Together with its subsidiaries Sportec Solutions, Sportcast and DFL Digital Sports, the DFL is always looking to live up to its reputation as an innovator of modern day football. One of many initiatives to prove this is the constant improvement of the camera technology used at Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2 matches. This will also be demonstrated at SportsInnovation 2020, the sports technology trade show organised by Messe Düsseldorf in partnership with the DFL from 25-26 March 2020, where several new camera technologies will be on show again.
Last year’s SportsInnovation premiere hosted three ‘innovation matches’ between junior teams from Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2 clubs to demonstrate the live use of the latest camera technology in broadcasting. In total, 29 cameras were utilised to produce the matches. These included 14 special cameras, such as a viewcam, vertical railcam, remote dolly camera (see photo above), wireless CubeCam, drone, super-flat railcam and flycam, as well as various robotic cameras, slow-motion cameras and a corner flag camera. Some of these special cameras had never been used in a football TV production before.
Take a look at the video for more information on the different cameras:
For the first time worldwide, a corner flag camera was tested: A camera facing the pitch was installed in a conventional corner flag at a height of 30-40 cm above the ground. The remote dolly camera provided impressive pictures at field level. This first-ever robotic dolly system operates freely on the ground, running at speeds as high as 35 mph on big wheels, or as low as 13 mm per second in slow-motion mode. It can carry out repeatable moves, or its wheels can be changed for use on a straight standard track.
A new perspective was also afforded by the vertical railcam mounted on the rear goal net support. The camera can move up and down the vertical pole while ‘on-air’. The remote-controlled mini slow-motion polecam, which can be flexibly installed directly behind the goal and swivelled horizontally and vertically, captured numerous exciting moments directly through the goal net, especially free kicks, corner kicks and penalties. Another highlight was the ultra-flat rail system used behind the goal for optimum below-shot images. The camera ran from one six-yard line to the other at a maximum rail height of about 15 cm. This resulted in a moving camera perspective from 30 cm above the pitch.
SportsInnovation returns to Düsseldorf, Germany, next year, where a range of established companies and exciting start-ups will also showcase how they are applying emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence, robotics and augmented reality, to sports.