Take Me Out To The (Virtual) Crowd…Fox Sports To Use Digital Fans To Fill COVID-19 Emptied Baseball Stadiums
(NEW YORK) — Fox Sports is borrowing some Hollywood magic to make this year’s crowd-free baseball season look like the real McCoy.
According to Variety, when the network airs the match-up between the Arizona Diamondbacks and San Diego Padres Saturday night, the seats will be filled to capacity — by digital doppelgangers.
With COVID-19 barring real fans from major league parks, Fox Sports says between the digital crowd and the sound of the fans it will look to the home viewer like the real deal.
“We had a vision for making our Major League Baseball broadcasts look as natural as they were before COVID,” Brad Zager, executive producer and executive vice president and head of production and operations for Fox Sports, tells Variety.
The digital crowds can be “dressed” in various home team jerseys and will react as real fans would — even if the game isn’t going their way.
“If it’s an 8-to-1 game, the crowd can be thinned out,” says Zager.
And yes, the virtual fans can even do “The Wave.”
By Stephen Iervolino
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.