Case Study

December 21, 2023

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Next Generation Sports Broadcast: Viaplay’s Innovative Use of Zero Density’s Virtual Studio Solutions

Viaplay has revolutionized studio production by putting virtual production at the core of their expansion strategy. This allowed Viaplay to increase production value while gaining full control over their brand. They also ensured channel consistency, and optimized studio floor utilization, all while significantly reducing physical set production costs.

Viaplay is a Nordic streaming video provider specializing in premium sports and entertainment. Every day, millions of viewers enjoy their high-quality content, including an unrivaled line-up of premium live sports.

Reliable, Scalable and Flexible

Zero Density’s Reality Platform gave Viaplay the tools to enhance their storytelling during sports shows, giving viewers a uniquely immersive experience. The high-quality virtual content used in their shows is produced centrally in Denmark and Sweden and distributed to local outlets. Adopting a ‘create once, use many’ philosophy created a highly efficient graphics workflow.

“At the heart of our sports production is the Look & Feel team overseeing 20 conventional and virtual studios.” says Hannes Reneby, Visual Director at Viaplay Group Sport, “The team is responsible for studio design, physical and virtual, including screens, lineups, on-air graphics and more in each of them.” 

The day-to-day management of all this is a big operation. Viaplay uses a combination of an internal team and partners to achieve their goals. The process looks roughly like this:

  • Studio designs are envisioned by the Viaplay creative team together with local set designers.

  • NEP the Netherlands sees through the technical integration of the design and delivers the graphics.
  • The Viaplay team refines the designs further, adding functionalities and optimizations for each production. Functionalities include an animated audience, 3D lineups, statistics, studio extensions and more. These graphics are completely integrated with real-time data with statistical providers, enabling the generation of dynamic augmented reality (AR) elements.

  • Then, the team sends the designs to multiple studios across Europe, ready to press ‘play.’

Reneby says, “By designing studios that align with similar rights, we streamline the asset delivery process to our various editorial departments.” The process gives Viaplay numerous benefits . By centralizing virtual asset production, Viaplay maximizes efficiency and brand consistency, distributing high-quality visuals to multiple studios, saving time and slashing production costs.

As a result, Viaplay can create engaging and informative content, increase the ROI, and deliver amazing coverage to sports fans in multiple countries.

viaplay-group

The Visual Impact of Virtual Production

High quality is another pillar of Viaplay’s production goals. “We want viewers to feel that what they are seeing is a genuine physical environment, moving away from an excessive futuristic ambiance often associated with virtual sets. The viewer should enjoy the show and should not wonder whether the set is physical or virtual,” says Reneby, “and this is something that we, together with our partners, are proud to have achieved.”

Zero Density enables just that by providing broadcasters with access to the features of the Reality Platform, like the only real-time 3D compositing pipeline, the 3D pixel-perfect keyer and the native feature of Unreal Engine (UE). The combination of the best-in-class virtual graphics of UE and the compositing capabilities of the Reality platform creates a convincing image where physical and virtual blend in a unique way.

Future of Sports Broadcasting

Viaplay’s innovative use of the Zero Density Reality Platform demonstrates that the future of studio operations lies in using virtual production technology to increase production value while reducing the cost base.

If you have more questions about how virtual production can revolutionize your production approach without a massive impact on day-to-day operations, reach out to us. Our experts would be happy to brainstorm with you.

About Zero Density

Zero Density gives visual storytellers the tools they need to bring their creative vision to life effortlessly and with lasting impact. Our integrated virtual production and real-time motion graphics platforms boost operational efficiency and deliver results you can rely on. Zero Density is your forward-thinking industry partner, with offices around the globe serving clients such as The Weather Channel, Viaplay, Sky News Arabia, Fox Sports and Warner Media.