DFL First-Class Referee Comms in German Bundesliga and DFB Cup

The Deutsche Fußball Liga (DFL) and Deutscher Fußball-Bund (DFB) have chosen Riedel’s Bolero S wireless intercom for the 2019/2020 season. Bolero S is being used as a referee communications system in all games of the 1st and 2nd Bundesliga, as well as the final 15 DFB Cup matches. With remotely monitored VOX voice activation, Bolero S enables superior communication between referees, assistants on the pitch, and video assistants in the DFL Video Assist Center (VAC) in Cologne. With the expanded cooperation between Riedel and DFL, all 36 Bundesliga stadiums are now equipped with Riedel Artist and Bolero hardware. Bolero S provides high-transmission security coupled with optimal voice and sound quality, with guaranteed quality assurance from the Riedel Remote Operations Center (ROC) in Wuppertal.

The Bolero S wireless intercom system, with remotely monitored VOX voice activation, was developed by Riedel’s Managed Sports Services division in close cooperation with experts from the DFL (Deutsche Fußball Liga) and DFB (Deutscher Fußball-Bund). The solution enables superior communication between referees, assistants on the pitch, and video assistants in the Video Assist Center (VAC) in Cologne. From the ROC in Wuppertal, Riedel’s operators remotely control, configure, and calibrate all system components in real time, ensuring maximum security and optimum sound quality.

"After the successful premiere in the Bundesliga last season, it quickly became clear that we would also be using the Riedel solution in the 2nd Bundesliga and for the DFB Cup," said Ansgar Schwenken, DFL Director Football Affairs & Fans. "Riedel's tailor-made technologies and comprehensive system management from the ROC in Wuppertal have considerably enhanced both the referee comms and the integration of the video assistant. The cooperation between the DFL and Riedel is a perfect example of how innovative technology and the emotion inherent in football can be perfectly harmonized."

With the introduction of the Bolero S systems in the 2nd Bundesliga, the 18 2nd league stadiums are now equipped with the appropriate Artist and Bolero hardware, and the Riedel support capabilities in the ROC have been raised to an entirely new level. The ROC now offers space for 12 audio specialists who can monitor up to 10 matches simultaneously on any given Bundesliga Saturday.

For the improved room concept, Riedel relied on the processing power of the new RSP-1232HL SmartPanel, whose user-friendly interface enables the Riedel team to optimize their workflows. The ROC operators benefit from the patented Hybrid Lever Keys and the phase-accurate stereo loudspeakers of the highly customizable panel. In addition to 12 RSP-1232HL SmartPanels, 12 RCP-1028 panels, and six RCP-1128 panels, the team also uses 12 2300-Series SmartPanels equipped with the MediorNet Control App.

The new ROC also sets new reliability standards because every component is completely redundant. The core technology is located in the Riedel data center, which operates independently thanks to a backup power generator. Even in the event of a major power failure, the real-time monitoring of the football matches remains completely unaffected.

"For us, the future of sports production lies in managed sports services and remote management. The ROC significantly reduces the personnel and logistical production effort for us and our partners, while enabling unrestricted transmission security and the highest service quality," said Voßkühler. "The incredible response to our cooperation with the DFL empowers us to apply the concept of central control management to other applications. With our expanded ROC, we are already prepared for future projects."