In a world with no fans in the stands, broadcasters are trying anything that may work.
After a round of NRL with no fans earlier in the season, both Fox League and Channel 9 decided to broadcast crowd noises to give the game a bit of atmosphere in lounge rooms.
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Fox Sports’ head of television Steve Crawley said it would add more for fans.
“The stars of the game are the players, not the audio effects. But having them makes for a better experience,” Crawley said.
“What we add will be subtle so we can still hear big hits and players communicating.
“Our audio guys have developed a world-class solution to a unique problem and we think it will be adopted elsewhere during this time.”
With exclusive rights on the Saturday games, Fox Sports will simulcast the games across two channels, one with the artificial sound and one without.
The artificial sound has been used in German football’s Bundesliga since it’s returned with many believing it helps the broadcast.
In the US, NFL play-by play announcer Joe Buck told a SiriusXM show that it was “pretty much a done deal” for the sport.
“I think FOX and these networks have to put crowd noise under us to make it as normal a viewing experience at home,” Buck said to Cohen. “I think they’ll do it. In fact, I know they’ll do it.”
Although not on Channel 9, Phil Gould praised the artificial sound.
I must say that the crowd noise in the background created by @Channel9 is brilliant. It’s been expertly used during the match. After a while it will just sound like a real crowd. Great atmosphere,” he wrote.
While it didn’t go as far as the South Korean baseball with sex dolls in seats, fans certainly had a strong reaction to the move, with plenty landing on both sides of the initiative.
While it mostly fell on the pro side, the fake noise has been controversial across the world.
There were some strong opinions on the NRL version.
The NRL are also trying to come up with ideas with the league’s head of marketing Peter Jarman confirming cardboard fans would be used in the stands.
“Clubs have been really supportive, they’re really behind this,” Peter Jarman said.
“I think it will be a great thing for fans and players.”
After 67 days sidelined due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Parramatta extended their unbeaten start to the NRL season with a convincing win over Brisbane.
The Eels made it three wins from three in 2020 as they defeated the Broncos 34-6 in a six tries to one romp at Suncorp Stadium.
The result completed a successful return to action for the NRL, suspended since March 22 due to the coronavirus crisis.
The Eels who impressed as they went to 3-0 for the first time since 1993, dominated territory, particularly in the second half, with nine players picking up over 100 running metres.
— with AAP