Joe Buck spoke with Andy Cohen today and shared some interesting details about FOX's plans for broadcasting football games in empty stadiums this Fall. Specifically, that they will pump in crowd noise for the sake of both the broadcasters and the fans. And it will look like teams are playing in front of fans on television.
Here is Buck on artificial crowd noise.
"It's pretty much a done deal. I think whoever is going to be at that control is going to have to be really good at their job and be realistic with how a crowd will react with what just happened on the field."
This could actually make certain parts of a broadcast more awkward. Is the crowd noise just constantly positive? What if a bad call goes against the home team? Do referees get booed? What if a team punts for the fifth consecutive possession? Of course, those choices will all pale in comparison to the virtual fans.
"They're looking at ways to put virtual fans in the stands so when you see a wide shot it looks like the stadium is jammed pack and in fact it will be empty."
It's going to look like wide shots of Madden and players are going to be looking at cardboard cutouts like they're walking down the practice runway in Zoolander. These are just weird problems to have, but if that's what we have to put up with to have live sports in our lives, so be it.