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La Liga unveils new AI fan platform

Latest innovations aim to enable clubs, players and fans to have better insights and experiences.

by Ed Dixon

La Liga unveils new AI fan platform

La Liga, the organising body for Spanish soccer’s top two tiers, has revealed a host of new innovations to enable clubs, players, fans and more to gain new insights and experiences.

The new Players app, launching in 2020, provides players with exclusive pre and post-match information. Harnessing artificial intelligence (AI) and facial recognition technology, it lets the league’s players receive personal match images at the end of every game. In addition, it will also allow them to consult performance levels during the match and for the whole season, both individually and collectively.

La Liga unveiled new versions of the Calendar Selector and Sunlight Broadcasting Planning tools to better optimise television audiences and stadium attendance figures through AI. The former uses machine learning and algorithms to indicate the best possible time for fixtures to be staged, with the updated version allowing users to select different regions from across the world to focus on them when establishing match schedules.

Used alongside Calendar Selector, the Sunlight Broadcasting Planning software predicts the levels of natural light in every game using 3D reconstructions of the stadiums, assisting the decision-making process regarding match scheduling and positioning of cameras.

La Liga also revealed plans to improve its over-the-top (OTT) service, LaLigaSportsTV. With more than 400,000 subscribers, the soccer body plans to better understand its users in order to develop strategies to enhance their viewing experience.

Furthermore, La Liga has partnered with the start-up Solos and top-flight team Real Sociedad to run a pilot project to implement smart technology in the form of a tag, which can be incorporated within any club's clothing or merchandise. The tag is designed to protect clubs from false merchandise and offer premium experiences and content via the club's app to users who purchase a product. Fans will be able to access content by scanning the tag.

The Tyche 3.0 tool was also revealed as it aims to detect possible cases of match-fixing. It works by identifying any kind of abnormal movement in the global betting markets that could provide an indication to determine a case of fixing. All of this is achieved through a machine learning algorithm based on neural networks that forecast the betting odds according to the stage of the game and events.

Jose Carlos Franco, La Liga’s technology director, said: “The use of data and machine learning has become key in the development of La Liga as it will enable us to help the different business areas to meet their commercial objectives through the analysis and simple tools in the decision-making process.”