LaLiga to use ‘virtual stands’, fan audio for broadcast

LaLiga has announced that it will use virtualisation of stands in television broadcast along with fan audio produced by the makers of FIFA video game in the remaining eleven matchdays of the 2019/20 season.

The season will return to action on June 11 with a local derby between Sevilla and Real Betis and there will be fixtures for the following seven days following a break of more than two months due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The domestic broadcasters in Spain will offer their viewers the choice of a ‘natural’ broadcast of games played behind closed doors with no fans but the international audience will receive only the enhanced broadcasts with added audio and graphics.

The stands will be virtualised and will always offer to-scale images of seated fans wearing the colours of the home club. To develop this digital experience, LaLiga collaborated with Norwegian company VIZRT, which also works with other European leagues.

In moments when the game is stopped, this image of fans can be transformed into a canvas that matches the colour of the home team and will carry institutional messages among other offerings.

The virtual sound has been obtained through collaboration with EA SPORTS FIFA, in a project called Sounds of the Stands, LaLiga said in a statement.

“Through this, the audio library of LaLiga official sponsor EA, which was recorded in real stadiums, has been used and has been digitally adapted so that it can be implemented in real time during the match. It will be adapted to the flow of the game as certain situations occur, such as a goal or a foul, creating what is known as Atmospheric Audio.”

“We have made these broadcasting changes so fans can enjoy LaLiga,” said league President Javier Tebas. “We work with global partners to offer a great viewer experience. We are in an exceptional situation, but for us it has been important to be able to adapt and offer a compelling, cutting-edge broadcast to our fans.”

Barcelona lead the La Liga race, having accumulated 58 points in 27 matches. Clasico rivals Real Madrid take up the second spot with 56 points while Sevilla complete the top-three with 47 points.

La Liga are following in the footsteps of Bundesliga, which became the first European league to resume its season. The Premier League, meanwhile, have also announced June 17 as their return date.