Premier League Productions votes to use artificial crowd noise for overseas broadcasts

The company responsible for the league’s foreign broadcasts polled staff about enhancing the viewing experience

Sunday, 24th May 2020, 7:29 pm

Updated Sunday, 24th May 2020, 7:30 pm
Premier League Productions are in favour of using artificial crowd noise in empty stadiums (Photo: Getty Images)

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However, 55 per cent were in favour of artificial crowd noise as a “secondary option, or behind the red button”, with 35 per cent preferring it in their main feed.

Premier League games will be played without spectators as and when the league returns (Photo: Getty Images)

The vote was only for internal staff, and the company works separately to the Premier League itself, so the League is under no obligation to take the figures on board.

PLP produces and distributes all of the Premier League’s international programming, including the broadcasting of all 380 Premier League matches. They also put together seven magazine shows each week, as well as the Premier League Content Service, which is run by some of the League’s broadcast partners as a full 24/7 channel.

One tech company, Oz Sports, revealed to i last week that they have been in talks with the Premier League and its broadcasters to offer their services to “augment” the broadcasting of matches, giving them the option to simulate full stadiums using CGI – computer generated imagery. Also, as well as noise being created by Oz Sports’ creative team, fans would be able chant into a mobile app, before having hit beamed into the stadium and back out of their TV.

No deal has been agreed as yet, with Sky Sports and BT Sports reportedly sceptical as to the quality of the artificial crowd noise. BT Sport have not explored such options for their Bundesliga coverage since its return last weekend.

“It is not compulsory,” OZ Sports founder and CEO Gudjon Mar Gudjonsson tells i. “In the Sky example, we would deliver to them a landing page – Arena.Sky.com – and then you can pick the match you would want to join from there. The normal broadcast, without noise, would still be an option.”

And access to some form of noise, as opposed to a behind-closed-doors silence, seems to be the option most appealing to those who specialise in broadcasting the Premier League around the world.

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