What do you think watching Arsenal on Screen in the New Normal will be like?

What Will Watching Arsenal On TV Look and Sound Like? By Dan Smith

Life is going to be very different for a while. Wherever it be going for a coffee, to the cinema, how we travel, etc, we all have to adapt. How we used to do things our whole lives will now have to change until the new becomes the norm.

Football is no different. The Premiership is scheduled to resume in the middle of June, but with no crowds in stadiums TV companies are worried.

The likes of Sky Sports, since 1992, have prided themselves on their production quality. Sound bites from Andy Gray, introduction of fancy technology, having the best pundits …. they have always stayed ahead of the curve.

While they realise in the short term that they will have an audience who have been without the game for 3 months, they are worried that empty stadiums in the long term will affect their ratings.

They are giving away over 20 fixtures free of charge, but having offered to freeze subscribers since March they don’t want a decline in viewer firgures. By the time, the 2020/ 2021 campaign starts they will want an action plan in place, something creative that gives their coverage a unique selling point.

They will be paying some intelligent people to, instead of looking at having no fans in attendance as a negative, make it a positive. What can you do that you normally couldn’t get away with?

Who knows maybe in a few years’ time we will look back fondly that in this era of social distancing television made watching live sport original?

Bundesliga have started playing fake crowd noise into venues. Yet there are different ways to do this. Some have just used recordings from previous match days, but another option being discussed is using the audio from the FIFA game. EA Sports would no doubt give the League money for the advertisement (like they need it?).

If players or managers vote against not having the fake ‘crowd’ that doesn’t mean those in their armchairs have to miss out. There is talk that Sky and BT will give customers the choice, where with a click of a red button or alternative channel, you can choose between turning the FIFA option on or off (is anyone else feeling sorry for Pro Evo – they don’t get a mention).

The fake crowd noise has divided opinion with those who have been watching German football. To make it more organic, one proposal is to hire people to play in sounds depending on the situation. Like a Football version of a DJ?

If the home side scores hit the cheer button. Being embarrassed, hit the boo symbol. Hat trick hero being subbed, press for Standing Ovation.

Ozil’s, Auba and Torreira chants could all be selectable, and of course the anti-Spurs choices could be popular. Those hearing that idea have seen an opportunity. What about inviting fans to ask for what sound to play next? In this social media world, it wouldn’t be hard to do and is a way to make it look like you are involving your fan base and thinking of them, let’s be honest you haven’t been so far during this pandemic.

My personal favourite is a bit boring, but if we are listening to fake sounds on loop anyway why not just play music? Again, throughout the week fans could vote for a selection of tunes.

A lot of fans like the idea of using Zoom or Skype and having their faces on the screen (because this generation can’t just be fans, they need to try and become famous as well). Denmark showed why this wouldn’t work. By the time someone decided to show his bottom it was too late. Let’s be honest can you trust the minority not to ruin it for the rest?

Sure, it sounds great when you missed something for months, but once reality sinks in and we are 3-0 down to Man City someone will do something daft for a few views.

Another reason I thought neutral venues could work is you could squeeze 4 games into one day. While two teams are playing, the other 6 squads spread out across the stadium and become your fans. Okay I can’t see them all being too vocal but it’s still noise?

TV companies are asking if they can have any extra content, such as cameras in dressing rooms and players wearing microphones at all times. I haven’t defended clubs too much recently, but someone needs to remind these networks that it’s not Football’s fault there is a world-wide virus which led to the government banning all sport. That would be like me asking Sky to give me the movies for free due to their failure to give me football…

Any other ideas Gooners you heard or have? How Do you think Arsenal matches will look on our Screens?

Be kind in the comments.

Dan Smith


  1. Personally like crowd effect when well done as in Dortmund, it works, feels as live crowd.

    I agree; to incorporate music be really cool, add it to chants maybe, once in a while, when goal scored…Freedom to cut it off, makes sense if no public.

    Audio is easy to solve but what about the visual, the empty stadium’s look?

    It is possible to add crowd digitally or in projection, exactly as audio, clubs should invest as they do in sound.

    TV stations & clubs should provide this to audience, won’t see any difference but actual people there from previous games. During games, camera is usually focused on pitch, not crowd, more on ads actually.

    For now it would really be a good thing, no public in stadium does take something off, same game but but boring; audio added definetly helps, makes a big difference, crowd can & should be added visually as well. For now….

  2. By audience i meant to say “very”.

    Add crowd as done with audio would solve this issue for now.

    Stadium should and will be reopened at least every other seat, masks on as hundreds of thousands in rush hours in subways today….That’s another topic.

  3. I just want to watch Arsenal, so really don’t care if there is no fake crowd, no sex dolls in the stands or no app for crowd noise!! Martin Tyler and Gary Neville will still be commentating 👍 On BT we’ll have the delightful Mcmanaman (god help us)… it won’t be the same not being there, but my living room is the next best thing… Sky, BT, Amazon or BBC…. I’m sorted 😉 and I can’t wait!!

      1. Hmmm
        My taste too depressing for football
        Do like when we play sweet Caroline before players come out
        What would you go for ?

        1. Something lively, Dan… Kasabian, Linkin Park, Dave, Bring me the horizon, 21 pilots, Stormzy….. 😄

          1. I would be ok with JoJo’s Leave get out or Will Youngs Leave right now, Tarrus Riley’s Don’t Come Back or Nicki Minaj, Drake, Lil Wayne, No Frauds, though my favourite would be Britney Spears classic, Toxic. All top TEN songs. Any would do for me.

          2. Well it’s obvious who it’s aimed at… just cracked me up.. if anything, I’m surprised there wasn’t more…. one thing’s for sure – you’re consistent!

  4. Interesting topic.
    I think, the “product” Football on TV without crowds in the stadiums, is so much in its’ infancy that it can be developed so much more, and I am sure both the clubs and the TV stations will work harder and harder on it, the longer it goes on. They share a common interest here.
    I have no doubt many kinds of fan interaction will be tried.

  5. For me, I’ll just be happy watching without any sound. I used to turn the volume down anyway when I got fed up with the inane chanting ( olays every time the ball was passed ) or listening to the inane comments of pundits or over reaction commentary from Martin Tyler. As for microphones on players or cameras in dressing rooms…God NO !!!

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