When the Premier League returns in little over a week, Sky Sports viewers will have the opportunity to hear some familiar chants despite fans not being in attendance.
The pay TV broadcaster has announced it has worked with EA Sports’ FIFA division to simulate bespoke crowd noise for Premier League clubs’ home stadiums.
Viewers will have be able to choose to watch the game with the new audio soundtrack or settle for the eerie sounds of empty stadiums punctuated by the yells of players and coaches.
In a press release, Sky said the work with EA will help to “replicate the vibrant atmosphere of Premier League clashes, so fans don’t miss out on the noise that goes with the action.”
“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.
Those familiar with the FIFA games know how much effort EA Sports puts into this authenticity, right down to the finer details. For example, when Liverpool win a corner at Anfield, you’ll hear the familiar “Li-ver-pool, Li-ver-pool” chant in the game.
We’re sure fans of most of the other top teams recognise timely chants from their own club’s stadiums. Whether they’ll want to hear simulated efforts during televised real life games is another matter, but it’s good to see Sky providing the option.
Those who’ve been keeping up with the German Bundesliga since its restart will notice many teams are pumping in crowd noise while others simply go with the ambient sound as the background to the action. We’re not sure which is weirder.
The Premier League kicks-off for the final quarter of the season from June 17. Sky has the rights to 64 of the remaining fixtures and has pledged to air 25 of them on the free-to-air Pick channel.