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NTV introduces special technology to increase fan engagement

Line judges are wearing special head cameras to provide volleyball fans with exclusive footage of the 2013 FIVB Volleyball Men's World Grand Champions Cup
Kyoto, Japan, November 19, 2013 – Japan is worldwide known for high-tech and for the country’s ability to foster innovation via continuous investments in research and development.

This is true also for volleyball as Japan has turned into the place where many innovations have been introduced especially when it comes to the broadcasting of the sport. The 2013 edition of the FIVB Volleyball World Grand Champions Cup will prolong this tradition with a couple of actions that are likely to set the tone for even more innovative technology-driven solutions to follow in the near future.

On Tuesday morning, as Russia and Italy opened the programme of the men’s tournament, all volleyball fans got to see a special feature. The line judges appointed for this game were carrying on their head a special camera recording footage shown on TV so as to help all spectators enjoy a closer look and feel of the game. Though the footage recorded by these cameras is not used to check whether the ball is in or out and does not replace the video verification system used in other FIVB events, it definitely provides volleyball fans with a special insight into the game.

This innovation was developed by host broadcaster NTV to follow up on a meeting that all Japanese volleyball broadcasters – TBS, Fuji TV, and NTV – had some months ago with FIVB President Dr. Ary S. Graça F°. “Last March President Graça was in Tokyo and he urged all Japanese TV companies to help FIVB develop innovative tools so as to increase the fan engagement. We have taken up this challenge and worked on some ideas so as to live up to his expectations and wishes,” says a spokesperson for NTV.

Apart from these cameras, the matches starring Team Japan will feature another innovation. The fans will have the possibility to drop their comments as the game unfolds. Their tweets will be displayed on the advertising boards around the court and shown also on TV by exploiting a system which is very similar to the RSS feeds used by all news channels. “Twitter has become very popular here in Japan and this social network provides a good opportunity to develop a closer interaction with the fans who are following the matches of our national team. We hope that all these actions testify our commitment to pursue the goals set by FIVB and spark a real volleyball fever among all sports enthusiasts, and especially across the young generations,” stresses a representative of the host broadcaster.

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