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Virtual fans, crowd noise to be added



May 14, 2020

FOX Sports experimenting with adding crowd noise, virtual fans 

        It is indeed becoming a strange new world. If the COVID-19 pandemic forces the league to play games without fans, FOX Sports has begun experimenting with adding crowd noise to its telecasts. And who knows what else will be slipped in there.

"It's pretty much a done deal," FOX broadcaster Joe Buck said on "Andy Cohen Live," according to John Ourand of the Sports Business Journal.

"I think whoever is going to be at that control is going to have to be really good at their job and be realistic with how a crowd would react depending on what just happened on the field. So it's really important."

The network is also looking at camera angles to make it look as though crowds are full.

"They're looking at ways to put virtual fans in the stands," Buck said. "So when you see a wide shot, it looks like the stadium is jam-packed and in fact, it'll be empty."

I don't like it. It's a little to big-brother-ish for me, and if we're looking at virtual fans, what else will be subtly slipped into our viewing stream? Will the crowd be an equal mix of every ethnicity, gender, and class? 

In a world where every virtual fan is holding a virtual Bud Light and wearing a FoxSports cap, how will we be able to know what is real anymore? I can't stand laugh-tracks on comedy shows because the laughter level doesn't match my laughter level, so having some nerd in New York decide for me how enthusiastic the cheering is - does an injustice to the true spirit of the game.

Once we cross this bridge, there will be no coming back. We are at the beginning of the Matrix. Hold on to your butts (insert virtual laugh-track here.)



Ran DeBord - All Access Sporting News

 Follow @AASNSports on Twitter, or me, @RanDeBord

Attributes: AASNSports; SportsBusinessJournal

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