FOX's Virtual Baseball Fans Actually Look Pretty Good

24 Juillet, 2020, 07:00 | Auteur: Christine Menetries
  • Meet the virtual fans Fox Sports will be filling empty stadiums with during MLB games

Games on FOX Sports will have virtual crowds and pumped-in crowd noise in order to create a simulated atmosphere, the network announced Thursday, according to John Ourand of Sports Business Daily.

Fox Sports has revealed it will utilize virtual fans during its Major League Baseball broadcasts in the widespread absence of spectators at games during the rescheduled season.

The MLB begins its 2020 60-game season with defending World Series champion Washington Nationals as the host for the New York Yankees at 7:08 p.m. ET, followed by the San Francisco Giants against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium at 10:08 p.m. ET. But Fox Sports vice president Brad Zager, who oversees live event productions and operations, is hoping that people give it a chance before making a definitive opinion.

"We will learn a lot", Zager said. "We aren't trying to fool anyone". "But we also know how jarring watching a game in an empty stadium is on TV". "What we're going for is normalcy and authenticity".

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Major League Baseball has already said it will allow teams to play artificial crowd noise over stadium loudspeakers during play.

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.

Fox will take it up a notch, using software called Pixatope, with the assistance of Silver Spoon Animation, which specializes in motion capture. Most importantly, they developed virtual wave technology.

Variety also reports that the virtual crowds would appear in games nationally broadcast games on Fox, Fox Sports 1 or Fox Sports 2.



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