Live international sport continues its welcome return this week with the resumption of Spain’s LA Liga heralding the comeback of soccer.
With a two-game line-up on SuperSport this weekend, LaLiga matches will look and sound far different than they did before the league was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The innovations have been implemented in two main areas:
- Virtualisation of stands and fan audio.
- New camera positions and the images they will offer to viewers.
“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.”
The biggest change for the return of the competition is the virtualised broadcasting that LaLiga will offer for international broadcast.
For these broadcasts, the stands will be virtualised and offer to-scale images of seated fans wearing the colours of the home club.
For 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 broadcast strategy will also feature virtual sound. Through this, the audio library of LaLiga official sponsor EA, which was recorded in real stadiums, has been used and digitally adapted to be implemented in real time during matches.
The matches will 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, and robotic cameras will be used in the tunnel.
Athletics will host the Impossible Games on two continents on Thursday when Team Cheruiyot will race against Team Ingebrigsten in a novel 2,000m race.
1,500m world champion Timothy Cheruiyot, Manangoi, Edwin Meli, Vincent Keter, and Timothy Sein will race at Nairobi’s Nyayo National Stadium. There will not be any fans in the stands due to the pandemic.
PGA golf also makes its long-awaited return this week, with the Charles Schwab Classic in the US starting on Thursday.
It, too, will include broadcasting changes due to the absence of live crowds, with several golfers expected to be wearing microphones, which will add a new dimension to television broadcasts.
Ultimate Fighting Championship will also feature this weekend with UFC Fight Night headlined by Jessica Eye and Cynthia Calvillo in a flyweight showdown in Las Vegas.