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Sky Sports consider fake crowd noise for GAA games

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A Sky Sports camera records action from Croke Park. Picture credit: Dire Brennan / SPORTSFILE

A Sky Sports camera records action from Croke Park. Picture credit: Dire Brennan / SPORTSFILE

A Sky Sports camera records action from Croke Park. Picture credit: Dire Brennan / SPORTSFILE

Sky Sports will consider utilising fake crowd noise when broadcasting live GAA matches later this year.

This would only be an option if Croke Park has to stage its championships behind closed doors because of Covid-19 restrictions.

Sky has been buoyed by the reaction to its simulated cheers and jeers when the Premier League resumed back in June. For those soccer fixtures, it could utilise a “bank of sound” already recorded and provided to computer games giant EA Sports.

“I’d imagine no broadcaster of GAA has gone through that process, so it would be something that we would need to create ourselves which takes more resources. But it’s certainly something we’d look at,” said Sky’s director of multi sports Georgie Faulkner.

The GAA is still banking on championship spectators, even in reduced numbers, and the sports broadcaster has stressed the “need to be authentic” in any scenario involving crowds. But Sky still aims to have Plan A and Plan B options for its GAA coverage.

“Everything is so fluid and changing, almost daily,” said production manager Kate Walkey. “So, if crowds got pulled last minute, we’d obviously have the capacity to play that augmented sound.”

Online Editors