Piped In Crowds

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  • Soccer leagues are looking toward EA FIFA 20 for crowd noise in empty stadiums.

As live sports begin to return without fans, sports leagues and organizations have tried to find unique ways to maintain that sense of excitement for fans watching at home.

When Spain’s La Liga returns to play today, the league will look to show off several new broadcast innovations. While real fans won’t be in the stands, a collaboration with Norwegian firm Vizrt will offer a digitized crowd and “institutional messages” during stoppages. La Liga will also debut new camera angles – some of which were not possible with fans in the stands.

Without a real crowd, the league will turn to EA Sports’ FIFA 20 for audio, which already records in-stadium sound for its video game action. That sound will be “adapted to be implemented in real-time response.” La Liga isn’t alone in its usage of FIFA’s audio as Sky Sports plans to use the video game audio in Premier League broadcasts. Broadcasts for the German Bundesliga have also used piped-in audio.

In the U.S., the NBA could turn to the sounds of NBA 2K when it returns to play next month in Orlando. The artificial crowd noise would help fill a void, but not everyone is happy about the prospect. Los Angeles Clippers forward Montrezl Harrell tweeted: “Wtf I hope they not serious.”