In Broadcast - IBC 2015 - 36


36

www.inbroadcast.com | IBC2015 InShow Guide | 11-15 September

Player Tracking Technology
Enhances Live Sports Broadcasts
Digital player and ball tracking technologies have matured greatly in recent years,
with powerful new levels of automation and accuracy driving their adoption by sports
organisations and broadcasters around the world...

T

he best of these systems leverages
an array of portable optical
cameras installed at the pitch and
advanced image processing technology
to build a digital record of the action.
At up to 25 times a second, the system
captures the precise movement
and speed of players, officials, and
sometimes even the ball or puck. The
resultant data offers keen insight into
club and player performance such
as distance run, speeds, stamina,
team formations, set-plays, and other
factors.
Graphic Enhancements
Although player tracking systems
initially addressed the internal needs
of teams and clubs, the technology
is playing an ever-increasing role in
enriching the fans' experience and
boosting team revenues. Broadcasters
can use the data to tell a better
story through graphically enhanced
replays or even fully virtual replays
in which 3D animations recreate
player movements. On-air pundits
and expert analysts can better explain
the dynamics of how games have
been won or lost, and use the data to
empirically support their hunches.
Such systems are having an impact
on virtually every type of team sport.
ChyronHego's TRACAB, for instance,
has been installed in well over 100
arenas and is used in more than 2,000
matches per year by major football
federations around the globe. In
addition to powering TV graphics and
second screen experiences, sports
organisations are taking control of
this new content source and extracting

TRACAB CameraBox has been
installed in well over 100 arenas

new
performance
metrics for the sport,
helping to explain the
game and its tactics
as well as highlighting
the
remarkable
performances
of
athletes.
In another example,
Svensk
Elitfotboll,
the governing body
of
the
Swedish
premier
football
league
Allsvenskan,
has
adopted
the
technology as part
of
its
"connected
stadium" program. In
addition to providing
insight for coaches,
the player tracking
data is used to enhance live television
coverage of matches and also to enrich
fans' experience through secondscreen applications and streaming
to arena video walls. In Germany,
ChyronHego is under contract with
the Deutsche Fußball Liga (DFL) to
provide real-time digital sports data
using TRACAB for the Bundesliga
and Bundesliga 2's live sporting
broadcasts. DFL is using TRACAB to
collect player and ball statistics in
unprecedented detail and provide
deeper insight into the game for clubs,
the media and fans.
Real-Time Data
TRACAB has also made its mark in
the UK, where the English Premier
League has deployed the system in
all 20 stadia of the competing teams

ChyronHego's TRACAB enhances
live television coverage of matches

in the Barclays Premier League to
deliver real-time player tracking data
for 380 matches every season. In
Spain, ChyronHego partner Mediapro
has developed a coaching tool that
combines a real-time player tracking
system with video motion analysis. The
data drives a real-time 3D animation
for delivery to a second screen app,
enabling users to interact with the
game through control of the virtual
camera and through metrics extracted
from the player tracking data.
We are also seeing the emergence
of solutions with combined tracking
technologies. For instance, a large
North American sports organisation
has
adopted
player
tracking
technology together with a radarbased 3-D ball tracking system to
enable precise real-time digital
imprints of each play including the
positions of all players and the ball.
The setup is enabling the sports group
to offer its broadcasters sophisticated
graphics capabilities in which they
can combine real-time data, real-time
animations and real-time video as well
as providing the same data bound to
broadcast video for instant analytic
special effects replays.
Most commonly, player tracking
systems are installed permanently in
sports arenas, but the most robust
passive systems can also support
portable use. In one example, the

matches in an Asian football league
are covered by a system that can be
rapidly installed at each pitch and then
just as easily taken down and moved to
the next arena.
In this manner, the federation
expects to cover more than 300
matches during its currently running
football season.
In addition to its performance
analysis role, the tracking system
is creating additional revenue
opportunities for the federation as
new groups of stakeholders - such
as sponsors, broadcasters, and other
media - discover the data's potential
for enhancing fans' experience.
As these examples show, state-ofthe-art player tracking technologies
are enabling an unprecedented degree
of field-of-play data acquisition and
visualisation, both to enhance live
game broadcasts and also to support
scouting, player development, and
performance training.
The most robust systems span almost
a decade of continued development,
and they're currently being deployed
across the most demanding live sports
environments.
Everyone from fans in the stadium
and home viewers to teams, players,
and scouts are reaping the benefits of
the rich evaluation metrics and deeper
insight into game play and team
performance.


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