Some leagues, like the German Bundesliga, are already working on the return of fans but as a temporary solution for TV viewers to this absence of atmosphere, many broadcasters have introduced recorded ‘crowd noise’, created from recordings of previous matches.
But this addition to TV productions has not been without controversy. For example, in some games, crowd noise from the wrong teams’ fans has been played. Some broadcasters have introduced the option in some games to listen to a feed with no synthetic crowd noise, which many fans have preferred.
We decided to ask football fans in the UAE what their views of this innovation are. We polled more than 1000 members of the public to discover whether fans would prefer the simple sound of silence.
As you can see from the chart above, the overwhelming majority of UAE football fans have found the broadcaster-generated crowd noise to be a positive innovation. 77% of them like the sound either a lot or somewhat, compared to just 13% of fans who told us that they did not like the effects.
That marks it out as a highly successful experiment by the production teams involved – and is perhaps why UEFA has commissioned Sky Deutschland to provide the crowd noise for its Final Eight tournament involving the remaining Europa League and Champions League teams this month. For most fans, when it comes to football, it seems that silence is not golden.