Sports are coming back. Kind of. The early days of the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic saw makeshift sports stunts like TV networks airing NHL20 games and tournaments of real F1 drivers playing F12019.
Now, proper sports folks are getting back on the proper pitch but they won’t have a proper audience to cheer for them because stadiums full of folks would be a major social distancing blunder. Instead, Sky Sports will be piping in fake crowd noises in to their broadcast so those of ya watching at home still feel like it’s the realest of real deals.
“We want Sky Sports viewers to still feel it all and have the best possible viewing experience—even if they can’t be in the stadiums or watch with their family and friends,” said Sky Sports managing director Robert Webster.
According to our business siblings at Eurogamer, EA Sports have “created bespoke and team-specific crowd noise and chants.” They say when you select the Sky channel you’ll be able to choose to watch with or without the added noise.
Sounds a bit silly to me at first, but the more I think about watching a football match without the chanting, or heck even a tennis match without the hushed murmur followed by clapping, it might actually feel a bit creepy. EA’s pre-recorded crowds can’t help out the players on the pitch though. Suppose they’ll just have to suffer the silence.
The first of these live but socially distanced matches will be Aston Villa v Sheffield United and Manchester City v Arsenal on Wednesday, June 17th.