Martin Devlin: Virtual crowd noise enhances the viewing experience

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Fri, 29 May 2020, 12:03PM

Martin Devlin: Virtual crowd noise enhances the viewing experience

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Fri, 29 May 2020, 12:03PM

There IS no roar of the crowd. And seeing as there won't be anytime  soon, what we now have is VCN (Virtual crowd Noise) and I like it!

Last night's Broncos vs Eels match mirrored last week's German Bundesliga with piped in cheering and crowd "buzz" providing us at home with much needed atmosphere to accompany the TV pictures. And I say "much needed" because it is and we need to get used to it. I'll be arguing in favour of these sound effects 'til the cows come home or the crowds come back, whatever happens first. Why? Because they enhance the viewing experience.

But of course there'll be opposition and vociferous it will be too from that  over-excitable over-reactive beast called social media. Facebook pages will be  founded and hashtags created with many CAPITAL LETTERS used in bold typeface to reinforce the importance of how important each individual opinion is. 

But before you're swayed by those who shout the loudest I do urge you to look and judge for yourself. My opinion, (and yes that is all this is, merely my own muse for what it's worth), is that as contrived as it might be it also has to stay simply because some noise is better than no noise - especially on television.  

Watching live sport at a half empty stadium is one thing, hearing it via your preferred electronic device is entirely different again. Which is why both the Bundesliga & NRL decided after full rounds of matches with no artificial crowd noise that it needed to be created. And expect the NFL, MLB and England's premier league to all follow suit.

Even Super Rugby, a sport played largely in front of sparse crowds for years now, would do well to adopt the same trend. Although as with all things rugby there'll be a decent sized time lapse before they boldly announce their brand new innovation that every other pro sport's already had in place for yonks.

No the manufacturing of crowd noise is not ideal and yes it is a bit weird.

But tell me since Covid19 struck what isn't? And on that tell me WHO isn't?