have affected the sightline of fans in the stands. Among other examples, the aerial camera will modify its flight path to offer new shots, the bench camera will be moved to the opposite stand, while robotic cameras will be used in the tunnel for reasons of health safety.
All of these changes, which will be maintained as long as matches have to be played behind closed doors, continue LaLiga’s commitment to bring fans at home the best experience.