This Is How Technology Has Changed Sports Broadcasts

From the first broadcasts on radio and television to VAR and virtual reality, broadcasts in the world of sport live in a continuous technological leap

Nothing will be the same. Technology has penetrated deeply into sports broadcasts, conquering a field of play that until recently suffered from too partial a vision, and that highlighted everything that ‘the eye does not see’. In recent years, broadcasting has taken a somersault allowing viewers to enjoy matches from angles beyond the reach of the human eye. A new visual reality that has been proposed to transfer the public to the field of play. And he has succeeded.

On September 16, 1937, the BBC televised a football match for the first time in history. He did it just a year after he started broadcasting regularly, when he staged a friendly match between Arsenal’s first team and reserves. The chain only broadcast a 15-minute summary, but it was the beginning of an idyll that in Spain took a little longer to arrive. Specifically, until 1959, when a classic between Real Madrid and Football Club Barcelona was shown on television.

Every step taken in the field of sports broadcasting is motivated by the same goal: to bring the viewer as close as possible to the field of play

From imagination to reality. From the divine intervention of the ‘hand of god’, to the most exhaustive, almost scientific, analysis of the move. In just a few decades, sports broadcasts have turned 180 degrees. In the first place, for the athletes, who thanks to the VAR see how their plays are rigorously analyzed and valued. But beyond the field of play, technology has changed the way of consuming and experiencing sport.

With each technological leap, viewers see the field get closer to the point of being able to touch it. A football that is lived in another way and from other places -or angles-. A range of solutions that Unblocked Games 911 have embraced, allowing announcers to narrate and explain sensations and visions until now reserved only for a lucky few. A change that, far from what the most purists may think has further refined their throats.

The perfect plan

Beyond Spain’s victory, the 2010 World Cup is remembered for two elements: a sound element, the vuvuzelas, and a visual element that surprised half the planet with an unprecedented view of the pitch: the ‘spider cam’. An overhead camera supported by cables that offers the possibility of recording aerial shots, moving from one end of the field to the other, rising or descending practically above the players’ heads.

A ‘spider camera’ that notably improved the perception of the match off the field and brought the viewer closer to shots hitherto only reserved for the imagination -and the Play Station-. Today it is essential in the vast majority of large stadiums. In fact, in the stadiums of La Liga Santander it began in 2016. Located 21 meters high, thanks to the ‘spider cam’, viewers can follow key plays of the match such as fouls or penalties from a privileged position.

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From a spider camera to a subjective camera integrated into the shirt. FirstV1sion is a device that solves one of the great desires of sports broadcasts: that the viewer can put himself in the shoes of the player. A glove that Iniesta picked up supporting this Catalan start-up, a pioneer in the use of a ‘wearable’ inspired by the on-board cameras that at the time already revolutionized Formula 1 and MotoGP broadcasts.

In search of immersion

Each step that is taken in the progress of the broadcasts is motivated by the same objective. A common denominator that wants to bring the spectator as close to the pitch as possible. In this scenario, virtual reality will make it possible, just like in video games, for everyone to put a device on their head and move to the field, like any other player.

Immersive technologies that already have benchmarks such as Hulk-TV, a system that allows users to watch a game as if they were in the VIP box at the Santiago Bernabéu. What’s more: they can retrieve the replays of a play, see it from another perspective or teleport to another point on the field. All from a three-dimensional environment where the viewer can turn his head and visualize other spaces.

A field full of data

Analytics is also bursting into the sports arena. Sports analytics is the introduction of Big Data systems in sport. An upward trend that highlights that these retransmissions do not only live on cameras. Millions of data imperceptible to the human eye but of great value to clubs and chains live on the pitch. A detailed monitoring that allows detailed control of the performance of each player and each play whose possibilities is unlimited.

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