A Metaverse first: Italian football joins the Metaverse
Hot on the heels of our recent esports post, comes news of the Italian national league, Serie A, jumping into the Metaverse. Yesterday, Serie A, in collaboration with US blockchain software technology company ConsenSys, broadcast the AC Milan's game with Fiorentina on a “Serie A Room” in the Nemesis Metaverse.
The Nemesis Metaverse is Swiss company UNDO Studios’ open world game. It allows players to explore and play games across a number of different thematic 3D worlds (pirate islands, far west valley, scifi district, and the city), art galleries, and stores. The Nemesis Metaverse also hosts live streaming events, such as football games.
Nemesis posits itself as “the next generation metaverse”, and that: “Except for real-life biological needs, The Nemesis lets you do everything you want, be anyone you’d like and literally explore a world of metaverses that offers endless experiences in many different areas.” A copy of UNDO Studio’s white paper provides more information on its Nemesis Metaverse plans.
Sunday’s broadcast from the world-famous San Siro stadium represents the first time a football league has broadcast a match on the Metaverse. As well as being able to watch the game live, viewers were also able to interact with different features of the “Serie A Room”. Unfortunately, the “Serie A Room” was only available to viewers in the Middle East and North Africa. This is because these regions have a target audience of younger fans that Serie A would like to capture. Ahead of the game Serie A CEO Luigi De Siervo said that that: “Middle East and North Africa represent a strategic area for us due to the dominant presence of Generation Z and the particular receptivity towards news.”
Serie A already attracts a global audience; in October 2021 Serie A technology partner EI TOWERS unveiled a new International Broadcast Center (IBC) in the Italian town of Lissone, a 2,400 square meter building designed to broadcast Serie A matches all over the world. But how will the fan experience change in the future? Without a doubt, every fan will be able to choose their preferred viewing position, whether that’s behind the goals or on the halfway line or, more likely, in a private box with all their friends. But what else might they be able to do? What about getting really close to the action, to virtually run alongside your favourite player, or a players-view of the match?
No doubt, die-hard fans will want to engage with every aspect of the match, including acting as a collective, virtual referee, reviewing controversial decisions from every angle and providing a communal decision. But what about restrictions? Perhaps not everything that happens on the pitch should be available to fans. For example, while thankfully rare, incidents such as Christian Eriksen’s cardiac arrest at Euro 2020 should not be broadcast in the Metaverse and policy should be put in place today to protect players and their families.