Dominican Republic’s FEDOFUTBOL in groundbreaking OTT tie-up with OZ Sports

By David Owen

March 1 – The Football Federation of the Dominican Republic (FEDOFUTBOL), to which a FIFA normalisation committee was appointed last November, has agreed a deal with the production company OZ Sports covering the country’s professional football league.

Under the agreement, OZ will produce all games for the 12-team Liga Dominicana de Fútbol (LDF). Up to two matches a week are to be broadcast on free-to-air networks, with every game made available to multiple devices via the dedicated OTT platform, FEDOFUTBOL GO.

OZ’s innovative, low-cost technology, which is said to be capable of 4K broadcast quality production for as little as $800 per match, uses fixed and permanent stadium cameras and also offers a commentary feature that can be utilised by viewers.

Installation of the necessary infrastructure will take some months, with two stadiums expected to be ready when the new season gets under way on March 30. All venues will eventually be equipped with between five and ten robotic cameras. These AI-assisted camera platforms will permit replays, slow motion and graphics.

Manuel Luna, FEDOFUTBOL’s normalisation committee chairman, said the deal was “a gigantic step in the modernisation of our league”, adding that he hoped the initiative would “allow us to internationalise our football”. The LDF was launched in 2015.

OZ Sports chief executive Gudjon Gudjonsson claimed the company’s offer was “an excellent example of how new technology disrupts the old way of doing things”. He said OZ was “very grateful for this validation of our solution from football’s global governing body”.

Appointment of the normalisation committee followed a decision by FIFA’s Ethics Committee to ban Osiris Guzman, president of FEDOFUTBOL since 1998, for ten years from all football-related activities. The normalisation committee is scheduled to conclude its mandate by July 31.

The CONCACAF Nations League and Sweden’s Damallsvenskan women’s football league, are among competitions featured on OZ’s website. The LDF tie-up is, though, said to be the company’s first country-based roll-out deal.

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