EA Sports will be the official technology partner for the FA Premier league from next season, both organisations announced today. The deal will see EA Sports branding on all video broadcasts of Premier League football next season and EA Sports "will work with broadcasters to develop enhancements for match day broadcast analysis and increased fan interaction."
EA Sports football games will also gain access to the Premier League's team of the week, containing those players whose performance was most highly rated in the previous round of matches. Additionally, the player performance index on which these rankings are based is being expanded to include data, such as ball speed, shot force, and jump height through new technology that will be implemented at all Premier League grounds this season.
The deal will also allow EA access to all the match and performance data from league games, which will then be integrated into future iterations of the FIFA franchise to increase realism, according to the megapublisher. Broadcasters will be able to use EA Sports "graphics, animations and interactive technology combined with real-time, real-world data feeds." EA has said it will work with broadcasters to allow them to showcase statistics and help broadcast analysis using this technology and the data available.
This echoes work that EA has been doing in the USA for some time. Recent features, such as ESPN's virtual playbook, launched in 2008, followed up activity using EA sports technology to showcase real-world sporting events as early as 2003. Madden 2004 was first used as a visual aid for sports analysts to explain strategy and examine on-field matchups.
It was also announced that a deal had been reached to extend the official gaming license for the Premier League, though the length of the agreement was not made public. FIFA 11, the next iteration in the series, is due out this autumn and is being developed by EA Canada. It is not yet rated by either PEGI or the ESRB.