NBC Sports has revealed that its coverage of the Premier League in the coming weeks will include “atmospheric enhanced audio” in order to improve the broadcast experience of games that will have no spectators in the stands.
The Premier League is scheduled to resume on June 17 following a three-month hiatus caused by the global Covid-19 pandemic.
NBC Sports has already revealed its broadcast schedule for the first three rounds of action, until July 2, including games on new streaming service Peacock for the first time.
Now the network has announced that, in partnership with video game developer EA Sports, it will offer artificial crowd noise for viewers on its main broadcasts on the NBC linear network and cable channel NBCSN.
Fans who do not want the enhanced audio will be able to hear natural sounds on broadcasts on NBC streaming platforms.
EA Sports has sampled 92 different stadium sounds effects, including cheers and jeers, which have been taken directly from crowds at Premier League venues. They will be used to try to match the situations during games.
“Ultimately it’s the most authentic way of enhancing the audio. We truly believe that this is probably the best viewer experience during these conditions without fans behind closed doors,” said Pierre Moossa, coordinating producer for NBC Sports Group’s coverage of the Premier League, on a conference call with reporters.
In the United Kingdom, host broadcasters Sky Sports, BT Sport, and Amazon will also offer Premier League fans a choice between enhanced audio or natural sound audio. It is a similar strategy that has already been adopted by broadcasters of the German Bundesliga and Spanish LaLiga.
Elsewhere, it was announced that NBC Sports will have on-site commentary teams at stadiums in England, as well as talent at its studio in Stamford, Connecticut. “Our production philosophy is simple – it’s to provide our viewers at home with the same coverage they’ve expected of us in the past,” Moossa said.
Moossa revealed that all Premier League stadiums will have tarps covering the lower tiers, which will be customized by home teams. He added that there will be virtual watch parties which will be fed into the giant screens or Jumbotrons at venues, allowing some spectators to have a simulated in-stadium experience.
Meanwhile, it was announced that the Coppa Italia final on June 17 will be broadcast on the main ESPN network. Three Serie A games have also been scheduled for the main ESPN network this month.
Serie A games are mainly broadcast on direct-to-consumer streaming service ESPN+.