The level and detail of scouting analysis available to both DFL clubs and media has gone up yet another notch. Sportec Solutions’ (STS) in-game footage capture was already leading the way in football, but behind the scenes it has now delivered an improved service in time for the start of the 2019-20 season. Video analysts at the Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2 clubs have had access to time-coded Scoutingfeeds from League and Supercup matches for the past six seasons. Alongside DFB-Cup ties, international games and national team matches, other competitions were also covered upon request. The staff at STS, though, have not been resting on their laurels. In spring they began to put into motion plans for a next-gen version of the Scoutingfeed, and 74 days later it was complete. More than 1,000 individual components were installed during that short period.
One of the key differences in the latest version is that pictures are now available in broadcast transmission quality, thus removing the previous need for the signal to be upgraded in an outside broadcast truck. Feeds are now delivered to club analysts through the ISMA (In Stadia Match Analysis) network. Providing the best service for club analysts, granting them access to multiple streams in various areas, was an idea that drove the main conversation.
Both the software and hardware used have also been completely overhauled. The improved software enables three different outputs (recording, BNC and stream) to run in parallel and has facilitated the introduction of improved on-screen graphics, including time stamps for cup ties that go into extra time. Whereas before there was only a basic clock on-screen, now there is also scope for a scoreboard as well as Scoutingfeed watermarks. Furthermore, STS has the capability and industry-leading know-how to make further improvements or amendments as time goes on.
The hardware required has also undergone a major change, with each PC unit coming down from 44 kg in weight to just 17 kg. That makes each unit much more compact and able to fit in hand luggage, making additional productions a lot easier to manage.
It is not just clubs, however, who are benefiting from this modernisation of the Scoutingfeed. Media partners are able to receive these broadcast-quality feeds and use them to provide greater analysis for their viewers, with German media partners Sky and DAZN using them during live matches and also in highlights packages. Now they have been upgraded to even better image quality. Since the DFL first started providing a Scoutingfeed in the 2013-14 season, more than 3,700 packages have been produced. Almost 1,400 matches have been covered since STS came into being in 2017, producing virtually 100 days of video material or nearly 6 terabytes of data. Their operators have driven the equivalent of 22 times around the world to set everything up and make sure it all runs smoothly. That proves once again that the DFL always goes the extra mile when it comes to scouting analysis.