Culture Technology

Sky Sports to add FIFA video game crowd noise to Premier League TV matches

Sky Sports has partnered with video games company EA Sports to bring ‘live’ crowd noise to its coverage of Premier League matches, when play begins behind closed doors. It’s just one of a trio of innovations announced by the broadcaster to inject a level of interaction into the beautiful game. 

Football fans will also have the opportunity to comment on the action with family and friends on virtual platforms. The broadcaster says this new approach to sports broadcasting will transform how people can watch their favourite teams.

Coverage is provisionally set to resume on June 17 with an Aston Villa v Sheffield United and Manchester City v Arsenal double-header.

Sky Sports will show 64 matches, 39 exclusive to subscribers with an extra 25 available on Sky’s free-to-air Pick channel.

Sky Sports Crowds will include team-specific chants from EA Sports extensive FIFA audio asset library…

Sky Sports Crowds to levn up Sky Premier League coverage

What is Sky Sports Crowds?

Delivered in association with EA Sports FIFA, Sky Sports Crowds brings bespoke and team-specific crowd noise and chants (derived from EA Sports extensive FIFA audio asset library) to Sky Sports Premier league TV coverage, to replicate the actual atmosphere of Premier League matches. Viewers can opt to watch with the added sound effects, or without them.

What is Sky Sports Recap?

New for this atypical Premier League season is Sky Sports Recap, a catch-up of all the key highlights during live matches in a brief burst. Every game will have a live timeline enabling viewers to catch up on the highlights at any point during the match, even if they haven’t watched it from the beginning.  

What is Sky Sports Fanzone?

Introduced on the Sky Sports website and app, Sky Sports Fanzone allows footie fans to watch select matches with friends in a video room, and interact during the match, giving them the chance to chat about the match as well as influence the crowd noises they hear on screen (via a ‘Choose the chant’ menu, see below). Users of the app can post predictions, join in-match polls and use the Sky Sports stats to fuel the virtual conversation. 

Welcome to the Sky Sports Fanzone

“With live sport on hold for over two months, we’ve spent a lot of time thinking about how we broadcast in new ways to bring fans together, even if they can’t meet up to watch the match,” explains Sky Sports Managing Director Rob Webster. 

“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.”  

And there’s apparently more to come. Sky Sports says it will unveil ‘further innovations to further enhance the experience for fans’ in the coming weeks, as well as a schedule of live matches and channels.

About Steve May

Creator of Home Cinema Choice magazine, Steve muses and reviews for Trusted Reviews, T3, TechRadar, Home Cinema Choice, Ideal Home, The Luxe Review, Channel News and the i newspaper. He’s also the editor of professional home cinema website Inside CI, and contributor to industry trade magazine ERT. He's on Twitter and Instagram as @SteveMay_UK

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