With footy officially on the way back, details about what it’ll look like in a pandemic world are slowly emerging. And one of the chief complaints from Round 1 as far as home viewers are concerned is set to be addressed by Channel Seven. It’s just that…. it looks a little bit weird is all.
Despite all AFL games for the foreseeable future taking place in front of empty stadiums, Seven officials are looking to bridge that gap somewhat for the viewing public by piping in fake crowd noises on broadcasts.
Last night, Seven unveiled the first sneak peak at what that’ll wind up looking and sounding like, and it’s a wee bit jarring to say the very least.
AFL players have returned to their clubs across the country, ahead of the season restart on June 11. Channel 7 will be adding crowd noise to the telecast from round 2. @Stevo7AFL with a preview. https://t.co/5zYfOfohG3 #7AFL #7NEWS pic.twitter.com/BzHfCVooRK
— 7NEWS Melbourne (@7NewsMelbourne) May 18, 2020
Seven officials assert they have spoken to a “number of consultants,” including ones “all the way from Hollywood” in a bid to best tailor the experience for fans at home. This, apparently, will include crowd roars for goals kicked at a bare minimum. But the expectation is that other standard crowd calls, including the ubiquitous “ball,” will also be employed. It’s unclear whether the piped-in crowd noises will be automatically generated, or whether audio artists will improv them on the fly as the game dictates.
It remains to be seen whether Seven’s library of crowd calls will also include abject booing for shithouse umpiring decisions. One can only hope.
The AFL is set to resume play on Thursday, June 11th. Further details of the rebooted season, including a restructured fixture, are yet to be announced.Image: Getty Images / Robert Cianflone