For the neutral fans, the biggest question about the return of the 2019/20 Premier League season is whether artificial crowd noise will be included or not.
After all, both the Bundesliga and LaLiga have featured artificial crowd noise that has arguably helped to enhance the television broadcasts, making games sound more exciting.
For fans of Premier League clubs tuning in to watch the restart of the games on U.S. television, NBC Sports has decided to feature artificial crowd noise on television (or, as the Premier League, is terming it: ‘atmospheric-enhanced audio.’) Viewers who only want the natural sounds from the stadium, along with the commentary, will be able to select that choice on the games that stream across NBC Sports Gold, the NBC Sports App and Peacock.
“The Premier League and all the host broadcasters in the UK are all doing [the artificial crowd noise] the same way,” explained Pierre Moossa, coordinating producer for NBC Sports Group’s coverage of the Premier League. “It’s being produced and done via EA Sports that has sampled 92 different ways of cheering. [All of the audio] has been sampled from specific matches. So if you’re watching a Liverpool match from Anfield, the crowd will be sampled from Liverpool from Anfield in a match. So ultimately, it’s the most authentic way of enhancing the audio.”
Asked whether NBC Sports sees the resumption of the Premier League as an opportunity to increase its viewership, Moossa said, “With 35 games in 40 days, and with it being one of the first team sports that’s coming back, it is an opportunity to introduce the Premier League and to introduce what makes the league so special to a much broader audience. I think people are very much excited about the return of sport. And I think you’ll find a lot of people sampling the Premier League for the first time that may not have sampled it before.”
With so many people working from home these days, Moossa added that there isn’t as big as a difference between weekends and weekdays anymore which could help the league become more of a routine for people (and new viewers) to watch from home. “Ultimately, [the broadcasts of the Premier League on TV could] help people feel and appreciate what makes the Premier League so special.”
Inside the studio, NBC Sports will be following safety guidelines. “We’re still going to have talent in the studio, Arlo White and the commentary teams, intelligent analysis, in-depth highlights and we’re going to cover the Premier League like we have done in the past,” Moossa said. “Behind the scenes, it’ll be a little bit different. We’re going to produce the shows as safely as possible following all of the universal health and safety guidelines and protocols. For the viewers at home, they really won’t notice much of a difference.”
For the games, Arlo White and the NBC Sports commentators will be announcing the matches from inside the stadiums. In contrast, the Bundesliga had their commentators announcing games from studios and their own homes in some cases.
The resumption of the 2019/20 Premier League begins on Wednesday, June 17 with the broadcast of Sheffield United against Aston Villa followed by Manchester City versus Arsenal. Both games will be live on NBCSN.
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