- Italian Serie A league broadcasts the first live soccer match in the metaverse
- The Nemesis virtual reality platform utilized for the event
Serie A says it has become the first major professional soccer league to broadcast a live game in the metaverse, bringing AC Milan’s 1-0 win over ACF Fiorentina on May 1 to The Nemesis platform in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.
Italy’s top soccer league worked with telecommunications partner TIM and Blockchain firm ConsenSys to bring the match to viewers using a dedicated ‘Serie A’ room on The Nemesis, a digital environment that allows brands to build virtual ‘villages’ that house interactive experiences.
The soccer match against Fiorentina broadcast in the metaverse became another first in sports history for AC Milan. On October 31, 2021 they became the first sports team ever to release ‘In Game’ NFTs (non-fungible tokens) during their match against AS Roma. The NFTs were minted on the Chiliz blockchain.
In addition to providing a youthful demographic for Serie A to pursue, the MENA region also presents fewer barriers to entry as the league has no permanent rights partner in the region. Matches are shown live on YouTube.
Many sports organizations view the metaverse as a new way to attract and engage digitally native fans that prefer to use new technologies to access entertainment. The National Football League (NFL) has built digital environments on the Roblox platform, while Uefa used Roblox to reveal the official mascot for the upcoming women’s European soccer championships in England.
Serie A believes that showing a live match in a digital environment where fans could interact using virtual avatars is a key way to attract this young audience, particularly in emerging markets where traditional media broadcasts have not had the same degree of reach as in other established markets. Fans were further enticed to watch the match by the offer of free NFTs for the first 10,000 viewers.
“We have chosen to be the first to broadcast a soccer match in the metaverse because we believe that the frontier of technological innovation is extremely important for a modern league such as Serie A,” said Serie A chief executive, Luigi De Siervo.
“MENA represents a strategic area for us due to the dominant presence of Generation Z and the particular receptivity to new developments. This is the continuation of a path that began with the release of the first NFTs in May 2021 and continued with the construction of the International Broadcasting Centre in Lissone.”
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