Opinion: German Bundesliga broadcast uses fake crowd noise, and it's actually great

  • 1 month ago
Opinion: German Bundesliga broadcast uses fake crowd noise, and it's actually great
RB Leipzig took on Mainz in Bundesliga action on Sunday morning at Opel Arena in Mainz, Germany. Due to coronavirus concerns, the match was played in an empty stadium, as all Bundesliga matches have been played since the return of the league.
 
What was different about the match on Sunday morning was that the broadcast has experimented with adding in fake crowd noise to make the game feel more natural.
 
(Note: The players in the stadium, according to FS1's Alexi Lalas, cannot hear the noise. It's being added in the broadcast feed.)
 
It's a practice that's been discussed as a possibility for teams playing in empty stadiums, but has so far been avoided due to concerns that the pumped-in noise would feel artificial and silly.
 
 
After having watched most of the first half, in which RB Leipzig is just trouncing Mainz, I have to say: It's much better.
 
Yes, it can feel a bit uncanny to hear crowd noise and then look up and see empty seats. But soccer is a game that relies on atmosphere as much as anything. Your eyes are on the field for the most part, so you don't notice the disparity much. With the chants, it feels like a soccer game.
 
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I'll admit: I thought this wasn't going to work. And I'll admit that I was totally wrong. It does work, it makes the game feel more special and real.
 
A lot of people felt similarly, but not all:

Source: USA Today

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