German football association DFL tested producing a Bundesliga match in 9:16 instead of the usual 16:9 picture format for the first time.
With the move, DFL is responding to the changed media usage behaviour and the increasing consumption of videos on mobile devices: The 9:16 format is primarily intended for use on smartphones and in social media.
The test run, implemented by DFL subsidiaries DFL Digital Sports and Sportcast, captured the Bundesliga game between VfL Wolfsburg and SV Werder Bremen in German city Wolfsburg. The 9:16 feed was produced with additional technology independent of the 16:9 base signal.
Five additional cameras were used in the stadium for the 9:16 production. These professional broadcast cameras were rotated by 90 degrees using special tripods; in a separate control room the monitors were also rotated by 90 degrees. With this technical set-up, DFL’s high-quality standard was ensured in 9:16 – even in Ultra HD, according to the football association.
“We are very satisfied with the test,” said Andreas Heyden, executive vice-president digital innovations of DFL Group. The vertical footage from the game in Wolfsburg is initially intended for internal evaluation. “As always, we develop innovations by adopting the fan’s perspective. We see that vertical videos in social media on mobile devices are better received than ones in horizontal orientation,” explained Heyden. “The successful test in Wolfsburg provides us with a good basis for further considerations as to how we can do even better justice to this usage behaviour in the future.”
Images and videos of the 9:16 test production can be seen on DFL’s website.