TheNFAPost Podcast
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Hyderabad, NFAPost:Football viewership has an unprecedented following across the globe. With the coronavirus wrecking havoc, the need for innovation becomes even more huge to keep fans, viewers on tenterhooks. 

Taking a step ahead in innovation, Spanish flagship football LaLiga, along with its partner Mediapro, has revolutionized its production workflow to master remote production techniques owing to the situation caused by the pandemic. 

Given the security and mobility restrictions and the impossibility for both presenters and the show’s other pundits travelling to Barcelona, the program had to reinvent itself through a group video call, mixing the three signals and creating a new program signal.

This technical challenge involves a circuit that begins in Dubai and travels to England and Germany, where presenter Joe Morrison and the two collaborating pundits meet, before travelling to Barcelona where the program signal is produced. 

It is then sent to the Facebook servers in Los Angeles, where the signal is finally distributed to the Indian subcontinent so fans can enjoy the show and all LaLiga matches via Facebook Watch. The full journey spans 30,000 kilometres.

The LaLiga show on Facebook Watch is produced by Mediapro for the entire Indian subcontinent, which includes pre and post-match analysis of the LaLiga match week from an interactive set located in Barcelona. This program has revolutionized the way of interacting with fans through polls and comments in real-time.

The football pundits on Facebook Watch are Kevin Campbell, an English former professional footballer. John Burridge, an English former goalkeeper who is now working with Indian Super League top division club Kerala Blasters, Gurpreet Singh, an Indian professional footballer who plays as a goalkeeper for the Indian club Bengaluru FC and India national football team and Jamal Bhuyan, Captain for the both Bangladesh National team and Bangladesh Premier League club Saif SC.

The innovation has pleased everyone alike. Antonio Cachaza, Managing Director, LaLiga India said, “We are pleased with our engagement with Mediapro to enhance LaLiga‘s viewing experience. It is always our effort to provide our supporters with the best content and experience and this is a step in the right direction. Fans in this region are extremely passionate about the game and we are committed to fulfilling their appetite for quality football content.”

According to international consultants Nielsen Sports and based on preliminary official viewing figures and estimates, international audiences during live games that resumed after the coronavirus lockdown hiatus showed a significant rise compared to the average from the first 27 matchdays of the season. In Asian countries such as India, where LaLiga is broadcast on Facebook, an increase of over 72% was detected. This move now, though, is expected to boost viewership further. 

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