Serie A says it has become the first major soccer league to broadcast a live game in the metaverse, bringing AC Milan’s 1-0 win over Fiorentina to The Nemesis platform in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.
Italy’s top soccer competition worked with telecommunications partner TIM and Blockchain firm ConsenSys to bring the game to viewers through a dedicated ‘Serie A’ room on The Nemesis, a digital environment that allows brands to build virtual ‘villages’ that house interactive experiences.
In addition to providing a youthful audience for Serie A to pursue, the MENA region presents fewer obstacles as the league has no permanent rights partner in the region, with matches shown live on YouTube.
Many sports organisations 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 demographic, particularly in emerging markets where traditional broadcasts have not had the same degree of traction. Fans were further enticed by the offer of free non-fungible tokens 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.”