Soccer game

Fake crowds added to broadcasts of football games during pandemic

We all know the seats are empty

I think everyone realizes that the sport is going to look very weird on TV for a while (unless you’re watching a game in New Zealand). There won’t be any fans to celebrate the big games, make fun of lousy umpires or cut cameras for reaction shots. Broadcasters face the challenge of trying to present games in a way that is not entirely foreign to viewers.

CBS is put microphones on golfers during PGA Tour events. Some football leagues are experimenting with false crowd noises, with decidedly mixed reviews. (For the Premier League’s comeback, the games on TV had a fake crowd noise, but online streaming viewers had the option to listen to the natural sound of the stadium.)

Some leagues, however, deploy fake crowds. Like, fill the stands with computer generated images.

Spain’s La Liga was the first league to try their luck when play resumed this weekend. It sounded like shit!

Are the colored spots even meant to be fans? It looks like Claude Monet’s worst painting.

The Coppa Italia final on Wednesday also employed a CGI crowd. It didn’t look any better.

For some reason, the effect was only applied in wide shots. During the close-ups, you could see all the empty seats.

The real reason for the fake crowd should have been obvious. La Coppa Italia used it as an advertisement for Coca-Cola.

Sports leagues are undoubtedly cash-strapped during this crisis, but there must be better ways to close the gap than that. While fake crowd noise isn’t perfect, it can at least sometimes serve as white noise to prevent annoying broadcast silence. Fake fans in the stands, on the other hand, are a total distraction. This makes the image on the screen too busy.

What’s the point, anyway (apart from the advertising potential)? Do they think empty seats will be a distraction? Football matches are already played in empty arenas occasionally due to disciplinary measures. False crowds are simply unnecessary. Hopefully the trend does not spread to the United States

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