La Liga is working hard to make the game experience for fans more interactive – particularly those watching at home. Through a partnership with Intel, La Liga is now letting TV viewers have access to 360-degree replays, thanks to the same True View tech that was recently implemented in the NBA and NFL.
To bring that to life, La Liga and Intel have to place 38 cameras around a stadium, which then transform a series of stitched, 2D videos into one video that gives you a multi-angle view of highlight plays, like a goal or a penalty kick (which is enhanced by a pulley SkyCam hanging from above). Right now, the True View setup is only in place in Barcelona’s Camp Nou and Real Madrid’s Santiago Bernabeu stadiums, but soon it’ll be ready in Atletico Madrid’s and Sevilla’s as well.
La Liga is also using True View to create what it calls the Laser Wall, an overlay graphic that displays a virtual straight line that gives viewers a clear picture during offside calls – the 38 cameras make it more accurate to help avoid any controversies. Be The Player, for its part, offers a bird’s-eye view of a player controlling the ball in live broadcasts. This is perfect for hard-core fans because it lets them see plays from the perspective of Messi, Ronaldo or other La Liga players.
What La Liga didn’t talk about at its showcase in Barcelona was Video Assistant Referee (VAR), which was surprising considering it is FIFA’s first major adoption of technology. That said, a La Liga spokesperson told Engadget that it’s still planning to start the 2018-2019 season with VAR, though the final decision will be up to the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) and its referees.
Once that’s in place and combined with things like True View and 4K HDR, La Liga is setting itself up to be one of the most high-tech professional leagues – not only in football but also in sports in general.