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Vizrt acquires virtual sports graphics provider LiberoVision

Vizrt has agreed to acquire the assets of Swiss company LiberoVision, a developer of virtual sports enhancements. The deal could be worth more than $7 million after all factors are taken into consideration.

Vizrt will purchase all of the issued and outstanding share capital of LiberoVision in three installments: 60 percent upon signing of the definitive agreement, 20 percent upon approval of the financial statements of LiberoVision for the year 2011, and 20 percent upon approval of the financial statements of LiberoVision for the year 2012.

As part of the transaction, the founders of LiberoVision, including Stephan Würmlin Stadler, current CEO for LiberoVision, will remain in their respective leadership positions for at least two years.

Martin Burkhalter, CEO of Vizrt, said the LiberoVision product line will fit well into the existing Vizrt portfolio of virtual graphics technology.

LiberoVision products allow for live, on-air review and analysis of events on the field, including POV shots not captured by traditional cameras. In creating a seemingly 3-D environment for normal 2-D broadcasts, this type of analysis provides yet another compelling way to tell a story, providing a key driver behind all Vizrt graphics products. LiberoVision’s technology does not require any additional in-stadium infrastructure. Many customers now use LiberoVision and Vizrt systems in tandem to creatively enhance live broadcasts, whether in 2-D or 3-D.

LiberoVision’s image-processing technology transforms camera feeds into 3-D representations, creating a graphics realism not found with other virtual player systems. And, it can all be done in real time. LiberoVision currently offers two product lines: Libero Highlight and Libero Offside. Libero Highlight provides realistic 3-D replays that are indistinguishable from images produced by on-site TV cameras. It enables the broadcaster to move the viewer's perspective to areas not covered by the in-stadium cameras, such as over the shoulder of the quarterback. Libero Offside was developed for instant offside analysis during soccer games.