Polymotion Player – Bundesliga Matchday: Bayern Munich V Borussia Dortmund
During the 2020/21 football season, the Deutsche Fussball Liga (DFL) who are responsible for organising and marketing German professional football, are trialling new technology where a specific camera can follow individual players on the field automatically. The automated robotic camera system can be placed anywhere in the ground, but the current trial is set around the halfway line and compromises a Grass Valley LDX C86n 4K with a Fujinon HA18x5.5, and a robot-controlled camera mount on a tripod. The system is controlled by the Nikon/MRMC Polymotion Player software using tracking data supplied by ChyronHego. In development since 2016, the project has been led by MRMC and DFL subsidiary Sportcast who agreed to set up a trial at Borussia Dortmund’s Signal Iduna Park. Following this, a further live match was also covered at Bayern Munich where they took on Borussia Dortmund at the Allianz Arena.
Going live is always exciting, no matter how many times you have done it before. There is just something about knowing you have to get that one time moment every time that makes it exhilarating. On top of that going live with one camera angle for a full 90-minute football match driven by robotics and AI is also not without its nerves. Especially when it’s also the Broadcasters premier Bundesliga match being streamed live to their entire US audience. So the pressure was on!
The flexibility of our set up allows the editorial team to make on the spot direction to the robot and allow the following of players of interest to them at a moments notice. Even the live commentators themselves had input in the player selection. This allowed live coverage from the first moments of warm-up to the final whistle, all done live and with a single camera angle.