The DFL – German acronym for Deutsche Fußball Liga, German Football League – has set a small milestone in audiovisual history: it has made the first transmission of a match in vertical format for mobile devices. In other words, in addition to the usual 16:9 transmission, it broadcast the Bundesliga match between VfL Wolfsburg and SV Werder Bremen in 9:16 format.

According to the DFL itself, this is a necessary response to the “change in media usage behaviour and the increase in video consumption on mobile devices”, as this format is mainly intended for use on smartphones and social networks.

“We see that vertical video on social networks on mobile devices is better received than horizontal video,” said Andreas Heyden, Executive Vice President, Digital Innovations, DFL Group. “The successful trial in Wolfsburg provides a good basis for further considerations on how to work with this new usage behaviour in the future,” he adds. The test was conducted by DFL Digital Sports and Sportcast.

The DFL is known for its strong commitment to innovation and quality in the audiovisual field. Bundesliga matches are produced with up to 25 cameras, many of which are ‘special cameras’ such as aerial camera systems, drones, the corner flag camera – which was specially developed within the DFL Group – or even an ultra-slow motion mini camera to see goal opportunities. The German Football League even uses augmented reality technology to present various graphic elements, such as team line-ups and statistics, as if they could actually be seen inside the stadium.

Five additional cameras were used in the stadium for the 9:16 production. These professional broadcast cameras were tilted using special tripods to achieve high quality results and, in a separate control room, the monitors were also rotated by 90 degrees. With this technical configuration, “the high quality standard of the DFL was also guaranteed in the 9:16 format, even in Ultra HD,” the entity says.

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