Beyond Sports complements and enriches the current Eredivisie broadcast model through VR Studio Analysis and the Virtual Cameraman, as well as creates valuable new revenue and sponsor opportunities through the FOX Sports NL VR app and Live Automated Virtual Broadcasts.
VR Studio Analysis
Every weekend during the FOX Sports program of De Eretribune, analysts Arnold Bruggink, Kenneth Perez and Ronald de Boer used VR Studio Analysis to add and extra layer of depth to their stories. In a world’s first, they were now able to show the audience the player’s point of view. With the analyst himself wearing the VR headset, he was transported into to eyes of the player on the field. He was then free to pause the moment at any time, giving him the opportunity to show the audience why what the player did was so brilliant or what he could have done better. The output of his VR headset is broadcasted to regular 2D screens, opening up the player’s perspective to the entire TV-watching audience.
This has resulted in some memorable moments. For example when Kenneth Perez showed a long distance goal from goalkeeper Brad Jones’ perspective. Not only was he able to clarify that the keeper did not see that shot coming until the ball was just meters away from him, he was also able to show that if the keeper would have taken one small step to the left, he would have had a clear line of vision and could have easily stopped that shot. Check out the clip here. The significance of taking one small step to position yourself better is something that Kenneth had extensively talked about before, and now, for the first time ever, he was able to show the audience what that meant first hand.
Beyond Sports offers the ability to use live footage from the virtual simulation in a real live match broadcast production. It is now possible to broadcast any point of view live, and integrate it in the existing broadcast environment as a regular SDI camera feed. Existing control schemes for regular virtual cameras do not deliver the footage quality we needed for live broadcasting. After many iterations and prototypes, Beyond Sports developed the Virtual Cameraman; a camera control scheme designed for Virtual Reality and live production. The output is a live 2D broadcast feed.
Live Automated Virtual Broadcast (full match live-stream)
Next to the products integrating in the existing broadcast environment, Beyond Sports offers products that provide entirely new broadcasting opportunities. Beyond Sports created a fully automated camera system that follows the virtual play around the ﬁeld without any intervention from an operator. It has become a plug-and-play system, and a whole new way of automatically producing a unique full match broadcast.
In collaboration with FOX Sports, multiple matches were streamed online on the open platform Twitch, giving those without FOX Sports subscriptions the ability to follow the entire virtual match live - for free.
This virtual broadcast is targeted at the next generation of fans; the generation whose focus lies with watching e-sports and playing FIFA. Commentary during the matches was provided by two popular Youtube-vloggers, using a picture-in-picture layout. Watching e-sports is different from watching real sports, and Beyond Sports is bridging the gap.
FOX Sports NL VR app
For the first time ever giving fans the opportunity to experience what it is like to be a player on the field during an important Eredivisie moment, FOX Sports and Beyond Sports released the FOX Sports NL VR app. This app allows for any fan to turn their own phone into a VR device using the FOX Sports / KPN Cardboard, and choose their own perspectives during the League’s biggest highlights. Want to be Luuk de Jong, scoring the header in the league’s deciding match against Ajax? Now you can, with the FOX Sports NL VR app.
The FOX Sports NL VR app is available on iOS, Android, Samsung Gear VR and Oculus Go. New highlights are uploaded after every match round, providing a consistent stream of new and relevant content. During the 2017-2018 Eredivisie season, over 140 highlights have been uploaded. All of these highlights are still online and viewable in the app today.
Be the Director
Virtualizing the Live Sports Broadcast Environment.
A live sports broadcast is an enormous production. With the Live Automated Virtual Broadcast, Beyond Sports has already shown to be able to cut the production process for virtual streams down to a plug and play setup, requiring just one PC and one operator. Now, Beyond Sports is developing a hybrid solution: the Be the Director tool.
The Be the Director tool allows for a complete manual production of an entire virtual game, while still keeping the requirements down to only one PC and one operator. Using the Be the Director tool, the operator directs a live game. The operator selects from 30 different automated cameras, pre-selecting and switching between them like he would in a regular broadcast environment. He is able to make live transitions and to create replays, outputting just one final stream that’s ready to be broadcasted.
Beyond Sports virtualizes the Live Sports Broadcast Environment. All of this, on one single touch screen interface.