For the first time, Virtual Reality (VR) has been used in a live football broadcast. During the Dutch league game Feyenoord vs PSV, FOX Sports Eredivisie in the Netherlands ensured themselves to be the first ever to use this technique. With collaborating with Beyond Sports, a company that is specialized in Virtual Reality solutions for professional sports teams, FOX Sports Eredivisie was able to use a virtual cameraman.
This unique concept made sure that the match could be shown from angles that were impossible to render before. This new technology enabled the cameraman to manually adjust the position of the virtual camera. Whereas the cameraman normally has a standard position next to the pitch and is not able to enter it, the virtual camera does not have any limitations. By using the controlling system, the position of the camera can be manually adjusted in length, width and height. It could even be placed seen from a player’s perspective.
In addition to using the virtual camera, FOX Sports Eredivisie used Virtual Reality in their Dutch post game show ‘Match of the Day’ (in Dutch ‘Dit was het Weekend’). The analysts, including Ronald de Boer, recalled certain situations from the Feyenoord – PSV game in a virtual environment. Using the Beyond Sports’ software in combination with the data-tracking of ChyronHego, moments can be fabricated in Virtual Reality. This means that it is possible to relive moments through the eyes of the players and coach.
For the football fans without a FOX Sports Eredivisie subscription there was a Virtual Broadcast simulcasted on the livestream platform Twitch. The broadcast generated a virtual simulation of the whole game, which was produced by using real life data. Generating data from the match, the stream recreated the match in top view.