ITV to Use New Sports Technology for Champions League

ITV has brought in Red
Bee Media s Piero system for the network s coverage of UEFA Champions
League and UEFA Cup, which kicks off on 12 September with live coverage
of Liverpool s game at PSV Eindhoven on ITV1. Piero is the first technology
of its kind that enables better analysis of sports games. It enables
viewers to see ‘play’ from angles that are not captured by cameras.

Earlier in the year
Red Bee Media rebranded ITV s suite of channels and we are delighted
to have worked with the broadcaster again to help it make the most out
of its Champions League coverage. Piero is becoming an essential tool
for broadcasters with the rights to high profile sports events with
the BBC, Sky Italia, Hong Kong Cable and TV Globo in Brazil all using
Piero in their coverage of the World Cup, said Andy Townsend, Design
Systems Manager at Red Bee Media.

The Piero technology
places pictures of real players into a virtual stadium, where it is
possible to view and analyse play from different angles in animated
sequences. It is the only technology of its kind with a seamless transition
between original footage and a virtual stadium. Offside, passing and
other tactics can be seen from the best angle for analysis – even if
the play has not been captured at this angle.

To form an inclusive
graphics package, Piero also features the ability to track players across
the grass and place pointers, badges and scores on the pitch in ‘live’
video. It can also be used to place virtual advertising in real footage
or virtual stadiums.

Piero is operated through
an easy-to-use touch-screen interface, which programme presenters and
pundits can operate on-air. It allows them to draw directly on the pitch
and can switch between real and virtual views at the click of a button.
The drawn graphics remain tied-to-field in moving camera footage.

Mark Sharman, Director
of ITV Sport said: Piero will add an extra dimension to our Champions League and UEFA
Cup coverage. We are constantly looking to
improve our sports output. Our mission is to entertain and inform and
Piero will contribute to that.

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