ESPN to Debut ‘Virtual Presenter’ Technology In Its World Cup 2014 Coverage

During World Cup 2014, ESPN will introduce new technology codenamed Virtual Presenter that could give viewers a unique perspective on watching the world’s game.

“We are going to use technology that’s an extension of what we do with ESPN Axis. We are now going to be able to take our commentators live and put them into the play,” explained ESPN Coordinating Producer Amy Rosenfeld, who revealed the details in an exclusive interview with World Soccer Talk.

The technology will give ESPN soccer analysts an opportunity during half-time or post-match analysis to “step into the play” and turn around to show you the different views and perspective.

“Not only can we diagram the plays as it happens, but the analysts can diagram what should have happened,” added Rosenfeld.

Here’s a video clip of what the Virtual Presenter technology may look like from an example used by Canal+ in Spain for its UEFA Champions League coverage:

Virtual Presenter OnAir Canal+ Spain March 2014 from Vizrt on Vimeo.

The Virtual Presenter technology was just a few of the fascinating topics that we discussed with Rosenfeld. Here’s the rest of the interview:


Harris: How difficult is it going to be to surpass ESPN’s coverage of World Cup 2010 such as production, the whole package and what we’ll see for World Cup 2014?

Amy Rosenfeld (AR): “Honestly, the nature of being in Brazil already elevates the experience because you’re in a soccer mad country. I think that it will be hard to screw this up from the standpoint of that it’s rolled right out in front of us, in terms of the passion of the country. If we can do justice to what it means to be a Brazilian hosting the World Cup, we’ll have achieved something.

“I think to surpass the 2010 World Cup, we’re always trying to elevate it. Literally ten minutes after World Cup 2010 ended, we were already analyzing it. We said ‘Ok, this was great. Attaboy us. But what do we now do to advance?’ We’re very hopeful that the viewer experience will be even better. We learned lessons in 2010. Guess what, we made some mistakes, sure. We had a lovely production. We were nit-picking where improvements can be made, where in the past (since World Cup 2006) we made sea changes. Now I feel very comfortable that ESPN is in a place where we’ve set a benchmark and now it’s an exciting moment to challenge that benchmark, not be fearful of it.”

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  1. Tony Butterworth May 16, 2014
  2. Sherryl May 18, 2014
    • Christopher Harris May 18, 2014

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