Watching live sports without the constant background cheering, booing, or any noise will be a bizarre and awkward experience for the fans, commentators, and players.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, Electronic Arts, EA Sports, will provide the top two European football leagues’ broadcasts with artificial fan noise since fans will not be allowed to attend games.
Sky Sports is working with EA Sports to create stimulated chants and crowd noises designed for specific teams. The Sky Sports website explains, “Sky Sports has created a range of bespoke and team-specific crowd noises and chants to bring the vibrant atmosphere of the Premier League to the restart.”
The company has retrieved the crowd noise over the years for its video game, FIFA. “The important thing is hopefully it enhances the experience for someone watching a game,” said EA Sports’ audio artist Paul Boechler.
Sounds include reaction from a tackle from an away player to a shot from the home team. Everything that will be heard is noise captured by home fans.
According to Boechler, leagues and broadcasters approached the company in late April about possibly using the sound clips.
EA Sports’ producer and designer Andrew Vance holds over 800 sound clips for the leagues ranging from Liverpool matches from Anfield to Barcelona games from Camp Nou showing their displeasure when one of their players is shown a yellow card.
The fan noise made its first appearance on Thursday during the La Liga game between Sevilla FC and Real Betis.
Help For Broadcasters
Bundesliga has also brought in an artificial soundtrack to the games. German broadcaster Sky Deutschland has supplied its own crowd soundtrack, using audio from games earlier this season.
These fan noises do not only act as a rhythm of the games but also allow commentators to concentrate more on the action, instead of the feel of an empty stadium.
In addition to the crowd noise, La Liga is planning on adding a virtual crowd to the screen. The options can be chosen whether the fan wants to hear the artificial sound or see a virtual crowd in the stands.
Other sporting events like the Korean Baseball Organization have replaced the crowd with cardboard cutouts or stuffed animals.