Sky Italia has the Super Touch for sports analysis
At first sight simply a large HD monitor from Red Bee supported by dedicated Piero software, Super Touch is actually the very definition of a multi-purpose installation – serving as an indispensable adjunct in the management of many television programmes, as well as an analysis tool that can be used to review the entire match.
This is the most technical and tactical use of this equipment, and allows presenters to review the crucial action of the matches, to stop them, and then physically draw-on-screen actions, create a circle on the attacker…and much more. The system operates in conjunction with a complex database accessed via an external company, Opta.
The database provides a variety of useful data and statistics before the game, which are inserted individually into the engine that runs the tactical display. The update includes: weekly statistics, the number of times the ball was in possession for the player, the occupied areas in the field by each player, the mileage covered by each player, how many times he passed the ball to a team-mate, and so on.
Journalists Federico Ferri and Alessandro Scipioni are involved with the coverage of Sky Sports HD Serie A and make extensive use of the Super Touch facility. Scipioni remarks: “With Piero and Opta we carried out directly the great job of developing and adapting it to try and model the software and the database according to our needs. In practice, the software is available to any broadcaster but customisation is essential.”
Opta is an international company that also takes advantage of the valuable contribution to be made by many coaches and football clubs to develop services for the media, make an accurate diagnosis of the game, and enable the viewing of all data in real-time on the screen. The database of the current game updates live and the system is developed by Sky in cooperation with Opta.
The screen, once opened, displays a soccer field, obviously green, but some darker areas outlined in red (those that are physically ‘trampled’ by that player). As a result, the viewer at home can immediately ‘feel’ the behaviour from the point of view of every tactical player during the match, starting from where he was deployed in the field. And, of course, every aspect can be repurposed for any player.